They are the 6 percent.
The tuxedo-clad, pipe-smoking final club denizens of Harvard have traveled a long way just to watch their football team limp to defeat on Saturday, and their trek has come with great personal sacrifice. They left behind the comfort of their very own gated Occupy protest, only to see us commoners rough it on the New Haven Green. One day, they were happily flaunting their low admissions rate and privileged status, cheering about how many others they can exclude. Today, they’re stuck with us peasants in New Haven, forced to attend parties without bouncers. They haven’t seen this many people with souls since Bulldog Days – well, those who got in at least.
Pity the Cantab masses. They live in fear of the benevolent adult RAs who protect them from dangerous substances like alcohol at all times. They have already made a brave step by leaving Cambridge and their homework for class on Monday.
And be nice to them. As we prepare to watch them exposed as frauds on the football field, we should realize that these automatons in red could just as easily have been us — well, without the skinny jeans and thick-framed glasses. They were real people once, before they decided that the Harvard name was more important than happiness, curiosity, fun or sex.
Just think about four years in Boston without sex. Then take a deep breath. Thank God you chose Yale.
Life at Harvard might be miserable, but we have to remember that this is about the institution, not the kids. Frank Lloyd Wright had it right when he said, “Harvard takes perfectly good plums as students and turns them into prunes.” Although our northern brethren might seem shriveled up and stunted, think of who they may have been just a few short years ago. Human seems like a safe guess.
Only a drunken bus ride away, these lost sheep cower in cold, Spartan houses, poor imitations of our residential colleges. That is, they would cower there if they ever left the libraries — where their forced captivity seems to have given them the impression that peeing on books about LGBT issues is socially acceptable. Plenty of other strange things seem acceptable in the sunless, frigid alleyways of Cambridge: forcing kindness pledges on freshmen, admitting 30 percent of legacy applicants, taking vodka shots while writing code alone in your room, chastity.
We can’t help but wonder what this new Harvard Sex Week will be like. Imagine crossing 5th grade health class with ambitious resume-padders — we shudder.
A few visionary Harvard students have realized the sad state of affairs in which they are trudging through the best years of their lives. One Cantab advised high school seniors from the pages of the Harvard Crimson, “If you receive a notice of acceptance from the Harvard admissions office next month, enjoy the moment, but consider how disappointed you may be three years from now.”
All is not lost for these prunes. For this short weekend, we can do them a service. Our glorious football team, with its selfless quarterback who turned down a Rhodes Scholarship interview in order to lead us to certain victory, will not treat the Crimson well on the field of battle. But we can treat them to a good time off of it.
These Harvard students will get to see real smiles this weekend — especially from the blue side of the Bowl after the sons of Eli romp to victory. It’s our job to make sure the Cantabs remember this brief respite from their sad rat race. Help them see the Lux, Yale.