Assistant opinions editor ready to fly

By Alex Forkner

Hi there. My name’s Alex, and I have opinions. Chances are you do, too.

I’ll be co-piloting this Opinions Page plane, but fear not: my esteemed colleague Gary Hermann will make sure we stay the course and not plummet from the sky catastrophically, sort of like this metaphor is doing as you read it. Still, buckle your seatbelts anyway.

Opinions can be uninformed, inflammatory, dangerous and maddening. They can also be well-developed, persuasive, influential and thought-provoking. Opinions are the ingredients on humankind’s buffet of thought. That means there will be some differences, but that’s a good thing. Wouldn’t the world be boring if everything tasted like tapioca?

To be honest, I don’t consider myself an opinionated person. I’d never stand on a street corner, feet planted on a soapbox (is there even such a thing anymore?), berating passers-by with my views on war and religion and all the other topics that make families yell at each other over holiday dinners.

But just because I won’t engage a stranger in a health-care discussion doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say. Opinions are opinions, whether large or small, political or whimsical.

So don’t be shy. If you read something here that stirs an angry fire in your stomach, or if you just want to write about your love for trees, I want to read what you have to say.

Bonus points for inducing laughter. (Note: Bonus points are non-redeemable.)

And though I may not agree with what you say, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it … well, I’ll put it in print, anyway. That Voltaire fellow was a bit more extreme than me.

I’ll be doing my best to crank out some thoughts of my own throughout the weeks before the Kernel staff members start to pretend they don’t know me, and I’d love to hear your feedback. You can point and laugh at me. You can compliment me. You can challenge me to a fight, although I won’t accept because I am a coward — I mean, proper gentleman.

So let’s have some fun. It’s my hope to make a few of you laugh and perhaps mildly entertain some others. For all the rest of you who read this and think it a waste of your time, well, that’s just your opinion, man.