I started writing for The Lance when I was 18.
In August of 2008, I wrote three album reviews: Great Big Sea’s Fortune’s Favour (not bad), Manaf- est’s Citizens Activ (garbage) and Living With Lion’s Make Your Mark (fantastic). I’m nearly 23 now, and the reason it took me five years to get my degree was because of my duties as a member of the editorial staff for the last two— first as sports editor and then as arts editor— and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
I was able to interview people I adored and growing to adore several people I interviewed. I interviewed and dealt with people I despised, and received the rare gift of discovering I was totally vindicated in my hatred. I had stories and editorial ideas stolen by people who have been in the industry far longer and get paid much more than me, and earned the satisfaction of a job well done that comes with that. I got the Norovirus and wanted to die at a the same student journalism conference where I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
So I have no complaints. But ever since I was a kid, I had a fear of people not hearing the point I’m mak- ing. Just for good measure Windsor, here’s a couple of things I hope you’ll be compelled to do.
If you are in a bar and you see that The Lance is distributed there, chances are there’s a member of our editorial staff there too. We like bars. Pick up a copy of the paper and read it somewhere where they can see you. It’ll make their day.
Listen to CJAM. In a city where there not only are multiple stations playing the same Top 40 cycle, but people constantly complaining about this fact, you really have no excuse. And you’ll learn something every time you do. If you need to know where to start, my favourite shows are the Best Show Ever, Revolution Rock, Freedom Principle, The Judy Adams Program, Canadian Jam, New Girl Order and Steel Belted Radio.
If you get a chance to see Ape Cassette play a show, do it. They’re my favourite band to show up in Windsor over this last year, and I never got a chance to write anything about them, so there it is.
Someone do something, anything, with the vacant Walkerville Theatre.
Read a book, because the writers that happen to be sticking around the city really know what they are doing.
Visit an art gallery once and a while. It doesn’t matter which one, but I’ve always left each of those buildings in a better mood than when I entered. And at least once a year, try and catch a play at Korda- Zone Theatre. They’re doing Drag 3 soon; that should be fun.
If you’re watching a show at Phog Lounge or the FM Lounge, and someone walking past the window mockingly head bangs or throws up the metal horns, calmly leave the show, inform said individual that they’ll die alone in a haze of discontent with what their life amounted to and return to enjoying your evening. Being the better person is going to have to wait. These people have to be stopped.
And most of all, thanks to Windsor, a city where the lack of jobs is always on the front of people’s minds, for letting me hold down the best job you have to offer.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for your dedication and support. You will be missed Josh! – The Lance)