The Lawrence Bubble

Nora Taylor

The Lawrence bubble is a phenomenon most Lawrentians past and present are familiar with. Recently there seems to be another sort of Lawrentian bubble.
Not to bite the hand that is feeding me, but I must say that the Op-Ed page is getting very self-referential these days. True, there are the columns that venture outside of the confines of Mursell House, and more power to them.
But If I were to venture a guess at the three most popular subjects of the Op-Ed page I would probably have to say Obama, Outrage and at least one Watson.
This begs the question — whom are we writing for? Sure, college kids love Obama and getting angry, but what about those who don’t know Erin/Mac Watson, Travis Fondow or James Eric Prichard, or, gasp, don’t like them?
Yes, Lawrence is a small campus and many people do know a good majority of the population, or at least the most frequently drunk ones — see aforementioned writers — but what does this say about us as journalists?
Is this self-mockery an example of writer’s block or incestuous narcissism? Are we so burdened by a sense of ennui that we have to constantly turn the camera lens upon the photographer?
Imagine your mother e-mails you Op-Eds from The New York Times with a frequency that makes you almost positive that this is her favorite hobby, second only to having conversations with your family cat, and you get one that reads, “Maureen Dowd: Thomas Friedman, shave that damn mustache.” Or, “Paul Krugman: Nick Kristoff is Awesome (Not!).”
The sensation could transfer to other mediums as well; one day Anderson Cooper could pop up behind a desk at the end of “Sixty-Minutes” talking about how Andy Rooney should just “die already.”
To stretch this analogy to its very unnecessary limit, what if the “Car Talk” guys did a show entitled “All Things Considered: except for your rusty muffler, you liberal pansies.”
I would just like to state that I am well aware of my status as a hypocrite. I am of course referring to a group to which I think refers to itself too often.
To be fair, it is an easy trap for the Op-Ed columnists to fall into, seeing as we operate like an elite band of green berets spending every waking moment with each other.
We are essentially a coalition of the willing, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers who think our voices deserve to ring out louder and with more irony than anyone else’s, and feel morally obligated to poke fun at our own existences.
I mean, seriously, we work for J.B.

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