Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Harvard Celebrity = Seasickness


Harvardolatry rises to a new level with a fawning cultural submission–the magazine 02138, which takes its name from that institution’s Cambridge zip code. Oh, but you don’t have to live there to read it, or even to have gone there. All you need to do, according to a New York Times piece is keep your eyes firmly fixed on Xanadu, on the north shore of the sacred Charles River:

The collective consciousness we aim to tap stretches across not just ZIP codes but continents,” the editors write. In other words, you automatically belong to 02138 if you went to Harvard, wish you did or just like reading about the kinds of famous people who went there.  

The magazine is not an alumni magazine, exactly. Harvard already has one of those. It’s more nearly a celebrity magazine, about well-known people who happen to have spent some quality time in 02138 — not at Harvard College necessarily but perhaps at the law, business or medical school (even though, strictly speaking, neither the business school nor the med school is in 02138), the graduate school or the Kennedy School of Government.  

A celebrity magazine! Now who would finance this? Conde Nast? Nope, Atlantic Media. Great! As The Atlantic decamps to Washington, this is what will replace it in Boston. Wonderful.

Even the magazine’s title gimmick is ripped-off–from a magazine about my neighborhood–11211. And that one’s no good either.


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