That Really Intelligent Perspective I Had for That One Piece, but It’s Slowly Slipping Through My Incredibly Pretentious Fingers.

Brenna Sheets
5 min readJul 19, 2020
Photo by @ModernDayYUP on Twitter

As I sit here in my gentrified downtown apartment, paid for by my parents, I can’t help but think about how my supreme intellect is being wasted during this quarantine. Who am I without brunch on Sundays to show off that I can be soberer than you after seven mimosas? What is my personality without being able to host dinner just to argue with you over my invalid opinions because I never got enough attention at home as a child? I can only post about my inconsequential plant collection on my blog for so long until my audience expects more artistry from me. It’s time to do something different, something to change it up a little and add some spice.

I’ve decided I’m going to do what most pampered narcissists do when they need self-validation from the people they hate: I’m going to write a frivolous opinion piece about something I know absolutely nothing about!

I mean, it is, like, all the rage right now. It’s basically blogging, but for highly sophisticated people such as myself. Ah, Yes! This will be amazing. Let me tell my housekeeper, who I hired only to fill the void my parents left in me when they went to Morocco every Christmas without me as a child, to leave me uninterrupted because now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to sound scholarly.

One thing I’ve always been good at is letting everyone besides myself know that I have nothing to offer. How can trick them into thinking I finally have something decent to share?

I’ve got it!

I’ll start off with a quote from someone famous and then connect back to it at the end in order to show the audience I can make a full-circle argument. Okay, so, here we go! Let’s use Steve Jobs. People liked him, right? I think so. Godspeed.

Steve Jobs once said that ‘people don’t know what they want until you show it to them... (Apple’s) task is to read things that are not yet on the page.’”

Man, that’s really clever; that really is a good one right there. I mean I could’ve said the same thing — better even, but he died so I should probably just pay my respects considering I’ve never struggled through any real hardship in my lifetime.

“While the co-founder of Apple Inc. was discussing marketing research when he made this declaration, one could also view this perspective in terms of —

in terms of — .”

Crap, where was I going with this? Oh, right. The basic “How the next generation will undoubtedly fail all of us entirely” point of view.

in terms of — .”

Well, I — Oh… wait a second. My phone is reminding me that I needed my chakras cleansed today! Shoot. It’s fine, I’ll just reschedule the zoom cleansing for tomorrow. Ok, so, how do I appeal to the average millennial? What’s a struggling job market right now? Well, I’m an unemployed, totally loaded former PR Rep. with family ties to Condé Nast, but I want to make it look like I understand the struggle, so we can start right there!

“in terms of magazines.”

Yes! Fire it up! Load the opinions! Let ’em have it!

It is inherently understood that people dive into a paper both seeking new information on specific, existing events and uhh — concomitantly (Yes, that’s good) hoping to stumble upon unforeseen information (Class-A stuff right here). Readers flip through the pages of The New Yorker expecting to see at least one piece concerning COVID-19, but they also flip through The New Yorker to find themselves reading about what was missing from Noah Baumbach's latest film “A Marriage Story,” and enjoying it.

Alright! I got that settled. We’re on to something, yessir. We are, indeed. Not sure what it is, but something’s there! Now, should I reference the Steve Jobs thing yet? Ah, I’ll hold on. I haven’t put enough pompous thought into this piece yet. God! Why can’t I present my god-like mind accurately? The struggle of someone too smart for even themself! Let’s just pick up the pace with…

Another unrelated example situation that leads nowhere! I’m too good. Why couldn’t my mom and dad see me for who I really am?

When we think of print journalism as it is depicted in film and television, we visualize a fast-paced office environment with papers flying, phones ringing, and employees scrambling to get a lead on “the next big story.” The foundation of urgency in journalism stems from the viewpoint that the story is supposed to come out before the audience even knows they want it; this way, it ends up being right on time. The only expectation the audience has for the news in terms of content is that it be new (and true, of course). So, if entertainment is giving the people what they want, then —

then —

Then what? Well, I mean, I’ve seen Network, so I know what’s going on. Television really tied the two together, so what am I even saying? I’ll just try to fix it, okay? Let’s go! Here we go!

Cassandra, PLEASE don’t vacuum my $5,000 bear rug right now. I’m onto something really great and if I can’t focus I’ll put all the blame on you because I have no internal locus of control!

The concern is with the variety in content, or lack thereof, that will be produced by a generation raised on digital attention and affection — A generation that is in a constant search for likes, shares, “clout,” validation, and fame. How does one give the people what they don’t know they want (i.e., a good story) if they are so consumed with only what they will personally gain out of it? Journalism was never an occupation one would be in for the money, but with attention and approval being so sought after by Gen Z, it seems the profession will suffer from an obsession with getting a different, less earnest type of lead: collective absorption.

This is unbelievable. I’m unbelievable. Even though none of my points are related enough to make sense, it is just SO interesting and it sounds SO smart. It’s almost like it’s making too much sense to make any sense, but I’m not done yet! I haven’t made my points explicit enough. What are my points? I’m still not sure, but it’ll end with a bang.

Wait until my parents see me now! Maybe my father will finally tip his baseball cap at me, wink sentimentally and say, “you’ve done good, son,” but we won’t hug because we have a generic tough love relationship that borders child-neglection.

I need another Kombucha to get my juices flowing. I think I’m trying to dive too deep into too many areas. Typical me! Always aiming so high! I’m literally too good for my own good! Must be all the money in my trust fund. Anyway, I think I’ll put this piece on the back burner and come back to it when I feel even more intellectually superior than the people I think are going to read it. I can’t wait to finally be recognized!

I’m ready for the big BANG, alright here we go, here we go!



Nailed it.