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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Editorial | [ssba]

Editor’s Letter

I’m deeply in love with Salient’s Opinion Issue. It’s been a proud tradition since 2011 and in this day and age of uncertain job markets and uncertain futures, keeping up traditions is something that brings me great comfort.

In his editorial, 2015 editor Sam McChesney said “much like arseholes, opinions are wonderful things that are essential to our health. And I’m sure you’ll agree, having a good dump every now and then is an unmatched relief”. I giggled at the toilet humour, and I wished I could write an editorial as funny as his. He’s right though. Voicing your opinion, and having it listened to and valued, is one of the best things for your mental and social health. Feeling empowered and agentive, whoop to that.

Last night I was asking my friend Jorgia what I should write my opinion piece on. She said, “tow trucks!” “I never thought I’d have an opinion on tow trucks,” she added, “but now I have this job I feel very strongly about them, and which tow companies are good and bad”. She has a job at a call centre for a company that sends help to cars that have broken down. “It’s ridiculous,” she said, “I had dinner with my workmates the other night and we spent a whole hour talking about how Shelley from Allied Towing is such a bitch. Like was that really necessary?”.
We get our opinions from the environment around us. The more something is present in our life, the stronger the opinions we form about it. And we need opinions so bad. We need to form value judgements so we know how to behave and what decisions to make. Study law or econ or fuck it all and go to the circus school in Whitireia? Salted caramel or regular caramel? Allied Towing or Markham Tow Services?

Google Dictionary’s definition of “opinion” is “a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge”. I hate that, because I feel like everyone believes that their opinion is based in fact or knowledge, otherwise how could anyone be comfortable holding an opinion at all? I wouldn’t feel comfortable having the opinion “global warming is no good”, if I didn’t believe the fact “the current level of carbon emissions humans produce is harmful for the environment”. Similarly, a climate change denialist would feel comfortable in their opinion that “the earth is fine”, because their opinion is rooted in their belief of the fact “climate change isn’t real”.
In the end, the only thing to do is to go on out there and voice your opinions frequently. Keep it regular.


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