by Professor John Evans Evans-John
Harvard School of Harvard Asshole Studies
When I last visited these pages, in the wake of the Cambridge Police Department's brutal treatment of Professor Henry Louis 'Skip' Gates, it was in hopes that I might raise public awareness about Harvard's Faculty Asshole community and the daily struggles we face against discrimination, ignorance, and insolence. While some progress has been made, the ongoing disgraceful treatment of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan shows we still have far to go before Harvard Assholes finally assume their rightful place in American society: as its wise, beneficent and undisputed rulers.
Professor Kagan's story is not so different than those of countless other Harvard Assholes; born precocious, a budding intellect nurtured by a crib full of Swedish monochrome creativity blocks and gender-neutral Balinese finger puppets, at age 3 she earned admission to Hundred Acre Wood Academy, one of the Upper West Side's most selective Ivy League feeder preschools. From there it was off to Leon Trotsky Prep where she distinguished herself as captain of the state champion Feminist Theory team. She displayed a promising raw talent for academic Asshole bullshit, but it was not quite yet up to Harvard's exacting standards. Still, she would not be dissuaded in her quest for the coveted brown brass ring of Harvard Assholicity. She persevered, honing her bullshit at Princeton and Oxford, two less selective junior colleges that sometimes offer a backdoor path into Harvard. And then, the long awaited call to 'The Show' -- the famed Asshole Big Leagues of Harvard Law School, where in three years of intensive study America's most promising young Assholes are taught everything there is to know, about everything worth knowing.
Despite her underprivileged background Professor Kagan rose to the challenge and graduated magna cum laude, an honor reserved for the top 89% of Harvard Law alumni. Although her diploma fully qualified her for any conceivable position in the known Asshole universe, she took her first paying job in the charitable sector -- teaching at the University of Chicago Law School, a lonely academic legal bullshit outpost in the harsh intellectual wilderness of the American Midwest. Her Asshole missionary work and softball skills quickly drew the attention of then-President Bill Clinton who, despite his Yale degree, was wise enough to see that she had 'the right stuff' to serve as his Assistant Deputy White House Under-Under Subsecretary for Minority Elderly Women's Domestic Pet Policy. Her leadership in that critical office was nothing short of revolutionary, increasing its bullshit report output by 15% while introducing colorful pie charts. From there she made a triumphant return to Harvard Law as a fully tenured faculty Asshole, eventually rising to Dean of Assholes where she introduced important reforms such as free student lounge coffee and banning the U.S. military war machine from campus. It thus came as little surprise that she was tapped by fellow Harvard Asshole Barack Obama to serve as his Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee.
That epic saga of triumph against the odds, from the Upper West Side to Cambridge, to Hyde Park to Georgetown, back to Cambridge, and finally back to Georgetown, is not just Elena Kagan's story. It is, in some sense, the typical story of every Asshole in the Harvard community; nay, the American Asshole community at large. But no matter how padded our resumes, no matter how brown our noses, no matter how many faculty parking permits on our Subaru Foresters, it never seems enough in the eyes of America's non-Harvard power elites who laughingly deign themselves worthy to sit in judgment of us. I was shocked as you when I learned that -- even in this late date in our history -- some have openly suggested there are 'too many' Harvard-trained Assholes on the court, even as that number barely exceeds 60%. No thanks to its unwritten Affirmative Action program for Yalies. And now it appears that Professor Kagan will be compelled to face a public inquisition by a panel of her inferiors, some of whom I am told are actually are products of Cornell. For God's sake, what next? Brown?
But Supreme Court vacancies are only one area in public life where Harvard Assholes face a daunting glass ceiling. As hard as it is to imagine, anti-Harvard Asshole discrimination is even worse in America's non-lifetime appointment job sector. Harvard graduates regularly find themselves all but blackballed from participation in some of our society's most prestigious and highest-paying professions. One need only look at the curriculum vitae of America's country music singers, NBA all-stars, and lingerie supermodels to realize that entire swaths of society have hung out a de facto 'Harvard Assholes Need Not Apply' sign. The message from the Old Boys network may be transmitted in silence, but it comes through loud and clear: "You're good enough to run our FCC, Harvard boy, but not good enough for a hiphopper recording contract. We'll let you design our GM bailout plans, but don't even think about driving our Nascarmobiles."
For aspiring young Harvard Assholes, filled with limitless dreams of networking their way into America's benign supreme ruling class, the truth often comes as a depressing wake up call. The Kagan appointment, as you might expect, has been the topic of much anguished discussion in my senior Asshole honors seminar. "Can't these benighted rubes read a Harvard transcript?" a student will ask, incredulously. "Sometimes I wonder if the $250,000 my parents are spending for this is actually worth it," offers another.
As an educator, I cannot in good conscience sugarcoat the discrimination and broken promises these students will face once they leave the Asshole 'real world' of Cambridge. At the same time, I must encourage them not to despair.
"Like it or not, Professor Kagan's plight shows that America still contains pockets of ignorant non-Assholes with no concept of your Harvard entitlement," I explain. "The sad fact of the matter is that not all of you will get on the Supreme Court, but you must still keep your eyes on the prize. Take whatever opportunities are available to you as a Harvard Asshole, no matter how beneath your abilities -- whether that means writing economic OpEds for the Times, managing the decline of a failing corporation, running a federal poverty agency, even negotiating Mideast peace treaties. The important thing to keep in mind is the next generation of Harvard assholes, those orphan babies you will eventually buy from some Asian adoption agency once your biological clock expires."
"But why risk it?" I add. "There's plenty of time to get your grad school application."