I’ve always thought that to read Honi Soit is to take part in a kind of collective delusion.
As a concept, Honi is the middle dot in a Venn diagram of bad wagers: that students would read a print publication in the year 2016; that amateurs would break national news ahead of salaried grown-ups; that volunteer reporters would fill 28 pages every week.
To even go to the stand expecting something there is to gamble irresponsibly. What if half our articles dropped, nothing new happened, and finally after an 87-year hot streak, we just fucking ran out of things to say?
But here we are – present and anomalous.
When you think about it, this is the local paper of what is essentially a one-street town. Our catchment area is as big as a particularly nice park.
I’d like to think this makes the rag incredibly special, because, for all the pedigree, this is a paper that very few people read. This is a community with a niche and objectively rare shared experience.
University these days is too frequently a place to come, go and brush past people in the hall. But to me, these hasty pages read on the bus and train heading outward, full of new news, gossip, and (for the dorks and tragics) the same cast of characters, probably provide some kind of closeness.
This paper makes no sense, but I’m glad it happens.