Why I write for the Tab
To not do so would be regreTABle.
When I reveal the fact that I write for the Tab, I do so with a sense of dread and shame, and I’m not quite sure why. I mean, I know that this is hardly a venerable institution, but I’m not so sure it’s quite worthy of the vitriol it receives.
Do you think I joined the Tab thinking it was the last bastion of journalistic integrity shining through a bleak ocean of increasingly irrelevant news? No! I joined the Tab because I believe in irrelevant news. It speaks to who we are at our core. Gossip is part of our common humanity. If you can’t gossip, you can’t ever hope to truly connect with another being. Conversations about whether we can ever even truly say that we experience a subjective reality are all well and good, but, at the end of the day, what is it that binds you and your closest friends? It’s meaningless goss about things that no-one will care about in three years’ time.
Contrary to popular opinion, I am indeed a self-aware being who made the choice to write for this rag. Frankly, I’m here for it. I signed up for this low-effort, high-reward lifestyle, where I string together my thoughts and ill-conceived rants and write them into bite-sized morsels of cynicism for your entertainment.
Tabbing has to be worth it though, considering all the stuff that writers go through. You get deaned, called into the press office, taunted online. I’ve had 3 generations of my family express their disappointment in me over some of my articles: believe you me, that pride over you getting into Cambridge soon wears off when you write for the Tab.
Also, all your friends are alternately paranoid about being in your articles or genuinely offended that they’re not mentioned. You have to put up with the good-natured ribbing of “can I have your autograph”, and the phrase “Tab-famous” is used to refer to any of those unlucky enough to be slipped in between the printed lines. Pleas to not write about [this] in the Tab abound, which you calmly and deceptively respond to with promises of confidentiality. I’m sure I’ll lose friends through this, but c’est la vie.
P.S: Yes I’m going to use you in stories, I am not nearly interesting enough to write a weekly column otherwise.
But it is worth it. Writing for one of the largest student newspapers in Europe? Hello CV building! You get to attend so many events and interview cool famous people. And the other Tabites are a bit of a laugh too, even if they’re made from the same bitter, husk-like material you are.
It’s panem et circenses really: sure the buttery provides you with food but are you really reading Varsity there for the good of your soul? Who’s here for you on those long stretches in the library, with that essay deadline seeming deceivingly far away? Who is always there for you as you trawl your Facebook feed looking for distractions from your impending mound of work. This Newszak, this background noise of your Cambridge experience, only sometimes worming its way to the forefront of your consciousness. We are here because you asked us to be. We are a product of the collective Cantab consciousness, your id written into digital format, blankly staring back at you through the screen.
Any disgust you feel for us and our methods, deep down, is really a Freudian projection, and what you really hate is yourself.
Life is love. Life is Tab.