Deleted Scenes: Here We Go Again

As I write this column, it’s bordering on two in the morning Sunday night/Monday, and it’s been a while, so you’re going to have to forgive me if I’m rusty. Not that I haven’t been writing, just not with that column title above. These things make a bigger difference than one might think.

A little more than three years ago, I left The Aquarian Weekly under the editorship of Patrick Slevin, knowing it was in good hands. Now that I’m stepping back into this role, I can only hope I’ve returned the favor.

I’ve had that line in my head for a week. Pathetic, right? Whatever. At least I have a column to use it in. I can’t tell you how many brilliant ideas for “Deleted Scenes” columns have come and gone in the last three years. I can’t tell you how many others showed up in the next issue penned by Slevin. Man, that guy was good.

And he did all that internet stuff too. That’s a lot to live up to, especially when I spent four of last week’s five working days floundering, unable to even check my email. Humiliating. There’s a point at which “old school” just gives way to “old,” and likewise “old” to “sad.” That was me last Wednesday. Nothing makes sense on a Mac. What the hell is a “Command” key? What the hell is “Time Machine?”

A lot of things have changed in the last three years, most of them not worth talking about. I had a job, the economy ate it. I didn’t miss working. I went back to school and am in the process of chasing down another useless degree, because if there was one thing I didn’t learn as an undergrad, it was my lesson. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about that once the semester starts.

Three years. The only thing about me thinner than it was three years ago is my hair. The tradeoff for that seems to be the ability to hold a discussion about the Yankees with the people selling me my fat-dude clothes. You can never tell how this shit will work out.

And by shit I mean life.

I know Slevin often used this space to discuss politics, and I know I did that before him, but one thing I’ve come to understand in the last three years is 95 percent of the day’s news should read with the headline “People Are Still Fucking Morons.” Think about that the next time you see someone on TV talking out one side of their mouth about how building a mosque on the Trade Center site is a “sensitivity issue” while also saying Islam is a lie sent by the Devil to destroy Christianity, and tell me if I’m wrong.

There. That was topical. And I knew I had to get it in this week, because by next Wednesday, no one will give a crap anymore. I’m getting the hang of this thing already! Back in the saddle, baby!

In all seriousness (and as the hour strikes two, it becomes time to get serious), thank you to Chris and Diane for having the confidence in me to bring me back in as the Managing Editor. I hope I’ll be able to justify said confidence with more than just sarcasm and cashed checks. And thanks to Slevin for being better at this job than I could hope to be, because aside from giving me a measure to compare whatever measly accomplishments I might call my own, it also affirmed what I knew when I left. The hands and all that.

Maybe the most important thing I’ve learned in the last three years of non-Aquarian life I learned directly from Slevin himself, and that is this: Sign your own god damned name. I think back to how I used to end these columns last go around—“Editor Boy,” “Metal Boy,” whatever else. What was I, ashamed to put my name to them? Screw that, you sign your name. Even if it’s as ridiculous a name as mine. Sign it.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Don’t call me Kotter,

JJ Koczan