On Opinion Articles: Part Two February 20, 2014 1 Comment Share tweet Patrick Cirenza By: Patrick Cirenza Opinion articles are invaluable. They are the written embodiment of freedom of expression. Throughout human history, men and women have died for the right to freely voice their thoughts. As a result, anyone, regardless of gender, race or creed, can be the author of an opinion article. The author can write on any subject, openly praising or criticizing anything from a government action to the food quality of university dining halls. This right, which is taken very much for granted here on our sunny campus, is a foreign and unfortunately unattainable concept for a substantial number of people around the world today. Some of you may remember I wrote an article with a diametrically different opinion on opinion articles last week. Some of you were quite angry about the last article. Some of you undoubtedly will be displeased with this one. At this juncture, I would like to remind you of how it is my beautiful, inalienable right to change my opinion as many times as I like and fill the pages of The Daily with my hypocritical thoughts as long as the editorial board will have me. Nevertheless, I concede that it is important to explain why I capriciously changed my mind from last week. In doing so, I hope to convince a few of the generous people who actually peruse my articles (read: blood relatives) of the worthiness of my point. Though there are many reasons why writing an opinion article is a worthwhile endeavor, I shall list what I believe is the primary reason—pleading restriction by word count and late submission time (also I am sure that what I miss, the zealous commenters of The Daily website will duly strive to mend). I submit that the authors of opinion articles have a unique ability to challenge conventional wisdom and extreme viewpoints. Their writing pokes holes in the dangerous assumptions of others and stimulates conversation about issues that need to be discussed. For readers, reading an opinion article is a good use of time because, contrary to my assertion last week that they are just being lazy thinkers, it forces them to evaluate their opinions relative to those of the author. The readers’ reward for trekking through a newspaper to the opinions section is the development, reinforcement or revision of their previous beliefs and their growth as a functioning member of society. My ultimate recommendation to all consumers of this fine paper is to occasionally make a point of reading the opinions section (please note that I wrote this of my own free will and was not compelled in any way to suggest this by the managing editor of opinions). Inform yourself by reading widely, form your own opinions and then relentlessly question them—you will live a happier life. A note on the byline: I did not write last week’s byline because I did not realize that I had one. Though I have a tendency to be willfully insubordinate, I claim to have a cause. Thus from now on my byline shall be: Patrick Cirenza seeks to provoke his readers to thought by avoiding the provision of insipid, mundane opinions. If he does, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly request The Daily to fire him. freedom of expression Opinion articles Stanford Daily 2014-02-20 Patrick Cirenza February 20, 2014 1 Comment Share tweet Subscribe Click here to subscribe to our daily newsletter of top headlines.