Archive for November 14th, 2004

Membrum Virile Envy

ø

The
Dowbrigade’s present center of operations, Boston University, has long
had a serious case of endemic envy towards its downstream
neighbor and Dowbrigade Alma Mater Harvard University. Like a frustrated,
neurotic younger sibling, BU both looks up to the Senior School in Town,
and looks for every opportunity to outdo or find fault with the favorite
son.

Harvard, 200 years older and orders of magnitude richer, barely acknowledges
the cross-town rivalry, preferring to consider Oxford and the Sorbonne
as the only other member of its class, and even they just barely.

Boston University is only now, three years after sending him off
into the sunset, emerging from the shadow of John Silber, a magnificently
flawed leader who led the university for over three decades and raised
it from a mediocre academic spa for rich kids from New York City to a
cosmopolitan spa for rich kids from around the world, with a few bright
spots of academic excellence. Silber was undeniably brilliant but
a wacko technocrat who ruled with an iron fist and came within an on-camera
election eve breakdown of getting elected Governor of Massachusetts.

Even so, it seems a bit like unsightly piling on to read in this morning’s Boston
Globe
that Boston University is hosting a conference this weekend
whose sole purpose seems to be to spread scurrilous rumors and innuendo
to the
effect that Harvard legitimized Nazism by being slow to cut all connections
to the evil regime.

Sure they allowed favorite son and longtime Nazi Ernst ”Putzi" Hanfstaengl,
Hitler’s foreign press secretary to march in the Commencement Procession
in 1934, his 25th reunion. The suave Continental Operator was even
invited for tea at President Conant’s house. And it’s true that Harvard
sent an official delegation to the anniversary of the University of Heidelberg in 1936, after that august institution had already purged all of its Jewish students and professors,
but hell, any University that makes it through 500 years of European
history certainly transcends transitory political perturbations like
Nazism. An Academic extravaganza like that happens only once or twice
a millennium,
and is not to be missed.

However, according to Steven H. Norwood, a Professor at the University
of Oklahoma, who presented his paper at the BU conference today, these
incidents were indicative of rotten crypto-fascist tendencies.

‘Harvard was involved in active steps that helped legitimate the Nazi
regime in the West," Norwood said in an interview Friday. ”Harvard
was among the worst [universities], and its record was shameful and
unjustifiable."

Harvard officials dispute Norwood’s conclusions, which he will present
today in a research paper titled, ”Legitimating Nazism: Harvard University
and the Hitler Regime."

Seems like sour grapes to us, coming from a football factory via a school
that was churning out stenographers and golfers during WWII. We doubt
the World’s Greatest University will be seriously compromised by the
disclosures.

Sometimes the "Me, too" at BU is embarrassingly obvious. As Exhibit
B, let us present "Boink" an incipient Sex Magazine recently announced
by
the weak sister on the Boston side of the Charles. As anyone who has
been paying attention will remember, Harvard Students started their Sex
Magazine "H-Bomb" over six months ago. Better late than never, we guess.

Move
over, Harvard: Students at Boston University may have their own sex
magazine
by early
next
year
— and
this time,
the
editor
doesn’t
mind
if you call it pornography.

Less than six months after the controversial H Bomb magazine hit mailboxes
at Harvard, complete with artsy nude photographs, a BU journalism major
has announced plans for Boink, a glossy magazine that will feature nude
photos of students and articles about sex. The 96-page debut issue is planned
for January.

"Sex is such a huge part of college life, it’s something we need to address," said
Alecia Oleyourryk, 20, a senior from upstate New York and the creator
of Boink.

We say its time for BU to grow up and strike out on its own, in a direction
the frumpy Yankee matron across the river has yet to even consider.  We
would suggest perhaps a Department of Hobbitology, or perhaps a Reality
Television Think Tank.  Leave the Nazis alone.

from the
Boston Globe