For generations now, the world has looked at the Ivy League as a Mecca for the narrow framed intellectuals who didn’t fare too well in gym class. The sort of folk who’d pray for fire drills during hockey season, who’d repeatedly shuffle to the back of the batting lineup to avoid ever stepping onto the field (I say this with affection… and far too much familiarity). But you just have to have everything, don’t you, Harvard? You’re not satisfied with an academic reverence so high that whenever one of your almumni so much as mentions his or her alma mater, the listener is immediately entrenched in a diminished sense of self-worth. Nope — being smart wasn’t enough for the Crimson. They’re actually good at sports now.
In case you didn’t hear the guys in the apartment next to yours screaming vociferous “Are you kidding me?!”s on Thursday night, Harvard managed a huge upset by beating out the University of New Mexico’s Lobos in their first ever NCAA victory. But fear not, fellow safety schoolers — there are still plenty of things Cambridge’s sweatervest-laden institution is bad at…
While many people might have championed the Harvard-set The Social Network as the cream of the crop of 2010’s cinematic output, the Academy felt it more appropriate to honor The King’s Speech. Thirteen years prior, Good Will Hunting (which featured Harvard, MIT, and the spiritual academia of Casey Affleck) suffered the same fate to some movie about a big boat that nobody can even remember. And was Legally Blonde even nominated?! Harvard’s no Oscar fave, that’s for sure.
We’re sure there’s a lot going on upstairs as far as Harvard grads go… perhaps a bit too much. Cinema and real life alike have treated us to one too many horror stories about Crimson alums turning violently nuts: American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman? Harvard. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski? Harvard. “LSD Killer” Stephen Kessler? … Okay, this is just getting depressing.
Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code. Conan O’Brien in actual life. These are all people with Harvard educations. These are all people without combs or mirrors.
Pleasant Ballet Movies
Remember Black Swan? Of course you do — you still wake up in tremors because of it. Well, you’ll be happy to know that both director Darren Aronofsky and star Natalie Portman were Harvard folk. Thought you were in for a sophisticated movie show about the ups and downs of the dance, eh? Didn’t think you’d be haunted years later with dreams of knife-wielding Winona Ryders, did ya? And Portman’s Golden Globes speech… that’s where the nightmares got really bad.
Oh, Harv (can I call you Harv?). Less than a day has gone by since your big NCAA win, and you’re already coming out with Quiz Bowl cheating scandals — National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LCC has publicized that the school’s team members had improperly accessed information that might have helped them win the recent competition. Maybe that’s how they won the basketball game, too…
The Office Characters
Okay, okay, this one’s kind of a stretch… but Ryan Howard and Karen Filippelli, two of the least favorable characters in the NBC sitcom’s run, came from Harvard alum actors: B.J. Novak and Rashida Jones. Maybe series creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Harvard grads themselves, didn’t take kindly to the rest of their student body…
Not Letting James Franco Teach There
James Franco taught there.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
[Photo Credit: Lionsgate; Cait Oppermann/flickr; Columbia Pictures (2); NBC]