Friday, August 08, 2008

 

A belated shot at Harvard Law Review

A Harvard Law Review note generated some publicity a few months ago and I finally took the time to read up on it. I only wish I had been more timely with bringing it to your attention: NEVER AGAIN SHOULD A PEOPLE STARVE IN A WORLD OF PLENTY

Here’s part of the intro:

“In contrast to the undeniably prestigious institution that literally surrounds Cambridge Common, in the middle of this park is a statue reminding Harvard students that not everyone can be so fortunate. The statue is composed of two figures. On the left is a wealthy man, dressed in the clothes of a nineteenth-century aristocrat. He is standing upright, holding in his left arm a child resting peacefully on his shoulder. With his right arm, the man is reaching out — grasping in the direction of the figure on the other side of the statue.

“Across from the man, on the right side of the statue, a woman sits in poverty. She is dressed in torn rags, hunched over on the edge of a rock. The woman has a child of her own, but she is too weak to stand and lacks even the strength to hold her child close to her. The mother
and her child are both starving, in search of food or money to get them through the next day, the next hour, or, with any luck, the next meal. The woman’s right arm, like the man’s, is stretched outward. From above, he reaches down toward her. From below, she reaches up toward
him. But their hands fail to grasp — she is inches too far away and the statue has frozen them in that pose forever.

“The statue is an intergenerational depiction of inequality. As the poverty of the woman is cast in stark contrast to the wealth of the man, the children of each are chilling prophesies of the unequal future that is certain to come. At the base of the statue is an inscription that forms the title of this Note: NEVER AGAIN SHOULD A PEOPLE STARVE IN A WORLD OF PLENTY.”

Beautiful, huh? The note then goes on to explain how the author is going throw away his three years of law school and become a farmer to the world’s poor.

Hah! Of course not! The note instead goes onto to lecture the poor reader about how the author wants the rest of us in law to live our lives - including a call to apparently give all the reader’s wealth to UNICEF (without mentioning that the UN itself considers spending nearly $2 billion on a building renovation apparently a better investment than UNICEF).

Now you have to appreciate that law reviews are positively anal about citations and fact-checking everything within and, well, read this:

“First and foremost, I wish to make clear that I did not realize that this statue paid homage to the victims of the Irish potato famine, or "Great Hunger." The side of the statue which I quoted in my Note made no reference to that event. I never noticed writing on the other side. I honestly believed the point of the statue was to make a statement about intergenerational equality, hence my reference to that theme in my Note. I honestly thought that the man depicted in the statue was an older, rich man, placed to contrast with a younger, poor woman and her child.

Had I seen the other side of the statue, obviously I would have investigated further, and would have uncovered the website which a commentator linked to at 1:47 p.m., indicating that the statue depicts an old poor woman and her young child and their farewell to her oldest son, and his child, who are leaving the country as a result of the famine.

“I regret that neither I nor anyone, during our arduous editing process, who was checking the accuracy of what I wrote in my Note caught this error -- which is doubly embarrassing because as I write this, I can see the statue outside the window of the Law Review, across Mass. Ave. on the edge of the Cambridge Common.” Above the Law - Harvard Law Avenger's Profile

That's Classic! But fair warning: the law review note is an incredibly tedious read and one that is so poorly written that you have to wonder just how low the bar is for a Harvard Law Review member to get published…

…and what does that say about a once and future President who apparently could not even hurdle that low-lying speed bump and get something - anything - published. (And you were worried I wouldn’t get my gratuitous cheap shot in at The One).

Comments:
MC, the writing that you quoted is cr**. I assume that the well smells just like the bucket you drew.

I am not sure that the hit on The One (aka The Antichrist) is fair. In other words, very well done.

I turned down Harvard to attend Princeton and while I did not have a particularly enjoyable time at Old Nassau, I think I made the right choice looking back in a lot of ways.
 
thanks Bruce - I openly admit my cheap shots are just that: cheap (and so advertisd)

...and as to your dilemna between Harvard and Princeton - were you forced to choose after being wait-listed at Holy Cross?
 
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