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Harvard University and the New York Times are the high church bishoprics of the money culture’s permanent counter-reformation: elite northeastern institutions that compulsively monitor each other for any sign of declension, heterodoxy, or waning prestige in a time of corrosive status anxiety….So last week, when Times education correspondent Abby Goodnough took the measure of Harvard’s economic woes, she recurred to the paper’s puckish, purse-lipped house style deployed in any contretemps over the absconding of elite institutional cash: She doggedly hunted down the lifestyle sacrifices exacted on Harvard’s overprivileged student body.
“At Harvard,” the online headline for Goodnough’s dispatch ruefully announced, “Leaner Times Mean No More Hot Breakfast.” Noting that the college’s mammoth Faculty of Arts and Sciences is cutting $75 million in anticipation of a two-year budget shortfall of $130 million, Goodnough marvels that the cuts are “extending beyond salary and hiring freezes to measures that affect what students eat, where they study, and other parts of their daily routine.” The barely thinkable psychic cost of these cutbacks to the student body’s lavish dining-and-cramming infrastructure is, Goodnough continues, that “the euphoria of fall in Harvard Yard is dampened.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner:
The bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, was being scrutinized in the hope of building a better airplane engine.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”