The Golden Words is the name of the campus humor paper at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). Run under the Queen's Engineering Society, the newspaper is sometimes called the 'engineering paper', but its intended audience includes all students, faculty, alumni, and anyone else who cares to pick up one of the many free copies (available every Wednesday morning at dozens of locations across campus during the regular school term). The front page of every issue of GW proclaims the paper's status as "Canada's Other National Newspaper" (that honor being shared with the venerable Toronto Globe and Mail). If you couldn't get enough of the GW before you graduated or flunked out, sign up and they'll ship you your very own weekly copy, to anywhere in Canada with a mailing address. Love it or hate it - and there's usually plenty to love and hate in any given issue - the 'GW' is certainly one way to keep your eyes open through your day's most boring classes.

"GW - It's the shit."

For the four years I spent at Queen's, this was (and for all I know, still is) the Golden Words' favored slogan. I think I found this to be true enough as a frosh, but by fourth year, my opinion (perhaps along with the paper's content) had changed somewhat.

I had always viewed the GW as a no holds barred, take no prisoners, anything goes kind of paper - no belief too sacred to be challenged, no taboo too strong to be broken, nothing too irreverent to print in the relentless pursuit of comedy. But although there was plenty of material that crossed plenty of lines, I began to notice that there were certain places this paper just didn't go. And it began to seem to me that the writers, or at least the editors, were choosing to step very carefully within the confines of campus political correctness.

If someone or something was a popular and meek target (say, christianity), you knew that GW would be there, spewing venom and throwing punches. On the other hand, if someone or something else enjoyed popular sympathy, or knew how to hit back (say, feminism), GW steered well clear, or even went so far as to pander. I can't really fault the editors for not rocking the boat - it's a shortcut to a world of pain in the strongly opinionated university world - but after a while, I just couldn't stomach the overpowering "we're so bad, we're world class badasses, we are the baddest mothers on campus" tone of every issue. They didn't come across as being fair or clever; they came across as dimwitted bullies, and they just weren't all that funny to me anymore.

As far as humor papers go, I think The Onion ( is truly the shit - universally irreverent, clever and observant, and never taking anything too seriously, least of all themselves. The Onion is everything I felt GW should have been - and in the end, failed to be.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.