An Interview with the Roman Radish

By Sarah Stone Photo Editor In light of their recent publicity and buzz around the Latin community, I sat down with the Roman Radish’s head writers, Bianca Stelian and Jonny Moss, to get to know them and the Radish better. I initially proposed a game of 20 questions, in which I would mix in random questions with serious inquiries, but the normally satirical Radish writers were not into it. Forum: Current Favorite TV show? This question seemed to be quite painful for the comedy-loving Radish writers. Bianca: Oh my god you really can’t ask me that but… probably of all time, Arrested Development. Jonny: Oh god ok… how about South Park? Forum: How would each of you describe the Radish? Jonny: Funny. Bianca: Fulfilling. Jonny: Enjoyable. Forum: What exactly is the Radish for members of the Latin community who still don’t know? Jonny: We’re exploring the oddities of Latin and we’re really delving into comical ways to view Latin. Bianca: Other magazines have periodical release dates, but the Radish just posts based on school events and happenings. Like we did the Tebbens commissions bust article right after Chris Barboi’s announcement. Jonny: We’re spontaneous. Forum: How did the Radish become what it is today? Bianca: So last year Chris Maurice and I came together to start a Latin humor magazine to break the curse of humor magazines at Latin never lasting more than a year. Unfortunately, he had forum responsibilities… ugh scoundrel… but Jonny came on and has been incredible and this year it really took off. Now we have a staff and we meet during clubs and I’m really happy about what it’s become. Jonny: It’s really taken off—it’s kind of a communal bond and everyone circles around the Radish because it’s funny. Bianca: And we have people who don’t necessarily want to write who will still come up to us with ideas like “You should Roman Radish this!” It’s a verb now. Jonny: There’s definitely a buzz in the hallways among teachers and students alike. Bianca: It’s nice to hear people talking about it. We do get critiques sometimes but nothing horrible so far. Jonny: I mean we’re writing satire. People need to be able to take it and we need to be able to take criticism. Forum: What are your goals for the Radish’s future? Bianca: I want to try to include some video, we have great visuals—shout out to Will Gomberg and Remy Dhingra for being awesome photo editors— but videos could be very cool. I also want to focus on more cross grade humor because we’re seniors and we make fun of mostly seniors, but I want to try to hone in on maybe making fun of a sophomore or something. Jonny: I guess a future goal is just to keep this thing running and to have it continue after we graduate and go to college. Bianca: I don’t think people realize that it’s a TON of work, Jonny and I spend hours a day just brainstorming and texting each other ideas… Jonny: Forming articles, scheduling… Bianca: Yeah, it can be really time-consuming, but we love doing it. Forum: Do you ever think the Radish goes too far? Bianca: Whenever we talk about article ideas we aren’t censoring ourselves, but we each have a moral compass, as has been said on the stage before, and we know what we shouldn’t post. We once posted an article we were nervous about and people had different takes on it – some thought it was too mean, some thought it was too nice. Jonny: Achieving that balance is definitely difficult. Bianca: I stand by every word we’ve written and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done. Jonny: If we do go too far we’re able to recognize that and correct it before we end up offending someone Bianca: We’re a young publication, and we’re still testing the waters as to what jokes to make and where to pull back. We know that we can’t please everyone- some people have told us we’re too mean, others not mean enough- but we just want to put out the best work possible, and we’re still figuring out exactly what our voice is. We do take all criticism seriously though and it helps us to improve. The Forum: Are there any jokes you couldn’t post on the radish that you’d like to tell the forum? (simultaneous) Bianca: oh my god …. Jonny: ohhh god Jonny: Last year in our project week with the onion we learned about “Punch-up” versus “Punch-down” kind of relationships; punching down is just being mean, while punching up is satirizing in a less nasty way. Punch downs are simply not cool. We just want people to be amused not upset. Bianca: Our mission isn’t to call out people but it’s mostly just to make fun of and make light of the kind of stuff that happens at Latin. We really don’t want anyone to end up hurt. *GASP!* Surprise visit from Luke Chandra who just wanted to get his backpack from the conference room. Forum: Luke what is your favorite part of The Radish? Luke: I really liked the article on project weeks that didn’t make the cut. I thought the boat building one was hilarious. Forum: Do you ever think the Radish goes too far? *Luke continues zipping his backpack* Luke: You know I think there’s a place in the Latin community for humor, and I think over the past few years the administration has really been anti-comedy so I think the radish is bringing back the funny side of Latin. Bianca: In all honestly we’re just funny people. Jonny: Straight up. And you know you watch stand up comedians, you develop your own humor style and you can kind of mimic people and spin off your own take on it. Bianca: Another goal is definitely to get younger writers because we know our grade very well but there’s also a ton of funny younger kids who can help us also make fun of their grades. Forum: So who is the current staff? Bianca: Jonny and I are the senior editors, Will and Remy are the visual/photo editors, and we have a bunch of contributors who come to meetings and suggest article ideas. We’re excited to have more guest writers too; Kayla Chapman just did a great article for us. Jonny: I think the whole school helps. We’ve got kids and even teachers giving us ideas, like we said before you know using the Radish as a verb. It’s a really good feeling to have insight from everyone. Bianca: Yeah I love that people are so engaged and invested that they read and want to help or share their own opinions. Forum: Who do you secretly hope reads the radish? Bianca: Uh the first person who came to my mind was Al Gore. Jonny: Ok… well mostly just graduated students and teachers. Bianca: Yeah we love flaming alums. Forum: Is there one person you’d really like to write about? Bianca: Honestly, myself. I know that sounds really weird and my least favorite thing about the Radish, as weird as it sounds, is that no one can flame me, because flaming myself would be just weird. Jonny: You might wanna hold off on that one… Bianca: Hell yes, I look forward to it. I welcome it! I want a joke about me! Jonny: I want people to realize we’re writing satire, we’re not trying to flame or expose people, but we’re offering funny insight and another perspective or twist on reality. Forum: Any final thoughts you want to share? Bianca: We’re student-run and we work hard. Jonny: uhh.. we’re not affiliated with the forum. Well said Jonny. Click here to read the roman radish!]]>