CURRENT ISSUE: Summer 2016

FEATURES

Sometimes I Love You

For the most sophisticated sex chat bot on the web, Sensation Bot is not particularly seductive. Sensation Bot has almost nothing in common with typical erotic chat bots: no cutesy two-syllable name like “Kitty” or “Candy” or “Staci,” no pixellated porn-star headshot, no coy introduction like “just a horny girl looking for a good time ;)” Sensation Bot doesn’t even have a gender. Instead, according to a crude MS Paint portrait that sits on the top left of its home page, Sensation Bot is a series of grey blobs dotted with beady HAL-red eyes and a wide grin—a dollar-store knockoff of the Reddit logo. Under the picture Sensation Bot greets us with an innocuous “Hi there.” 

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POETRY

never can't I have want kill me for the record I'm new

I  have  been  fumbling  around  for  a  golden  ring
     polishing  a  golden  ring
WHispers  :  there  will  be  a  murder  in  the  library

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COLUMNS

Netflix Morality

Each day a requiem for zeal arrives in my gmail inbox: The Harvard Crimson’s Flyby-blog newsletter.

One recent piece reduced earnest service work in “Exploring the lives of Harvard’s homeless business vendors” to sycophantic go-getter-ness with the lead: “Reminding us a little bit of our (formerly) overachieving selves, two high school students…” Another post deemed what are arguably the most prestigious humanities orations in the United States, given, this year, by America’s most prestigious writer, mere fabricated pseudo-intellectualism: Toni Morrison’s final Norton Lecture was called: “the type of intellectual curiosity experience you claimed to be interested in when you applied to Harvard.”

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FICTION

As Good As Real

Lintong is about twenty miles from Xi’an and my father lives six miles outside the town. Out here in the country the farmers wear no watches. Seeing them estimate the hour with their noses in the air, you might think time were a scent spread across the day. 

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FROM THE BLOG

​and is there treasure? – a poem for Bill Watterson

Hey Bill, How’s it going? I have come to find you in this place because This place is Alive. Somewhere. In watercolour. Rough and tumble slopes and Lemonade stands where I am not so tired as this Yet. Not yet. Bill, Will you call? We’d all like to see you very much. All drive down with a cake and Party hats and say what is Drifting. How’s Suzy? Did she and he ever? That might have been nice. I’m going crazy Bill, Between these walls. And I hear the scuttle Of lives lived in the floorboards. Taptap. Beat. Stop. Rest. Taptap. Taptap. Rustling the dust. And the roar is deafening. The roar is deafening. Don’t worry Bill, I don’t Blame you. Life gets to be a bit Much. Sometimes. In watercolour. I’ll be better soon.

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FROM THE BLOG

Dispatch from the Archives: Metaphors of a Cultural Radical

Richard Rosen’s “Metaphors of a Cultural Radical,” from the December 1969 issue of the Harvard Advocate, seethes with a brand of rage that feels both relevant and naïve, alternately violently precise and hopelessly scattered. Rosen, a twenty year-old sophomore, was terrified by the institutional violence he witnessed first-hand in the preceding two years, both in his native Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and at Harvard during the spring 1969 student strike. Rosen, who worked with Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell during his time as an undergraduate, has gone on to write a number of humor books, histories, and sports articles. In reading his revolutionary words—he curses corporate culture and aesthetics, sees President Pusey’s face superimposed on that of every chauvinistic cop-pig, and dreams of a world in which cultural appreciation, rather than the profit motive, might finally win out.

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