Going out with tact

By James Keller

Buzz seems like an odd section to have a year-end piece looking back at how things went down over the past 12 months.

News has a sense of consistency–the Students’ Union, university administration and so on–in topics they have followed all year and can reflect on. Sports has the advantage of covering Dinos sports teams almost exclusively and the opinions section has everything from the Middle East to SU elections to bitch about. Buzz is a little different, with a much different perspective.

This might be a good time to point out that the Gauntlet has a mandate that over half of the content within these pages be campus related. Whether this be a blessing or not, this section leaves it up to news, sports and opinions to pick up that slack, letting it roam free beyond the arches of the University of Calgary.

Through these means, the Buzz section has covered everything under the sun including Busking for Smiles (three times!), One Yellow Rabbit’s Happy, the infamous Puppetry of the Penis, Acid Jazz Fridays, Death to Smoochy, the Banff Mountain Film Festival and a host of diverse topics and events from campus and beyond. We’ve interviewed Hollywood movie stars and student actors, popular musicians and struggling local bands. Yes, we’ve been able to do it all.

But what does it all mean? Is there anything that sets this year apart, from an arts and entertainment standpoint.

I’m not quite sure if there is, really. Each year, the editor makes the pages he or she is responsible for every week into what they want, whether that’s covering concerts at the Saddledome or the Den. Or perhaps the diversity of the Gauntlet’s entertainment pages this past year reflects of growth of arts and culture in both our campus and across the city.

Personally, I’ve experienced more music, theatre and indie film this year than my entire life combined, and whether or not that’s because of my position or a change in the city is debatable. However, with new "cultural" events like the Calgary International Film Festival and new entertainment opportunities like improv group Dirty Laundry popping up every year, it’s safe to say that, even if there’s not an increase, this type of high culture is more available than ever. And regardless of less or more to see, this proves to be a wonderful thing.

The bottom line is that along with the group of volunteers I’ve worked with, trained and have grown to respect and along with my team of editors, I will remember the past year as a success. Of course, that’s in my mind, but the criteria is what’s important. I’ve seen things I never thought existed in the hidden underground of the entertainment world that I’ll take with me long after this, my last issue, comes off the stands. I hope that in some way you will do the same.

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