Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Blue Devils Arrive!

When I was a senior in high school, I ran into Charles Battle over Spring break. Battle's family were members of Central Baptist Church, and he was a year ahead of me and back home from "Chapel Hill" (I had no idea what "Chapel Hill" meant at the time, but I knew that I was supposed to know and that Charlie knew I didn't know.) Charles' parents had sent him off to McCallie instead of allowing him to suffer with the rest of us in public high school. From there he had gone to UNC. By the spring, I had been admitted to Duke, and his comment was something about my going to "the University of New Jersey".

When I was at Duke, the place really struggled with being a school on the make but buried in the South, and probably still struggles with it. During my senior year there, I applied to "Duke Law", as well as to other law schools. My LSATs were OK, but not outstanding. The dean at Duke said he would admit me, but he wanted me to take the LSATs again so that their first year LSAT average might be a little higher. After four years as an undergrad at Duke, I had had about enough of the "Harvard of the South" mierda, and I said good-bye and went to Chicago.

In yesterday's WSJ, there is an op-ed piece in which the JFK myth is pilloried. Toward the end of the piece, the writer presents the thesis that the Kennedy myth makers ruined the Democratic Party, steering it from the party of the little guy to the elites of New England and Hollywood.

But the criteria for president of the United States aren't the same as those set by the deans of admission at Harvard or Yale, Brown or Duke. The happy snobbery of feeling culturally superior and morally virtuous that is at the heart of the Kennedy myth shouldn't be what politics is about. [Bold mine]

University of New Jersey indeed. Eat your heart out, Charlie Battle.

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