Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tales from the Battcave '05-'06 and Battapus captured!

I think most of us who spent waaay too much time in the Battcave will find some memories that resonate with our own in these blog posts (scroll down to the "My Life as a Journalist" entries) by Rob Saucedo '07, a 2005-06 Batt staffer and section editor, who writes very descriptively of his time working at the Battalion, both good times with his coworkers and harder times as the choices of editors came into conflict.

Also, Saucedo has been kind enough to give me a photo of the "Battypus" (or "Battapus"), a creature that was featured on Battalion staff T-shirts of this era. Love it!

In his series of nine posts, Saucedo includes some reasons why he didn't get invited back to interview then-University President Robert Gates a second time, and how his fear of the gruff Battalion adviser Ron George grew into great respect and admiration.

He also gives his view of the blackface YouTube video scandal, which made national news, and the Battalion's handling of it. "From talking to the students in question, it became obvious that the purpose of their video was to lampoon the perceived second-class status of minorities at Texas A&M. This message, unfortunately, was not obvious in the video," he writes.

(In his discussion of the controversy and coverage, he gives an opinion or two that, were this more than a blog post, I might contact other parties for comment about. But he keeps it nice and it's so clearly his own opinion that I'm sure I'd do more harm than good by raking up old differences. Just so you know.)

Having been, during my own time at the Batt, privy to the truth inside another "racist" scandal that blew up into the national news, I can tell you for absolute certain that even though there likely are race problems at A&M as elsewhere, people can be WAY too quick to tag Aggies with the racist label. In my case I'm speaking of an editorial cartoon that was latched onto by a black lawmaker as racist. I am as confident as anyone can be that the person who drew that cartoon had NO intention of including race as a factor (in fact, I think I recall that the cartoonist did not actually know the race of the lawmaker).

One factor that's the same in both cases: young people not realizing how their actions will look to outside viewers. But I digress! Share your own stories of too much time spent in the newsroom, or other Battalion tales... the comments section is open, and you can e-mail me at aggiejournalists@gmail.com.