by aidan callahan, outgoing back page editor
Life is frickin’ hard, man.
It seems silly to say it so plainly; we all know how rough it is out here. It’s not just the pandemic, horrible inequality and all the other external factors constantly weighing down on us. It’s also about our internal struggles.
I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that every single person at Xavier has been going through it (a slang term meaning horribly depressed) these past few months.
For us graduating seniors, things have only been made worse by the impending doom that is “real life.” It’s like a rolling boulder ready to crush us the moment we stop running, and every second it’s picking up speed.
College life is already insanely stressful, and now we’re about to face all the same shit with the added anxiety of having to decide the direction of our adult lives. I don’t know if I’ll be able to Indiana Jones my way out of this one.
I write this filled with existential dread, as this will be my final Newswire piece. In many ways, Newswire is like a cult, but it’s the best damn cult you’ll ever join. It’s given me community, money and a silly page where I can write the dumbest malarky I can think of every week. And Hanycz actually reads it!
The idea of leaving it all behind fills me with an immense sadness that I can’t put into words. But this immense sadness affects all of us. Life is inherently a drag, and it’s up to us to make this strange existence on a floating rock in space even somewhat enjoyable.
And this, dear reader, is where I arrive at my thesis. The most important thing, the only thing that always has and always will consistently make the human experience enjoyable is art.
I know that sounds like some pompous art student bullshit, but let me specify that, when I say “art,” I am not referring just to some high-class painting you’d see in a museum. Doodling in your notebook is art. A goofy sitcom is art. Mixing cranberry juice and Malibu and calling it a cocktail is art. Art is simply human creativity in action, and it is the most beautiful and important thing that exists in our reality.
For starters, art is just plain fun. It’s fun to create, experience and analyze. But what makes art important is its ability to use that fun to communicate what we believe to be true. This doesn’t just refer to things like books with deep themes running through every page (though those are great too).
I created a sketch comedy show for Newswire called The Blobcast. It may just be stupid comedy, but it’s also an expression of my belief that life can and should be fun. Sometimes making life not painful, boring and sad is hard work, but I believe it’s our responsibility to make our collective existence as enjoyable as possible. This is what I aimed to accomplish with The Blobcast; I wanted it not just to be a loose collection of goofy nonsense, but also a testament to the uniquely human ability to make our reality not suck.
I had the same mindset when I created The Back Page. It’s not just about ridiculous horoscopes; it’s about showing the Xavier community that there is always room for fun. That’s not to disparage the rest of the paper. The entire Newswire is a piece of art. Every piece is an expression of the writer’s creativity, and each issue is a testament to the staff’s passion for the Xavier community.
I am utterly heartbroken to leave this community. Being forced to move on is one of the many reasons life blows. But it doesn’t need to blow all the time. Life can and should be fun, and my Xavier experience has left me with the tools to make the world a more fun place through art.
I implore each and every one of you to create whatever you want as much as you can. The light of human creativity is our only defense against this dark, dark world we live in. So keep creating. I love you all.