Sam McChesney is well known as a lazy editor, someone who—when he bothers to write his editorial at all—tosses it off at the last minute with very little thought, care or attention. He also tends to use swear words as a substitute for wit, the cunt. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting much from his latest offering.
The editorial got off to an inauspicious start, with the use of unnecessarily complex words like “inauspicious”. With the pretentious verbiage and overbearing meta tone, McChesney seemed intent on alienating his readers from the outset.
After a lengthy and somewhat pointless introduction, McChesney seemed set to launch into one of his trademark thousand-word rants about student politics. But even that minimal level of substance was beyond him on this occasion. As the editorial wound aimlessly on, the sheer creative and intellectual bankruptcy on display became all too obvious. Here, dear readers, is a manchild who has run out of ideas.
I asked my colleagues to each give me three words to describe a typical McChesney editorial. The most common reply was “don’t know, never read them”, with “I don’t want to offend you so I’ll keep quiet” a close second. McChesney’s failure to capture or even vaguely grasp the zeitgeist was painfully apparent. His woeful ignorance of all things Drake probably doesn’t help.
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The middle section of the editorial looked set to introduce some much-needed and bracing self-criticism, but before long this withered away into a kind of lame, overly self-aware smugness. The meta humour was by this point wearing thin, and McChesney was clearly struggling to fill a whole page with his empty, high-concept ramblings. He was 276 words in, and there wasn’t really anywhere new to go.
The editorial soon—very soon—led to a narratively and intellectually unsatisfying conclusion. The best thing that could be said of this particular piece was that it was short.
Verdict: ★½ The article could aptly be described as “the editor’s new clothes”.