"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Harvard Stadium marks its centennial this Saturday with Harvard-Dartmouth, which used to be a great show: The game was usually played in Cambridge, allowing the Dartmouth students an annual escape from the woods to toss green paint on the John Harvard statue and take over, with little resistance, the bars of Harvard Square. The spirit of the occasion is captured in the archive of past halftime shows by the Dartmouth College Marching Band.
Listen to Tom Lehrer's great "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" and various rousing Dartmouth odes at this site devoted to fight songs. For some reason, however, I can't get the "Maine Stein Song" out of my head; listen to it here and think of Rudy Vallee.
A bit of unauthorized non-political-correctness slips into the pages of the official Dartmouth football site with this photo of former star QB Dave Shula wearing an Indian pullover * The Dartmouth helmet, with its bug-like antennae, is perhaps my favorite in college football * My favorite college football jersey remains the old Princeton model, with its throwback arm stripes * But the old Penn and Brown football jerseys are also outstanding, and available at Stall & Dean
When a Dartmouth Indian tee-shirt buyback was proposed earlier this year by campus sensitivity mavens, the Dartmouth Review took the occasion to flog its line of Indian canes:
So what is this fight for? For one thing, it is for the right to express pride in ways other than those prescribed by the pissed-off, humorless few. It is the few, I believe, who have shamed everybody else into feeling indignant where no insult exists. They have poisoned the well—making Dartmouth a place where people are quicker to feel suspicion and outrage than to stop and think: is this really a big deal? Are these people really wearing these shirts or carrying these canes to express their dislike of Native Americans? Ladies and gentlemen, were that position anything but ludicrous, we would have made President Wright our mascot years ago.
There is another more sobering question in all this, and it has nothing to do with T-shirts, mascots, or Dartmouth College. Should we throw around words like ‘racist’ and ‘bigot’ so casually that they have no meaning left when they’re really needed? These words are regarded today as magic bullets, secret weapons to reach for whenever reason and argument seem too taxing. If one disagrees with my defense of the Indian, he or she should take great pleasure in arguing me into the ground. Instead, as our extensive collection of hate mail demonstrates, most rely on the abuse of words and ideas that should be reserved for more serious use.
We are not, for the millionth time, racists. It’s time to put that tired old song and dance to bed. Nor are we ignorant. We’ve heard the arguments; we’ve considered them; and we’ve made our own in reply. If you’d care to say that we’re contrarian, obsessively devoted to doing the opposite of what we’re told, you’re getting closer to the truth. But for us, that’s fun with a purpose. When we wear an Indian T-shirt, we send a necessary message: try all you like, but we’re not going to kowtow to Dartmouth’s little tyrants.
Vintage-style Dartmouth Indian merchandise is available from the Dartmouth Review, which maintains a blog at Dartlog.net.