Senior Column | An ode to all the rejects

This is the end, beautiful friend.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Photo by Ayrton Breckenridge

Shahab Khan, Opinions Columnist

As the wise kung fu Master Oogway once said, “My time has come.”

This line from the cinematic masterpiece “Kung Fu Panda” communicates the idea of letting go. Today, I am letting go of column writing, something that I have held near and dear to my heart for the past two and a half years.

Column writing is an essential part of any newspaper because columnists are not reporters. They can jump headfirst into local, state, and national debates without having the burden of objectivity — whatever that means — thrust upon them.

In other words, the essential service that columnists provide to the [redacted] who actually read this newspaper is perspective and depth.

This maxim has guided my approach to column writing from day one when I wrote my first story on charter schools in March 2021.

I hope that I have improved since then. However, I personally believe that the first column was my peak, as I wrote several pieces on “SpongeBob SquarePants’s” existentialism and smoking hookah with Jordanians in the succeeding years.

In fact, I think this is the appropriate time to give a shoutout to my former opinions editor and the Squidward to my SpongeBob, Hannah Pinski. Hannah has stopped me from writing several columns that in hindsight would have looked terrible on my resume.

Some of these include “Scooby-Doo” as an allegory for libertarian socialism, “Money: the Column,” and a critique of Slavoj Zizek’s dialectic analysis of “Kung Fu Panda” (real ones have seen that video).

In all seriousness, I am incredibly grateful for Hannah and the time we spent together working on Ops Blogs with Sophie Stover and Yassie Buchanan in fall 2021. Writing those blogs was something that I personally looked forward to every single week as I got the chance to work with three talented writers and learn from each of them.

I also would like to extend my gratitude toward the DI in general, because it gave me a sense of purpose and a place where I could express my creativity. Through my time at the DI, I feel that I have developed my voice, and more importantly, my style as a writer. This has also allowed me to become a more confident person outside of the opinions section.

Finally, the DI has allowed me to experiment and explore unique topics  – something I will be forever grateful for.

Also, a quick shout out to Christina Applegate and Ramadan Steve for no apparent reason other than they both seem like well-adjusted and properly socialized people.

Finally, I also think that Jean Luc-Goddard’s French New Wave classic “Masculin Féminin” deserves a shoutout because of its exploration of sexuality and teenage angst. We all are really the children of Marx and Coca-Cola. I might as well also give a shoutout to all the taxi drivers of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for all the hilarious interactions I have had with them.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.