The independent news organization of Duke University

An airing of grievances

kinda kidding

You know that Seinfeld episode with Festivus? Not sure if Seinfeld references are still culturally relevant but I think this one is important to my story so I’m gonna go for it and if it doesn’t land, well, the ten people who make up The Chronicle opinion section’s readership base will just have to wait another two weeks for Alex Frumkin’s follow up to his column about bean burgers.

Where was I? Right, Festivus. So in this Seinfeld episode, George’s dad celebrates a holiday called Festivus as a substitute for Christmas. There are a couple of marginally funny traditions associated with the holiday but the main one is an “airing of grievances” in which you “gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.” 

The reason I bring that up is because I feel like this year The Chronicle Opinion Section has been one big airing of grievances—and I love all of it.

Columnists as of late have not been afraid to fire shots at one another: it makes for compelling reading, much needed, in my opinion, for a publication that seems to run articles on a weekly basis about the cat that lives on West campus. 

As someone who has both fired and received some shots, I like to think that ultimately it’s all in good spirits and that the discourse in most cases positively contributes to the campus discussion on whatever the issue in question might be. 

More often than not the most memorable columns are the ones you take the most issue with. For example, you may not agree with everyone’s favorite snowflake-fighting duo Matthew Noles and Mitch Murphy—I know I personally don’t, but their articles lead me to formulate my own thoughts as to how I disagree with them. I think that’s a valuable exercise. Not the most original of concepts, I know, but I thought I’d at least try to sneak something of substance into this thing before it really derails. 

On to the derailing: 

Since I’ve pretty much said what I wanted to say already, I thought I would end with an airing of some of my personal grievances. It’s not a complete list, but off the top of my head here, in bullet point form, goes nothing:

  • To my housemates: I feel like I’m the only one that has been clearing out the lint tray in the dryer and I’m getting tired of saving our house on a weekly basis. I know a friend of a friend who had a dryer catch on fire because of a dirty lint tray. Definitely not something we want to mess around with. 
  • To multifactor identification: why don’t you work on Safari for me? 
  • To Amelia Klitenic: Why do you stop and talk with me in Perkins but not at Devines? I thought we were friends, and it hurts my feelings when you don’t want to hear how my week has been going. It’s been going well in case you were wondering. 
  • To Duke Football: you need to be better if you’re going to justify making everyone move their cars from Blue Zone.
  • To people who like the show Brooklyn 99: have some self-respect. 
  • To my editors, Leah and Mihir: why can’t I use f**k in my columns? F**k is a really important word for comedic phrasing and without it most of my sentences end up sounding like the radio edit of a mildly explicit song. My columns are pretty much just Ceelo Green’s “Forget you.” It just feels antiquated to censor f**k in a 2019 university newspaper, that’s all. HBO lets its people say f**k and HBO is the best at what it does, so like, f***ing let me say f**k. 

If you would like to write a response to this column please DM Leah or Mihir on any and all forms of social media.

Sami Kirkpatrick is a Trinity senior. His column, kinda kidding, runs on alternate Wednesdays.

Sami Kirkpatrick | worms in space

Sami Kirkpatrick is a Trinity sophomore. His column, "worms in space," runs on alternate Wednesdays.


Share and discuss “An airing of grievances” on social media.