By Madeline Perez
2019. The start of my freshman year at Binghamton University. Rosy-cheeked and baby-faced, I would still be 17 long after it was cool. Eager to be out of the stressful environment of my youth, I had a short period of ignorant bliss, unaware of the imminent rude awakening the winter would bring. But I’m not here to talk about how my greatest adversary, mental illness, was there waiting for me in the weeds; I’m here to talk about the Bing Review–and that fall semester was when I joined, drawn in immediately by memes at UFest like a moth to a flame.
I’m not a republican and I never have been, but libertarian anti-authoritarianism always seemed like a bigger part of the Review than conservatism ever was. As a left-libertarian, I found that my personal values of free speech aligned with what the club was trying to accomplish. A magazine where anyone could get any opinion published? What? That sounds cool as hell. Time to write about the neuroscience of post-nut clarity. I’ve published a lot in these three years, and have climbed quite high in the ranks, which was very easy considering the very small population and my enthralling natural charisma. Being part of this club was one of the best aspects of my college experience so far, but it hasn’t been without its consequences. I have been harassed and insulted because people get very, very confused about what Binghamton Review is all about. So, dear reader, for your ease and entertainment, I have compiled a list of the top three best and worst things about the belovéd Binghamton Review.
Top 3 worst things
3. Press Watch
Lately, Press Watch has been probably the biggest source of backlash Binghamton Review faces. I have some criticisms. First, it’s not written by our entire staff; it’s written by one or two people each time, and I honestly don’t want what’s said there to be associated with me. Now that all other publications besides Pipe Dream (except that one-off by Free Press; yeah, that’s right. I read the Phoenix Issue) have essentially died, the only thing to “Press Watch” is the bland sleep-inducing Pipe Dream, which leads to some even worse “rebuttal” content. Now, what used to be a way to comedically highlight hypocrisy in the other Binghamton University publications has become a way for one person to insert their right-wing opinions under the guise of “truth.” Bing Review could be better. I simply dislike most of Press Watch and it’s ironically something the editorial process doesn’t watch as closely.
You may not know this, but the Binghamton Review group size is quite small (unlike our… love for the movie Cars). Think like… 6 people who consistently write and participate. This problem, exacerbated by untrue rumors that our club is by and for neo-cons, white men, and little Hitlers, contributes to some problems. The first is not having enough articles to consistently fill the magazine, since we print 6 issues a semester. This directly leads to last-minute writing on the night we put the issue together, which I am actually doing right now. Freaky, huh? This inevitably leads to slight typos and small editorial mistakes of which I have definitely been guilty of in the past. The tiny population of Bing Review members leads me to sometimes fear for the continuation of the club, but we’ve been going since ‘87, so I’m not too worried.
1. Battling A Reputation
The worst part of being in this club is the student’s perception of what we publish, despite never reading us. I’m going to keep this short since I don’t like to complain. I have been called homophobic, sexist, racist, told to stop writing, that I was being “used by the club for diversity,” and threatened that I should beware walking around campus. Wow! Quite strange to hear for someone who has only published comedy articles, mostly about movies, science, and creative writing. Curious that people who ideologically align with reformation won’t even give The Review a chance before illegally throwing away our articles, hopefully into recycling!
Top 3 best things
I used to love Cringe Compilations, and I would watch them when the Big Sad would attack me in high school. Whenever something cringy happens at Bing Review meetings, I throw my head back and let out a hearty laugh. “HAHAHAHAHAHA,” I chuckle, comically holding my gut.
I’m running out of space, so I’ll make this short. The club has been infinitely supportive of me and anything I’ve wanted to pursue. Not only do I write for every issue, I’ve started an advice column, written a short video skit (you can find on our youtube channel), and have drawn a couple of the covers, including Sexy Baxter, Bunny Woman, and Infinite Monkey Theorem Chimp, (All integral parts of the Binghamton Review extended universe.)
The people at the review are mostly epic. Matt’s cool, I guess. IDK, don’t tell him I said that. Pat and Adrienne taught me how to love again and how to process my feelings. Some, who will not be named, share my love for Neon Genesis Evangelion and their domestic squabbling makes me laugh. Dillon likes cars. He also helps me with my Advice Column, since I value his advice. Joe is there. All in all, I really do enjoy my time with the review and admire the generosity, authenticity, and quirky personalities of their characters. SIKE lol.