If you really like getting your opinion heard, being a columnist can be a fantastic job. I mean, what’s better than being paid to write your thoughts and opinions for the world to read, without having to filter it or be politically correct? These intrepid writers appear in every conceivable publication type, from newspapers and magazines, and in droves in the new world that is the Blog. I know for a while, when I was a kid, I thought I’d be perfect to do the whole ‘Agony Aunt’ thing, a British term for writers like the American “Dear Abby”. An Advice columnist.
I definitely prefer the term “Agony Aunt”, if only because occasionally I’d find myself reading one of these and wondering how the heck these men and women could manage to read through all the piles of letters and emails they get and choose to bring this one to our attention.
What are you going on about again? Agony Aunt? Aesop’s Fables?
I know I know, this is one of my more esoteric blog posts (For god’s sake, don’t ask me, get a frackin’ dictionary, or just type define: esoteric into your address bar.). But this subject is of particular interest. You see, most people think of these little rags as being just a bit of pathetic showmanship for bored housewives and morning reading. But in the great wide world of media and publication, it actually serves a much more interesting function.
Agony Aunt’s are the modern day Aesop’s Fable, the cautionary tale that makes us look at ourselves through the lens of a tale. (An insidious and sneaky way of cutting through our defenses and letting the story hit home). These simple columnist’s actually write stories that help to talk about the problems present society is facing, the kind of problems that happen behind closed doors, or under the radar of major media.
The woman who estranged her sister because she was awkward, unattractive, and poor. Especially poor. They would go out and the sister wouldn’t be invited because she was unable to participate in the same ways, and thus they began shutting her out. She wrote in looking for someone to console her and tell her she was in the right, but Agony Aunt’s don’t do that. They shine the light right on what you did wrong and make you face it.
One of the most common things being challenged these days are children embracing themselves, their sexuality, and the lifestyles they choose to follow. So often parents and family members call in agonizing about where they went wrong, how awful their children are to do this to them, and the Agony Aunt’s are there to turn the mirror back on them and face their own shallowness.
Columnist’s Day celebrates these guardians of truth and stalwart defenders of conscience. Be careful when you write into a columnist for an opinion, they’re going to give you one.