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A Second Harvard Little Ick

Last week it was the Psych department chair’s triple negative.

This week it’s a dean’s … Well. Couple of things.

She’s responding to a reporter’s question about the man who committed suicide a few days ago on the steps of Memorial Church on Harvard’s quad.

“It’s really sad, it was horrible, and these kinds of incidents affect all of us really negatively,” Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds said in an interview yesterday. “This campus is situated in an urban context, and we can’t control these kinds of things.”

You tell me why there are Little Icks within Little Icks in these statements.

Margaret Soltan, September 22, 2010 8:42AM
Posted in: Little Ick, Scathing Online Schoolmarm

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9 Responses to “A Second Harvard Little Ick”

  1. Mr Punch Says:

    Both instances are speech, not writing, and reporters aren’t allowed to clean up quotes any more, so it’s hard to tell whether or not grammatical standards are declining.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Mr Punch: Little Icks are about speech as well as about writing.

  3. Rita Says:

    Have you seen this man’s 2000-page suicide note? It was emailed out to seemingly all of academia in advance. It doesn’t seem like his death had anything to do with “urban contexts” except in the most abstract way.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Rita: I haven’t seen the suicide note, and I’ll admit that when I read of its length I really didn’t want to go there.

  5. Rita Says:

    I skimmed when I got it over the weekend (I thought it was a bizarre joke until the Crimson ran his name today–you should see the CC list) and I think he read Nietzsche and critiques of modernity and concluded that the most philosophical thing to do to demonstrate the impossibility of rational liberalism is suicide? It’s insanely long, but the writing is surprisingly lucid.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Were the recipients mainly Harvard faculty and students? You make me want to look at it… Is it easy to get?

  7. Eric the Read Says:

    I’m really not impressed about this quote. It’s really sad that it’s so real.

  8. Alan Allport Says:

    See here. It’s, erm, different. He seems to have been obsessed with the Norman Conquest. It includes chapter headings like “The Seditious Genius of the Spiritual Penis of Jesus.” Make up your own mind.

  9. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Alan: Thanks. Rita also sent it to me, and I’ve read the last forty pages or so. I avoided the part you mention – sounded uninterestingly crazy — but the final section is interesting. I’ve been making some notes about it, and may post about it later today.

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