Words from the Top

Writing for the Squelch is Stupid

People harbor a number of illusions in their sad little lives. “My parents probably know best.” “It’s fine that oil companies regulate their own output of environmental toxins. The EPA wouldn’t let them if it were bad for us.” “Overpopulation will work itself out.” “The University isn’t trying to fuck me.” “Michael Eisner isn’t the Antichrist. Disney is a good corporation.” The list goes on and on.

But while some people are aware how silly these illusions are, these same people fall prey to an even more insidious misconception: writing for the Heuristic Squelch is cool. “Gosh,” people will ask me when I’m out on Sproul distributing issues, or when they learn that I’m affiliated with this ridiculous magazine. “How do you get to write for the Squelch? I wish I could write for the Squelch! My parents would be so proud, and my priest would forget about that little incident with the boys choir, and all the chicks would throw themselves at me, and I’d get accepted into law school, and world peace would reign, and the members of Greenpeace would all find jobs and leave the poor French alone. O, wise Squelch distributor, if only I could write for the Squelch!” And so on.

What I usually tell these people is: “Um, all you have to do is send something vaguely entertaining to submit@squelched.com. If we like it, we’ll print it.”

“Great googlymoogly!” these people cry. “You have removed the veil from my eyes! Where once I was blind, nowGAAnow I can see! Thank you, O wise sir! I will submit post-haste, then I may be admitted to the kingdom of Squelch!”

What these people fail to realize, as they skip happily away, grinning madly at passers-by with a look which says, “Guess what? Ask me, c’mon. Guess! I have information which I am dying to impart unto you. Talk to meeeeeee!” is that writing for the Squelch actually makes very little happen for you.

First of all, if you do get published and you tell people, “Hey, I wrote something in this issue,” they will immediately ask you, “Oh? What did you write?” And then you wonder why we even bother putting something as pedestrian as a by-line with each article.

Another problem is that nobody reads anything in the Squelch which exceeds fifty words in length, unless the first fifty words contain multiple references to sodomy, bestiality, the human penis, boobies, sex toys, skullfucking, the Hegelian Dialectic, or scrotums. If so, there’s about a 35% chance they’ll continue. The rest of the time, they just exclaim, “There aren’t enough pornographic Top Tens in this issue!” and pick up a Daily Cal, which at least has nationally syndicated cartoons.

Finally, when you’ve sifted through the general population and arrived at the 0.0001% of our readership who actually read everything, you can be damned sure that not a single one of them understands what you’re talking about. For instance, I have written three or four articles over the course of my three years at Cal which could be boiled down to this: “IT’S KINDA FUNNY THAT I’M A HOMO.” I’ve tried allegory, I’ve tried subtle reference to queer subculture, and yes, I’m not proud, but I’ve tried out-and-out references to gay anal sex in which I’ve listed myself as a participant. And still, people ask me, “What does your girlfriend think of all this shit you write?” Note that this isn’t hot chicks asking me for dates, as some people would believe should happen with my name attached to the Squelch in various ways. Instead, this is people who think allegory is a town in New Hampshire, and that subculture is a system of behaviors even more degenerate than pop music.

But perhaps I’m wrong about all this. Maybe everyone out there attempts to read the Squelch at an analytic level, and has grown so tired of my ham-handed attempts at dealing with my sexuality in print, that they’ve blocked out my name so they don’t become physically ill when they meet me in person. If this is the case, then you’d best start submitting material double-quick, because until you do, I get to write this kind of crap, at least until I find a MAN WHO I CAN FUCK IN THE ASS A LOT OF TIMES BECAUSE HE’S A MAN. Also, Michael Eisner is a good, God-fearing, red-blooded, heterosexual American.