Today, before celebrating the inevitable victory of the ferocious Bulldog over the anemic (and ambiguously creepy) Cantab, it is only fitting that we take a moment to mourn the less fortunate. Only a drunken bus-ride away, cowering in cold, spartan, adult-RA-patrolled halfway-houses, the hollow men and women of Harvard while away their days. The soulless, humorless, admissions-video-less horde may look and dress like us, albeit with less argyle and more “f–k you flipflops” — but something is amiss. As we celebrate our naked parties, Nobel laureates, great leaders and Gothic castles, they suffer dry streets, dry tailgates and drier sex lives. Pray for these poor souls, who must clear all of their three parties a year with administrators and end them by 2 a.m.; whose foam parties get shut down faster than the public option; whose so-called “final clubs” couldn’t even get close to stealing the skull of an Apache warlord. Our Whiffenpoofs just appeared on national television for the umpteenth time; their a cappella website is hosted on WordPress. Their graduates invent complex, self-destructing financial derivatives; ours star in “Sideways,” lead the free world and style Kanye West.
Readers, if you can stomach it, take a moment to imagine yourself in such a puritanical, fun-drained crucible, and forgive your peers’ foibles: making fun of a recent murder (then trying to erase the evidence), printing T-shirts that make fun of Sept. 11, making Facemashing websites that compare women to farm animals, inventing Microsoft Word, turning tailgates into Soviet-era breadlines, etc. They know not what they do. As Frank Lloyd Wright put it, “Harvard takes perfectly good plums as students and turns them into prunes.” Or, as The Harvard Crimson put it, “Harvard sucks.” (“Harvard sucks,” Nov. 16, 2007).
So forgive these unhappy few — they are a product of circumstance. They’ll receive a tutelary drubbing soon, while sober and eagerly awaiting school on Monday. (Hopefully it’ll wake them up enough to realize they may be proclaiming their own suckage through stadium signage — unlike in 2004.) Forgive their factually-inaccurate insults to our fair city of New Haven. We know that our bustling cultural metropolis has far more to offer the young and boozy than the glorified higher-ed babysitting consortium that is Cambridge. And let them cling to the idea that it’s a safer place to go to school, even though rape is almost three times as likely in Cambridge than in New Haven, and murder, almost 75 percent more prevalent.
So today, before we add another notch to our glorious 65–53–8 record, let’s resolve to lend a hand to those huddled, hungry masses who plead for hot breakfast. We’ll bring the party; we’ll show them what life would have been like had they listened to our twee harmonies and chosen Yale — that is, if they had had enough personality to get in.
Go easy on them; remember, their tolerances are probably low. At the end of the day, they have to go home to decrepit dorms and regret. These poor souls are such strangers to human connection that they had to found a website — HarvardLunch.com — to encourage people to hang out. In our book of coolness, which is pretty extensive, that’s about as low as it gets. Apart from Adam Wheeler, that is.
Today, the cult of Yale will descend upon the unhappy, architecturally-monotonous streets of Harvard. Consider it a humanitarian mission. Bring the soul. Bring the social skills. Bring the sexy. The thrill of victory should never overshadow the responsibility to shed some lux on Harvard’s sad, rat-racing, degree-chasing ilk. And if, by some miracle, the pigskin falls in their favor, don’t despair the battle — we’ve long won the war. After all, they’re all just a bunch of “s-ssies.”