The Dartmouth Observer

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Thursday, February 05, 2004
Now, with less education or your money back

And rugged excellence is the very fiber of Dartmouth.

Do Kabir Sehgal and Brent Reidy realize how idiotic they sound? First of all their column sounds like a sports article discussing the A-Rod deal. ("Several times during the past four months many believed this discussion was 'dead.'") But that is just a minor irritant. The thing that is really annoying about Buzzflood's rhetoric is how it's steeped in the language of advertising. Their particular tone of voice can put a positive spin on anything, as it does in this column, saying that "yeah we failed, but at least we tried in the first place." If this is excellence in writing and in manufacturing an image of Dartmouth, I can see why the two writers called their efforts in this direction "dangerous."

What they describe is not Dartmouth and it is not America. To quote Thomas Wolfe:

And it seemed to George that Randy's tragedy was the essential tragedy of America. America--the magnificent, unrivaled, unequaled, unbeatable, unshrinkable, supercolossal, 99-and-44-one-hundredths-percent-pure, schoolgirl-complexion, covers-the-earth, I'd-walk-a-mile-for-it, four-out-of-five-have-it, his-master's-voice, ask-the-man-who-owns-ones, blueplate-special home of advertising, salesmanship, and special pleading in all its many catchy and beguiling forms.