It’s the final issue. I’ve ranted for some 28 editions now and you guys have taken it like champs. In my last editorial I’d like to say one final thing before I fade into irrelevance. I want to talk about complaining.
I’m a great complainer. I bitch and moan about everything. I quit an online publication I used to do some work for after they asked me to be more positive in my online presence (they literally wrote up a whole new social media policy because of me and asked everyone to sign it). I told them to shove their positivity where the sun don’t shine.
So yes, I complain. That’s not to say I’m a negative person but I’m certainly no bucket of sunshine. I like to pick things apart, I enjoy raining on people’s parades, and I love ruining moments. You could be telling me about how you’re going to Nepal to build schools and I’d say what they really need is roads. I could be sat on a beach with someone I love telling me this is the best day of their life and I’d probably say “it’s somewhere in my top 50” back. I could be serenaded by Frank Ocean and comment on how his shoes don’t match his belt.
I bitch and moan unapologetically, especially about Imperial (but like who doesn’t). And as a consequence some people might think I hate it here (which is as true as it is about any semi-permanent fixture in my life).
The truth though is I really don’t. I might not love it like a fruit that plopped out of my loins (this mental picture is really my final gift to you) but I do believe it’s a great place. Sure it’s also a terrible place, but mostly it’s great. The people here might be a bunch of problematic weirdos (just think about the phrase “they’re a bit Imperial”) but they’re also stupidly intelligent, hyper-passionate about what they do, and remarkable in more ways than my editorial can afford to expand on. The institution itself, despite some dark facets of its culture, is cutting-edge and brilliant in many ways.
I owe a lot of who I am today to my six year love-hate relationship with College. Some of my closest friends have passed through these lecture halls while some of the people I admire most have taught in them. And of course some of my most memorable boning locations are in and around the South Ken campus (including where you are sitting right now).
Back to the value of complaining though, perhaps the reason why Imperial is so great is that so many of you also can’t stop complaining. Whether it’s the reps asking for Panopto, Divest Imperial pushing for a greener university, Physics tanking their NSS scores in protest of a teaching quality they deem sub-par, or Council often nitpicking the dumbest of things. Complaining is the fundamental force propelling change. We’re getting consent training next year, humane library temperatures, and an unstable government in the process of exiting the EU because someone somewhere complained.
And this is what we here at felix do. A lot. The Union, College, students even will ask us why we don’t report on all the amazing things happening at Imperial. And my answer is that actually we do, but really that’s not our job. We’re not a PR leaflet, we’re not the Reporter, and we’re definitely not the Union’s marketing team. What we’re here for is to complain, use our platform to give you guys a voice and highlight issues we think are important to you. We seldom turn down pieces regardless of their politics (apart from hate speech obviously) and in fact we often try to commission pieces that go against everything we believe in.
My job is to complain and encourage other people to follow suit. It doesn’t matter if it’s about the Oil and Gas Industry, curly fries, Theresa May or the library air con. Complain, repeatedly and incessantly, and you will be heard.
So that’s me this year. Hope we complained enough to have given you some permanent eye-damage from all the eye-rolling you were probably doing.
Thanks to the amazing editorial team that often carried me. This is all because of you. Many thanks to Luke Granger-Brown for being a god amongst mortals, to Tessa Davey for adding hours of work to my schedule, to Mattin Mir-Tahmasebi for holding the copy-fort, and Hamish Beck who singlehandedly carried the puzzles section. And thanks to everyone (and there were more of you than I expected) who threatened to sue me this year too. I think of you when I masturbate.