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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
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”