1. Welcome, students! As you foray into The Stranger's annual Back to School guide, here is a factoid to keep in mind: Only two members of The Stranger editorial staff have graduated from journalism school. The fact that even a tiny minority of the staff has degrees is, in its own way, a sick-making commentary on the sad state of modern J-school. In addition, a large minority of the staff has dropped out of college, and at least one staffer is a proud high school dropout. Why would you ever take the advice of these people w/r/t your college education?
2. Worse yet, why would you ever take CIENNA MADRID's advice on having sexual intercourse for the first time? Ms. Madrid, who last year published a piece in The Stranger about living in a public park, is not a human being you should ever trust in matters of intimacy and the heart—not that this ever stopped DAN SAVAGE from thrusting his nose into the genital regions of his readers. On your finest stationery, please dash off a note explaining to Ms. Madrid that your body is a temple, not a Greyhound bus station, and that you are saving your temple for marriage. Remember to be polite!
3. CHARLES MUDEDE welcomes new college attendees to Seattle, calling it "a multicultural city." In fact, 2010 census data indicates Seattle is the fifth-whitest major metropolitan area in the United States. Mudede attempts to cover up Seattle's whitewashed nature by maligning Montana and rural Americans, saying that they "eat utter crap," which makes them morons, which inspires them to vote Republican. Use Mudede's article as the launching pad for a 500-word essay about the perils of reverse racism and its sinister divisiveness.
4. SARAH GALVIN, in a piece about the importance of getting an MFA in poetry, writes instead about odd jobs, failed relationships, and living in a former brothel. Is her point that MFAs are entirely worthless? Why not come out and say so?
5. Finally, BRENDAN KILEY, who is a writer on many topics but a master of none, rounds out the guide with an essay about Seattle's booming alternative funeral home industry. How did this piece get approved for a back to school guide, which is traditionally the place for restaurant and bar recommendations, etiquette tips, and shopping guides? Is The Stranger's editorial impulse self-destructive, do you think, or do gaffes like this occur so frequently just because the staff happens to be intensely, hopelessly stupid?