You may have read about the HLS administration’s refusal to allow the Record to publish its recent interview with Dean Minow. Our editors-in-chief, I regret to say, are staggeringly incompetent and weak-willed. Like all Harvard Law students, they are anatomical curiosities, who are at once both hidebound and spineless. You can depend upon them for nothing. And so, for the good of the paper, I considered it my duty to salvage the whole operation and interview the Dean myself.
How did I secure an on-the-record interview with the Dean, you ask, after she denied the same to my editorial overlords? Well, I’ve been around this school a long time, you see, and I know things. I know who has their fingers in the door. I know who has their foot in the pie. And oh yes, I know where the bodies are buried. They say they can’t tear down the Gropius Complex because it’s a historical landmark, but who really believes that? Oh, the terrible secrets that lurk in the bowels of that concrete monstrosity! How many nights have I lain awake on the sofa in the Record basement, listening to the faint finger-scrabbling of Harvard’s hapless enemies, entombed within the walls!
But I digress.
MY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DEAN MINOW
A Complete And Accurate Transcript
THE DEAN: You reek of gin.
FENNO: I resent that accusation very much, Dean Minow. For your information, I happen to be wearing a very chic pine-scented aftershave. Many people have complimented me on it.
THE DEAN: Then why did you just vomit into my trash bin?
FENNO: Ah. Well, that would be the bourbon.
THE DEAN: Have you considered seeking some kind of professional help?
FENNO: I’ll ask the questions here, thank you, madam. Now, I want to talk about women! There are a lot of them here at the law school now, and from my observations, they seem to be just as tedious, conventional, and morally blinkered as their male counterparts. Is this a victory for feminism?
THE DEAN: Undoubtedly. However, we can and must do more. Women are still lagging by many metrics. For example, there are still very few women making partner at large law firms. Nine out of ten homicides in this country are still committed by men. Internationally, not a single woman this year successfully deposed an elected official in a military-backed coup. And how many women do you see masterminding shadowy media empires, using terror and misinformation as a tool of national control? The glass ceiling is still very real. We have to change that.
FENNO: In the event that Donald Trump wins the November election and subsequently establishes some sort of totalitarian white supremacist state, how do you see Harvard Law School’s role?
THE DEAN: I don’t think my personal views on Donald Trump are relevant.
FENNO: My dear Dean, you misunderstand me. I am deeply and sincerely uninterested in your personal views. Nothing, in fact, could be of less interest to me. What I am interested in, and what I am attempting to get at by this line of questioning, is whether you imagine HLS engaging in some sort of brave, doomed, White Rose-style resistance, or whether you see the law school more in the role of a Vichyesque collaborator.
THE DEAN: Harvard Law School will never directly participate in any atrocities.
FENNO: That is certainly a relief.
Out of curiosity, are there any Trump supporters on the Harvard Law School faculty? Blink once for yes, twice for no.
FENNO: Let the record show that the Dean did not blink at all, but stared at me for some long moments with a strange, beseeching look in her eyes, and glanced intermittently towards the corner of the room, where stood a large potted ficus, apparently recently delivered, with a bow tied around it, and an unsigned card printed with the words “THINKING OF YOU”—almost as though she was afraid the ficus might be listening to our conversation, although a ficus, of course, being a perfectly ordinary houseplant, couldn’t possibly do any such thing. Let’s move on, then.
Given that one institution’s possession of staggering amounts of wealth, while at the same moment many people suffer from want, is morally repugnant and everyone knows it, how do we justify Harvard’s continued existence?
THE DEAN: Look, you’re very young—
FENNO: How dare you, madam! I am older than time itself.
THE DEAN: All right, however old you are. Look. Harvard could, in a bold gamble, sink its entire $37,600,000,000 endowment into one enormous lightning campaign of economic redistribution and legislative reform, after which we put a match to the whole campus and never look back. Or we could keep vaguely encouraging our law school graduates to take a couple pro bono cases a year for the next thousand years. I think it’s clear which is the better option.
FENNO: What, then, in your opinion, is the public mission of Harvard Law School?
THE DEAN: To amass enough wealth to constitute itself as an autonomous city-state, when the time is right, and vie for continental dominance with the various western principalities established by the descendants of Silicon Valley billionaires.
FENNO: You see the fragmentation of the United States into a patchwork of warring dynastic territories as inevitable, then?
THE DEAN: Of course.
FENNO: Now, one of the Record editors wanted me to ask something about “The Cubs.” I gather this is some sort of sports thing. I confess I have never watched a single sports game in my life, as the sight of human bodies in a state of physical exertion causes me deep distress. Nevertheless, do you mind telling us how you feel about “The Cubs,” whomever they might be?
THE DEAN: Never. I will carry that dark and terrible secret with me to my grave.