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viewpoint

Columnist of the century

| Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This is an important time on campus. The reasons may seem obvious, but I feel that I should spell them out anyways, in order to be perfectly clear. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, other columnists were unable to submit to The Observer this week. Ben Testani and myself were asked, and humbly accepted the burden of writing additional Viewpoint columns to fill the deep void this week. It appears that we are all that is holding The Observer together. It is left to us to answer the important question on everyone’s mind: Who is The Observer’s Columnist of the Century?

This has been long coming. Previously, when Ben’s and my columns were separated by days, we had only discussed this issue, but now with us publishing on the same day, there is no stopping this conflict. This is the Observer equivalent of putting two kids in the back of the car for a road trip, and I intend to throw elbows.

First of all, however, Ben and I do share some common space on this topic, and this should be outlined. Primarily, now that we are in 2020, it is perfectly reasonable to declare the best columnist of the 2000s. After reading Viewpoint for exactly two semesters, we both feel confident that there has not been, nor never will be, a better columnist in this century.* Secondly, we humbly propose that this competition should be held only between Ben and myself. Previously we had hoped that we would find some weird rule to disqualify all the other columnists, but ever since Ben jinxed senior spring, it’s pretty easy to do so now. We are the last two standing, and the last two who shall be considered.**

Finally, to conclude the rules, this contest shall be decided by a tweet from @NDSMCObserver, asking all of you to vote. This tweet will be coming soon, and you can follow me on Twitter @DanMcMaster14 to keep up with the race. If you like my tweets, then you can follow Ben, too, considering that just about everything he tweets these days is just stealing something I said to him in person.

To begin, I would like to frame my entire argument as an attack against Beñ’s whiny little columns. Some people might think that the more gentlemanly, honest and civic approach would be to talk about my own strengths, but this is war.

Others might say, “When they go low, we go high.” But as my high school senior gym instructor taught me in our introduction to boxing, when they go high, low is exposed. What do you want to punch, gloves?

First of all, I lay everything that is happening right now at the doorstep of Mr. ßengajin Testani. In literally the last paper before break, Bên wrote a column about all of the things he was looking forward to doing in Senior Spring, in what will go down as possibly the greatest jinx of all time. I may even go as far as to say that he caused this entire thing (social distancing isn’t a big deal for Bén, I mean, people have been social distancing themselves from Bën for years).

Further, if you’ve ever read any of my columns (or any of B£n’s for that matter), you know how incredibly, helplessly unintelligent this guy is. I have had to write multiple response columns to Beñ, correcting him on topics ranging from basic economics (he is an Econ major, by the way) to how his columns are whiny (Ben had to write a response column because people were saying his columns were too “whiny.” And this guy thinks he’s the best columnist in these 100 years).

I will note that Bøn has never once had to correct me, I assume because my opinions all eventually become his anyways.

Lastly, I hate to bring family into this, but I feel like you should know that Bén’s family likes me better than him. Multiple members of Bën’s family follow me on Twitter, including his mom. His little brother was kind enough to provide me with the following facts: ßen is lactose intolerant (which is a shame because I believe there is no space for intolerance in our world). He also once lost a geography bee to his little brother on his own birthday. Lastly, and I quote “Ben is a nerd.” I know, I know, this stuff cuts pretty deep. It’s painful for me, too, to see that Beñ is the Aaron Rodgers of The Observer.

Me, however? I’ve been covering the issues that matter to students, parents, faculty and the world. I’ve reviewed Pizza Pi, advocated for an eight-step verification system to log into your email and painstakingly recommended a day for hugs for business majors (Mr.Testan¡ will probably make a Mendoza joke or two, he’s too intolerant not to). However, my main work for this semester has been simple. I have been, day after day, trying to get each and every columnist for The Observer on the payroll. Currently, Observer columnists are paid $0. After my fair wages for fair work campaign, we are going to increase that to a different number. Hopefully above zero. What has Benjaminh said about this? Nothing. I guess he just doesn’t care.

I will close with a simple message. Sometimes, in times of desperation, people turn to men that they don’t fully understand. Men who want to watch the world burn. Men who think that an Alumni-Morrissey pool party sounds fun. Men whose bucket list for senior year include using the bathroom in Mendoza and Jordan for some sort of sick thrill. Don’t turn to these men.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself a simple question. Do you want some Alumni kid who spends his time researching and plagiarizing other people’s facts, or do you want someone who writes from the heart?

Thank you for your time.

Yours (not) in Notre Dame,

Daniel McMaster

*It is certainly possible that once we endow The Observer to pay their columnists, around 2040, that a true challenger may emerge. However, they will be standing on the shoulders of giants, and therefore we feel comfortable bearing the weight of this award. Heavy weighs the crown, but it’s often been told to both of us that we both have very big heads.

**Yeah, sure, other people are still writing. But only me and Ben count for, like, reasons.

Danny McMaster is a senior business analytics major and has never once been wrong in his entire life. He can be reached at [email protected] or @DanMcMaster14 on Twitter.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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