I grew up in Edina, Minnesota, a very rich, very conservative suburb of Minneapolis; I didn't fit in well. Until I
joined Tangents, a magazine published by students roughly foru times a year. We never got any funding from
the school district, so we were pretty much free to publish whatever we wanted. I served as primarily a writer,
but I also did some illustration and was layout editor my senior year.
AIDS: Cut the hype?
My first column, published in October 1993. The first exposure of my writing to a mass audience (Tangents publication runs were
usually around 800), it generated a nasty letter about my ignorance on the issue.
A Blueberry Nightmare
Perhaps the most "Tangentsish" thing I wrote for the mag, this short piece describes my high school after an expensive
renovation. Note that all the classrooms lacked pencil sharpeners for nearly a year after the remodeling.
Justifying being a slacker isn't easy, but with the influence of the recently-read Tao of Pooh, I did my best
to sling mud at the preppy kids surrounding me. In the May 1994 issue.
The first column of my second year as a staffer, this one was heavily influenced--no, not by drugs--but by some things
I had read over the summer in Hofstadter's Gdel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.
A Time to Celebrate
This one, from the January 1995 issue, seems to be particularly relevant as the millenium approaches. It's about
Tangents 50th anniversary. Again I feel a need to remind you I wasn't on drugs.
Though amusing, this attempt to gain reader feedback on the magazin failed to generate a single response, which actually
upset me greatly at the time. I wanted badly for Tangents to get read.
O.J.: Cut the hype?
Composed--or, to be more accurate, reworded--during the much-ballyhooed O.J. Simpson trial, I did this one when confronted
by a bout of writer's block and a tight dealine. Resulted in my best compliments-received-to-work-expended ratio ever.
Don't Feel Blue Just Because Your M+M's Are!
In a gimmick conceived to increase readership, the Tangents staff decided to publish some pro/con debates. This
was the second in the series. I had the advantage of having read my opponent's piece before writing mine.
The Unsolved Mystery of the Mary Celeste
In an attempt to deviate from the standard anecdotal fare which permeated the magazine, I decided to do some research
and write an informational piece. Published September 1996.
Gambling Your Entire Life
Tangents, in yet another publicity stunt, decided to publish an entire issue on sex. This was my submission,
though how much I agreed with it is rather questionable.
Nerve on a Metaphor
Poking fun at both the technique of literary symbolism and the hoopla surrounding a center entertainer's death,
I originally wrote this just for myself but shortened it for publication. Published March 1996.
Republicans, Unemployment and the Minimum Wage
For my Tangents finale I decided to tackle a socio-economic/political issue head on, complete with research
and some basic economic theory for the uninitiated.