5th October 10
S. 12th’s late summer hiatus is over. I will soon issue a full report to shareholders on how my hiatus was spent.
On an unrelated note: while there are lots of movies about Harvard making the rounds this fall, there is only one movie about Harvard that S. 12th cares about. That said, would you send me some money to help fund a remake of Love Story starring the Winklevoss Brothers in the Ryan O’Neal role? Not the real ones; the CGI versions.
“I’m 6’5”, 220 pounds, and there are three of me.”
20th May 10
* The way Shirley sings “feeeeels so good” is filthy. Plus they’re both from New Orleans, so you know they’re up to no good.
† Listen to how Sylvia says “C’mere, lover boy.” Also, Mickey was from Louisville!
‡ Though this is truly a classic for the “we have got to get married as soon as possible because we really, really want to do it” school of hormonal wistfulness, so let’s not get too down on Paul and Paula for being complete drips; you almost think Paula’s going to sing “together the whole night through,” but it comes out “day.”
19th February 10
There are enormous, revolutionary, exciting changes afoot here in S. 12th World this week, so I will be stepping away for a bit to attend to them. In my absence, please accept this cover of the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower,” as performed by the Ventures, in the spirit of New Frontier-themed optimism, forward propulsion and questionable cross-genre meddling.
This could also be a cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Reuben James,” since it’s the exact same medley. Old Woody never heard a folk tune he didn’t like enough to repurpose as an Okie anthem.
(Also, an extra-special thanks to the dozens of readers that emailed me this week to alert me to the fact that one of the Russian figure-skating couples in Vancouver performed their routine to “Theme from Love Story.” Never let it be said that my readers don’t know my hot buttons.)
21st January 10
It’s been a tough couple of days for Boston. First, this Scott Brown fiasco.1 Then, Erich Segal dies! Who is left now to tell the stories of Harvard and Radcliffe students in love? On top of all this, the Boston Globe reports that dwindling enrollment in Catholic schools in the Quincy area have left the Boston archdiocese no choice but to merge three previously independent schools. Faith and begorrah!
It’s no wonder that I received an email last night from an anonymous reader, based in the greater Boston area, who asked me to kindly stop picking on “Massachusettsholes.”
This reader is correct; tempers have flared. Wasn’t it a beloved Bostonian who once said, “Word to your moms / I came to drop bombs / I got more rhymes than the bible’s got psalms”? It was. But I am a conciliatory type of person.
The people of Boston are, in their essence, a good people. Read, for example, these incredibly kind words spoken by Langer, a soon-to-be-departing resident of the American Athens.
So to that end, I present to you here the Barbarians’ 1966 hit “Moulty.” It features the greatest use of a Bostard accent in American pop music history, and its lessons of perseverence and overcoming incredible odds are just the thing that Boston needs to keep in mind in these troubling times. It is a testament to the resilience and tunefulness of the people of the state that is sometimes called Taxachusetts. Play it loud!
1. What the hell kind of a name for a Massachusetts senator is “Scott Brown,” anyway? “Scott Brown”? Massachusetts senators have names like Winthrop Murray Cane and Leverett Saltonstall. “Scott Brown” is a name for a chronic nosepicker that sat behind you in 3rd grade in 1989, grew up to become a real estate agent in Terre Haute, Indiana and now continuously floods your Facebook live feed with information about his most recent accomplishments on Farmville.
14th January 10
Anonymous asked: Do you have a girlfriend/"significant other"?
Funny you should ask. I’ll have to start at the beginning.
In the fall of my senior year, I got in the habit of studying at the Radcliffe library. Not just to eye the cheese, though I admit I liked to look. The place was quiet, nobody knew me, and the reserve books were less in demand. The day before one of my history hour exams, I still hadn’t gotten around to reading the first book on the list, an endemic Harvard disease. I ambled over to the reserve desk to get one of the tomes that would bail me out on the morrow. There were two girls working there. One a tall tennis-anyone type, the other a bespectacled mouse type. I opted for Minnie Four-Eyes.
“Do you have The Waning of the Middle Ages?”
She shot a glance up at me.
“Do you have you have your own library?” she asked.
“Listen, Harvard is allowed to use the Radcliffe library.”
“I’m not talking legality, Preppie, I’m talking about ethics. You guys have five million books. We have a few lousy thousand.”
“What makes you so sure I went to prep school?”
“You look rich and stupid,” she said, removing her glasses.
“What the hell makes you so smart?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t go for coffee with you,” she answered.
“Listen — I wouldn’t ask you.”
“That,” she replied, “is what makes you stupid.”
We went to a nearby sandwich joint.
“My name is Andy,” I said.
“First or last?” she asked.
“First,” I answered, then confessed my entire name was Andy Sturdevant.
In the pause that ensued, I gave inward thanks that she hadn’t come up with the usual distressing question: “Sturdevant, like the hall?” For it is my special albatross to be related to the guy that built Sturdevant Hall, the largest and ugliest structure in Harvard Yard, a colossal monument to my family’s money, vanity and flagrant Harvardism.
After that, she — actually, wait a second here.
You know, I’m thinking of something else.
This didn’t happen to me. I didn’t go to Harvard, now that I think about it. I am clearly confusing my own memories with the first chapter of Erich Segal’s 1970 New York Times bestseller Love Story. How embarrassing. Sorry about that.