No matter how much effusive praise gets heaped upon the staff of the Squelch, there remains an contingent of pessimistic naysayers whose critique of our latest issue inevitably consists of a disparaging shrug and the phrase “It’s not as funny as it used to be.” On the contrary; it’s a fact that each and every issue of the Squelch has been funnier than the issue that preceded it. A chart of our funniness would appear as a slope of ever ascending quality, like those curves we used to draw in math class. You know the ones, that start out sort of flat but end up so steep they’re practically vertical. Those curves. I’m an English major.
The point is that there has never been a legitimate reason to believe that any current issue of the Squelch suffers in comparison to the Squelch’s own past, rosy as that past may be. Until now. Let’s be honest, here. This magazine has peaked. In a single year, we’ve gone from sixteen pages of cheap newsprint to sixteen pages of slightly-higher quality stock, wrapped in a pretty glossy cover. We’ve been a comedy hot rod with a snazzy paint job and a rip-roaring engine to match. We’ve been pouring our hearts into this magazine, but frankly, we’re burnt out. We’re not funny anymore. Seriously. Some of us even have girlfriends now, and without a steady supply of sexual frustration, you know this magazine’s in trouble. Then of course, there are all those people who graduated, and just between you and me, these new recruits aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
I’m going to lay it right down on the line for you, now. I’m just here so I can put this on my resume. Editor-in-Chief, that’s the title that impresses people. I could care less about “selling ads” or “meeting deadlines” or “quality content,” just so long as I can sit down in some fancy Hollywood office this time next year and slide a Squelch across the table with my name next to the words “Editor-in- Chief.”
“That’s the humor magazine from UC Berkeley,” I’ll say casually. “I was editor-in-chief. You can read it if you want.”
“Uh huh,” Hollywood sitcom-writer-hiring-guy will say, accidentally dropping the issue into his wastebasket while reading Variety.
“Whoops, that fell off your desk. Let me get it for you,” I’ll say, lunging for the wastebasket a moment too late, as the hiring guy quickly douses the wastebasket with gasoline and sets it ablaze.
“I’m sorry, I must have lost it,” the hiring guy will say, putting out the fire with a stream of urine. “Do you have another copy on you?” At this point I will hand him a year’s supply of issues and watch helplessly as he repeats the process.
“Those are for you. You can just hang on to them,” I’ll say as I politely excuse myself to go commit suicide.
So here’s to a bright new year of increasingly subpar laughs. Enjoy the view while you can, because it’s not going to get any nicer. Sooner or later, you’ve got to stop climbing the mountain and just enjoy the ride down. Think of this as a sleigh ride, or even a ski run. If you enjoy snowboarding, go fuck yourself.