Like a philosopher pining on the role of government in societal affairs, I feel that I must define certain terms and points before getting to the main thesis of my argument. Recent turbulence on PIC, more specifically within the comment box of my articles, has left me with a desire to define my intentions with The Hard Way. Thus allow me to make some of the brand promises public, so that A. you curious readers may be informed, and B. to look back on and bawl uncontrollably in the shower when i realize i've become a heartless sell-out. I present:

The Hard Way Manifesto.

At the time of creation, The Hard Way was a hasty choice based off how it sounded. I needed a column with a catchy name. In High School I had a relationship/lack thereof column titled Panty Lines and Letter Jackets. I thought that was clever, the actual articles however, were pretty whiny and focused on my preoccupation with being a loser with no girlfriend. The Hard Way turned into a brilliant move. I'm glad I did not continue to focus on love related issues, but instead chose to cover a wide variety of topics with an emphasis on being funny over everything else.

The basic premise of The Hard Way is “I don't know what I'm doing here.” Each week i discuss a topic that makes me feel… inadequate. It's not fully observational, yet it's not quite didactic. After you read it, you should be thinking, “I'm not sure what just went by, but it was funny”

Perhaps the best way to attack the HW is to break it down by format. It consists of a simple title, intro, 3 body sections, and a script convo finale. About 3 weeks in I added pictures to spice things up.

The titles are intentionally uninteresting. They are meant to fit in a The Hard Way: to Logging On or Logging On, The Hard Way full monniker. I like to think of them as my children, each sharing the same last name, but having their own first and middle names. I'm especially proud of my two girls: Soft Way, and Soft Way: Beachin'.

The intro is the part where I like to get poetic, and sum up the entire point of my article in flowery language. I establish my topic, which is probably the least important part of my column… Wearing Clothes?!? The philosophy behind this is I'd rather make unfunny topics funny through pure brute force humor, than take the reigning topics of the day and say what everyone else has already said. This is practice for me as well as entertainment for you.

Three is a number I did not choose. It chose me. It is a natural number in comedy, Anything less and it's a “What's your point?” Anything more and it becomes a drawn out list. Sometimes the third section IS a drawn out list. Basically I did it once, liked it, and return to it whenever I'm trying to finish up the column quickly.

The convo finale is where it's at my friends. They like to focus on awkward situations, me getting shut down, and making out. They are a good conclusion to all that i've said previously. The Picture follows in the Same Vein, a call back caption underneath me being naked or something. Really it's the most shallow part of my column, but it gives you a face (and body) to match with the writing.

Things The Hard Way strays from:
– Topical Humor, especially politics. I just can't stand it, especially when you tune in to as many different comedy channels as I do. Terrorist jokes and the lastest Paris Hilton fiasco really aren't that funny. Exception: When done right (Daily Show, Lewis Black, etc.)

– “College” Humor, Contradictory I know. But I'd like to consider it more Humor from someone in College. I'm too out of the loop to do justice to any “College” topics: i.e. Frat living, beer pong, etc.

– You tell me. I'm very open to feedback, even negative. That doesn't mean I'll listen to it, but I will take it into account. I'll even give you something to comment on. My favorite articles thus far have been The Soft Ways, Beautiful Days, and the Rock 'em Mock 'em Col 'em series that I'm doing right now. My worst was Being Drunk. Let's see if you agree.