Learn more about the 150th celebration

CURRENT ISSUE: Winter 2016


In Defense of Oneself

I stood in the backyard in Berkeley (behind the tree, next to Marion’s easel and paints) and flicked off the little red safety.

Marion was inside, in our dirty kitchen, heating water for pasta while dicing sausage for sauce. If I don’t come back in a few minutes, I had told her, something is wrong. She had laughed at me.   

I pointed the capsule towards the ground. I offered a licked finger to the wind, but it didn’t cool. It was a still July evening in the East Bay.

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Editor's Note: Winter 2016

Winter, at 21 South Street, is nesting season. We cozy up to archives and take stock of the aging boiler; frigid winds keep us cloistered indoors, so we indulge in extra macaroons and some retrospective navel-gazing. This year, though, we have a good excuse: 2016 marks The Harvard Advocate’s 150th Anniversary. In recognition, we revisit our founding motto—Dulce est Periculum—for our sesquicentennial winter issue theme: Danger.

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four sections from Explosion Rocks Springfield

The Friday evening gas explosion in Springfield leveled a strip club next to a day care.
I remember the breeze right before…
Burs of—was it willow—slant-falling.
The gray sidewalk, schist granules, scattering.
A brown dumpster lid smushing its green plastic, sandwich meat.


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No Trouble

Phaedra Byrd, or Faye, likes to get high on PCP. She picks up from Cowboy, who spends nights hanging near the Carver Terrace stairs. Sometimes when she gets high, she looks at pictures of herself and her younger half-sister as children. Now, attempting to text a man with a black SUV who lives in the suburbs, Faye accidentally sends a video message of herself mumbling You like it, babe?” to her half-sister.

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A Literary Mania (1920)

It is an ungenerous platitude and a true one, to say that by far the greater part both of our actions and our thoughts have for their roots noting but dogma and cant. It is as true of politics as it is of religion; and it is becoming daily truer of the hitherto untrammeled field of criticism. In politics we have had our Robespierres, and we are still suffering from the effects; the political market is glutted with liberté, egalité, fraternitéMr. Wilson has succeeded Jean-Jacques, and Lenin is still with us.

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BODIES: The Hypocrisy of Harvard and the Case of the Evil Crone

I am now sixty-four years old and have been happily married for sixteen years—to a man. I have had a career as a successful corporate lawyer, working in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Houston, and Beijing. I have, since my years at Harvard, never lived in the hot house that is Cambridge. So I have followed from afar the activities at Harvard. What I have always noted is that Harvard leads from behind. It is never the initiator of progress or justice. But when something becomes the vox populi, à la mode, or to use that horrid new abbreviation, “PC”, Harvard pursues it with a ruthlessness which only massive wealth can underwrite. Harvard rules by terror. That is amply demonstrated by William Wright’s book which only came out in 2005: Harvard’s Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals, which describes the surveillance and prosecution in in-house “trials” of gay students.

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BODIES: Aeolian

Title: Aeolian Medium: HTML/WebGL, Website (Audio/Motion Graphics)Dimensions: 1124x876 pixelsAs 3D and other consumption-augmented technology become more commonplace in our lives, our surroundings will begin to change. The surreal and the unreal begin to emerge in the realm of possibility. Media can be anything, mean anything, once software can shape our reality. Aeolian Processes explores the potential for "terraforming" our natural world through augmented reality. Taking satellite imagery of a particular type of martian landscapes (aeolian processes ­ "sand dunes") , new, foreign terrain is created in 3D with webGL and superimposed into our natural environment. Suddenly, with this new earth breathing right in front of you, with these otherworldly sounds filling your ears, alongside recognizable scenery, the surreal doesn't seem too far from reality.

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