I’m sorry, Nicolas Cage

By Cory J. Willey

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

I may owe Nicolas Cage an apology. I’ve made him the butt of thousands of jokes this year, including two articles published in this paper making fun of nearly every one of his choices, both as an actor and a human being. But before I get to that, there is something much more important than an apology, that the most interesting man in Hollywood will likely never see, that I’d like to discuss, and that is the very section that those articles were published in and how glad I am to have been a part of it.

I came to The Massachusetts Daily Collegian with absolutely no interest in doing anything more than writing film reviews. I remember walking up to the Collegian’s table at the Activities Expo my first year here was hesitant to join. The only thing that really made me put my name down was the promise of a free movie ticket for any movie I decided to review. That first year, I stayed on the fringes of the section, never really going to meetings and only taking the occasional film or TV review for something I really just wanted to see.

Very slowly, however, the section dragged me in. The next year, my junior year, I went to the first meeting, then the next one and the next one. Pretty soon I was at every meeting. I found myself looking forward to them each week. The arts section seemed like some cool “Breakfast Club”-like group of misfits from all walks of life that just happened to come together every week to create a fantastic section of arts content. Before I knew it, I found myself more and more invested in this goofy little group, to the point that when the assistant editor position for TV and film opened up, I applied without even thinking about it. It just seemed like the next natural step.

Despite being terrified of screwing up the arts page on a weekly basis, and almost always feeling incredibly anxious to speak at the arts meeting, I grew to really love working for the section. The hard work and dedication of the other editors and writers made me care so much more than I ever thought I would. When the arts editor position opened up at the end of my junior year, I desperately wanted the position. Somehow this group of people that I hadn’t known just a year and a half before had made me care about something that I started doing just so I could see movies for free. That was incredible to me, and I wanted to make sure that sense of care and camaraderie continued into the next year.

This past year as arts editor has been the most stressful, and yet, the best period of my college career. I’ve never spent more hours in the Collegian and while it may have kept me from getting work done at a decent hour of the night, every minute I spent in that basement was worth it. Whether it was time spent on desk for the food and drink section while we looked for another assistant for what seemed like the tenth time, coming up with the best, terrible skybox headlines with the graphics desk, churning out the half-disaster/half-success that was the Halloween Special Issue or, yes, making endless Nic Cage jokes, I will always remember those nights in the office as some of the best nights of my time at the University of Massachusetts.

To close out my year as arts editor, I would like to say thank you to all of the amazing people who helped make this year’s arts section just as wonderfully weird as it was when I first joined. It has been a fantastic couple of years and I can’t wait to see where the section goes next. Finally, I would like to apologize to Nicolas Cage for making him the focus of my ridicule since this past September. Please know that, much like the arts section, you will always be one of the most excellent things in existence in my eyes. People will continue to put you down and question everything that you do, but I am begging you, PLEASE never stop acting. I love watching your awful, awful movies.

Cory J. Willey was the Arts editor and can be reached at [email protected]