Takeoffs and landings: Here’s an original thought

September 25, 2008

by Casey Ardoin

So here it is. My first column.

This is what I worked for as a reporter-to one day have my own space (with my own ridiculous looking mug shot) where I could express my own opinions. And yet, as I sat down to write this, nothing came to mind.
It seemed as though I had no opinion of anything.

I was originally appalled by this idea. After all, how could I have anticipated this opportunity without having something pent up inside of me dying to be expressed and editorialized?

The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that truly original opinions are hard to come by these days.

If you think about it honestly, most of your decisions are influenced by someone else’s opinion.

You woke up this morning, headed to your closet and picked out what you thought was in style, when really an editor at your favorite fashion magazine picked that out for you months ago.

Hungry? Maybe you grabbed a Whopper at Burger King, but I’m betting that choice had something to do with the portrayal of that big juicy burger the men at the advertising agency came up with in hopes of luring you in.

And then there’s politics. It’s hard to form your own opinion about a candidate when even Hollywood gets in on the debate.

I have to admit, thinking about all of this made me a little depressed.

Are we really so brain-washed that we would never be able to trace the origins of our opinions in the first place?

After all, we’re just plagiarizing each other’s ideas in hopes that we might find a bit of truth for ourselves.

Perhaps Archimedes’ “Eureka!” was the last original thought.

Then, something hit me.

The great thing about the human race is that we all have free will.

We can push through the influence of our peers and choose for ourselves the path we want to take. We can take pieces of general opinion and form ideas that are unique, that we can call our own.

Better yet, it’s okay if we don’t know, if we don’t have an opinion of anything. I guess we’re not completely brain-washed after all.

After the glory of my eureka moment wore off, I realized one more thing.

Looks like I had an opinion of something all along.

Casey Ardoin is a senior journalism and English major from Pineville who serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to cma027@latech.edu.