Welcome to the World of Harvard. Here we celebrate only things that pertain to Harvard, and you know what? Almost anything that we want to celebrate can be linked to Harvard, with the help of pretension and a stretch of the imagination. We’re excited by Harvard alumni, because truthfully, they have the coolest belongings, they have the best taste in awesome food and really expensive alcohol, and they pretty much do everything worth mentioning. We have decided to talk about Harvard-related, well, anything, and bind it in a magazine, so that we can place it on our coffee tables and intimidate our non-Harvard friends with its glossy pages.

This “for us, by us” project statement is the unwritten manifesto on which the new magazine 02138 — the zip code at Harvard — is based. In the Founder’s Letter towards the beginning of the magazine’s premiere issue, Bom S. Kim ’00, Harvard graduate and president of 02138, writes that, “as Harvard graduates, we share cultural DNA.” Given that I am not endowed with the glorious biological advantage of the intended reading audience, what could I possibly glean from the magazine’s glitzy pages?

In truth, the contributing staff to this smug, highly self-congratulatory endeavor is star-studded, implying that the authors, photographers and illustrators must have felt some fervent allegiance — or else owed some serious favors — to Harvard.

In the introduction to “The Harvard 100,” a list of the “most influential alumni,” the tag line is “Harvard is everywhere.” The introduction goes on to state that it was a difficult quest to pin down 100 of the greatest of the greats, no doubt thus named so that they would donate money. The introduction’s writers add that they “soon got the sense of the true extent of Harvard tentacles.” This makes Harvard’s influence sound rather threatening — perhaps the seas are no longer safe for non-Crimsons.

The key to the icons that accompany the 100 alumni profiles identifies a “hottie” with a pale pink square with a drawing of a winking woman. For those who do not share the genetic makeup of a Harvard alum, perhaps it is of interest that John Roberts, chief justice of the United States and No. 5 on the list, is a “hottie.” Who knew? Also, Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury and No. 11 on the list — another “hottie.” Oh, the things that Harvard has to teach.

There are moments of seemingly self-mocking levity in 02138. These moments, such as a list of books that bash Harvard, or a list of Harvard’s five most embarrassing alumni, appear ultimately to provide the necessary moments of counterargument that strengthen the thesis: that Harvard reigns supreme. Besides, the five most embarrassing alumni would all have made “The Harvard 100” had they not been caught in compromising and illegal situations.

My personal favorite segment of 02138 is tucked away in the index. It is entitled “{6 Degrees of Harvard}” and links one non-Harvard person to another with only five Harvard grads as stepping stones in between. In this way, Katie Couric is linked, through the magic of Harvard — and of Tom Werner, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma, President George W. Bush and Abdullah bin Laden — to Osama bin Laden. Touche, Harvard, that is impressive.

Kim in fact tells us that the “mission at 02138 ” is “to look at the world through the lens of Harvard,” and as a result, everything in the world appears crimson-tinted in its pages. This magazine seems at times to emulate the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times, the magazine “Wine Spectator,” the reference book “Who’s Who in America,” the magazine “Travel & Leisure,” and even occasionally the cheesy, motivational stories at the end of “People” magazine. The magazine is haphazard because it is ostensibly about Harvard, but with Harvard redefined as everything in the world that is good, and even some of the world that is not so good. So, basically, Harvard is the world, and the world belongs to Harvard, and this warrants a special-interest magazine.