Learning to sell out


Sellout. The term is simple and its connotations obvious – to most. It’s a derisive term applied to those who have traded previously professed ideals for a cash payment or other reward. The term also implies betrayal of people to whom one has a perceived duty of loyalty. To members of closely-knit, oppressed groups, it can be a terrible insult. In the Harvard Law School community, however, it is yet another term with a very confused meaning, destroyed by a culture that is infinitely tolerant of hypocrisy and by training that allows us to rob any term of its power – particularly one that challenges our elite positions.

The cultural position of a sellout in the HLS community is quite interesting. Like many other words over the last several years, it has become the property of its intended targets. Those HLS students who have made the decision to abandon their beliefs in such concepts as justice and racial, gender and sexual equality (or to push them aside for a short period of their entire professional lives) in exchange for the financial and other benefits of working for the defenders of the racist, patriarchal, homophobic status quo will banter the term “sellout” between themselves as a way of defusing its power. If someone who has made a different choice were to confront these students using that term, however, she would commit a major social faux pas.

The entire social atmosphere of the 2L year is centered around the efforts of liberals to justify their choice to actively participate in oppression – both in their work and in the culture of their prospective firms – in preparation for their future employment. Indeed, for many people who identify themselves as members of oppressed groups, a significant aspect of their careers will consist of only actually “being” their identity when it comes time to fill out employer surveys on diversity. After all, importing external social concerns (especially those derived from one’s sense of self) into one’s legal analysis is clearly incorrect and anti-legal. The primary purpose of legal education is to remove our previous identity connections and replace them with the professional identity of a “lawyer.” Things are a bit easier for those students that simply believe in liberal conceptions of justice and equality but do not identify themselves with an oppressed group; all that will be required of them will be turning a blind eye to the consequences of their work and to the ontological torment of their friends and colleagues.

To prepare us for the necessity of ignoring our complicity in perpetuating inequalities and violating previously held beliefs, we practice during our second year of law school (except for those precocious students that got an early jump on the rest of us). We tell ourselves that we need “experience” in order to do good work and that is why we’ve decided to go into large corporate firm work.

This gets even easier if we can get a couple of public interest employers to tell us to get some firm experience first: “See, it’s not our fault -it’s just the way the system is set up.” Of course, we never question that system or challenge it. Or, we tell ourselves that it’s our loan debt that “forces” us into large corporate firm work. We conveniently forget that the LIPP program is quite generous and completely resolves this problem – which gets us to our personal favorite excuse: That we can’t live on the amounts made available by LIPP. Now, last we checked, LIPP pays all loans up to somewhere in the high thirty-thousands of dollars of income. For comparative purposes, a couple of years ago the median income for a family of four in the U.S. went over $40,000 for the first time. But we couldn’t possibly survive on an income of around $40,000. There are a number of people here in need of a serious education on what poverty actually is.

Of course, this is a short and by no means inclusive list of the multitude of excuses we make to justify selling out or to undermine the force of the term. Harvard Law students can be a relatively creative group when it comes to justifying their elite positions. And it is completely inappropriate to point out just how hypocritical we’re all being. Anyone who used the term “sellout” aggressively with the intention of forcing people to confront their hypocrisy would be immediately marginalized. After all, no one wants to feel uncomfortable with what we “have” to do. Far be it from us to point out anything of the sort.

RECORD Editorial: Pro Bono Rat Race


Harvard Law School’s new pro bono requirement is long overdue. Finally forcing students to make a commitment to community service and public lawyering is a laudable goal. By requiring students to donate 40 uncompensated hours of their law school careers to pro bono work, HLS is showing an interest in public service that has thus far been sorely lacking in its choice of career services options. However, the new pro bono requirement is not without a few flaws and loopholes, which should at least be considered before the new office goes online this February.

Most significantly, allowing clinical programs and other public interest-oriented student activities such as the Tenant Advocacy Project and Harvard Defenders to count toward the requirement could be more curse than blessing. Because of the new requirement, these groups are likely to see an influx of new members less interested in the serious legal undertakings they are involved in than in simply filling a quota. While having more bodies around can sometimes be a good thing, it may also be a disruption to these groups as students struggle to find the least difficult and most palatable work to whittle away their hour requirements. And for students already involved in these groups, giving them additional HLS-sanctioned credit for them may well cheapen the experience. Students are involved in a wide range of activities — student government, faith groups, journals and law reviews, intramural sports teams — out of a pure love of doing them. “Paying” students to be involved in public service organizations, in a sense, impugns their motives for getting involved and thereby impugns the motives of the “true believers” who would have done them anyway.

And as to the individuals already involved, an additional 40 hours of work is likely a drop in the bucket in already robust public service careers. Although giving students already committed to pro bono work a break is laudable, it is probably not necessary. If HLS wants to be seriously committed to pro bono, then surely it can ask for a little extra commitment from its most dedicated students.

There are also reasons to doubt the wisdom of displaying students’ pro bono hours on their transcripts. Under the new regime, students’ transcripts will reflect the number of pro bono hours spent above the 40-hour minimum. At a Law School where students and some faculty members already complain about how grades detract from the intellectual experience, creating another numerical measuring stick seems a step in the wrong direction. The likely result, it would seem, will be an unseemly “rat race” to accrue the most pro bono hours possible.

Admittedly, the beneficiaries of all this will be those who most need it — the people and organizations for whom the pro bono services are performed. But they also benefit most from dedicated, intelligent and happy people doing the work. There are other ways — in-person interviews, public interest scholarships, changes in admissions requirements generally — to improve both the quality and amount of pro bono services.

At least one aspect of the pro bono program was perfectly designed: The selection of former LIPP and Summer Public Interest Funding Director Lisa Dealy to run the new program. In Dealy, HLS has an effective, dedicated and competent director who expanded LIPP and helped find summer funding for virtually every student who needed it, even in the extremely difficult climate of last year. If anyone can ensure that the pro bono program runs properly, smoothly and with the most benefit for all involved, it is Dealy.

Whatever tweaks and changes are eventually made to the pro bono program, its implementation is absolutely a step in the right direction.

Who is George Hicks?


Two years after 3L Nick Brown braved the physical and emotional punishment of Survivor: Australian Outback, 1L George Hicks has put Harvard Law School back in the game show spotlight. Rather than brutal daytime temperatures and the unpleasantness of eating vermin, Hicks put his smarts to the test on Jeopardy!, the storied 38-year-old game show that continues to be the most popular quiz show in the United States.

“I was bored at work one day back in March,” said Hicks, who was working for the Justice Department at the time. “I started surfing the web and came across the web site. It said they were coming through D.C., so I decided to sign up.”

Even after the initial signup, becoming a Jeopardy! contestant is relatively easy. The show requires potential contestants to take a 50-question written test, with about seven seconds’ time to write down each answer. Hicks estimates that about 10 percent of those who took the test with him were selected for the next round, a mock version of the Jeopardy! show that asked slightly more difficult questions than those of the program itself. After succeeding in that round, Hicks was selected to fly to Los Angeles for taping of the show in July.

Although Jeopardy! contestants are forced to pay all their own travel expenses, Hicks’ trip proved to be more than worth it: He won almost $22,000 on the first show before taking third in the second, which brought his total winnings to just under $23,000 (and an all-important copy of the Jeopardy! board game).

Hicks’ win in the first game came down to the game’s final round, where the topic was business geography. As a former investment banker, Hicks said he couldn’t have asked for a better category. The question asked for the name of the U.S. state that ranked among the lowest in the nation in per capita income that also houses the U.S. corporation with the highest annual revenue. Almost immediately, Hicks said he knew the company was the Wal-Mart Corporation, which is headquartered in Arkansas.

“I thought, ‘I’ve come all the way to California, so I might as well bet the whole thing,” Hicks said. He fared worse on the second day, when he took third place behind two contestants with a decided competitive advantage.

“There were all sorts of different kinds of people there, from all over the country,” Hicks said. “But a few of them were really annoying, like the woman who ended up beating me on the second day. She was the type of person who, when we were sitting together watching the other tapings, would be gesticulating and mouthing answers and expressing annoyance when other contestants didn’t answer correctly.” Worse still for Hicks was the fact that the second-place contestant was a high school teacher who coached his school’s quiz bowl team.

Hicks’ own training consisted of little more than a knack for remembering useless facts coupled with a month-long review session with World Almanacs and the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. “I stopped working for good in early June so I could come to law school, so I had nothing better to do,” Hicks said. “I figured as long as I was unemployed, there was a marginal benefit to it.”

Playing Jeopardy! live, Hicks notes, is not quite the cakewalk that shouting answers at the television can be at home. “It’s definitely harder and more nerve-wracking. If you watch at home there’s no downside to making the wildest guesses ever. When you can lose money, you’re a lot more risk-averse.”

Hicks said one of the most surprising aspects of the show was host Alex Trebek. “Trebek is a genuinely funny guy. Very sardonic – my kind of humor.” Hicks also got a little surprise when Trebek dropped the dreaded “H-bomb” against his wishes in his introduction.

“They said they’d introduce me as a law student,” Hicks said. “I told them to make sure they didn’t say ‘Harvard Law student.’ I didn’t need to tell the world I went to Harvard Law.”

Now that he has a Jeopardy! win under his belt, Hicks has also been gaining a little notoriety in his own social circles. Since the shows aired this past Friday and Monday, Hicks said he has gotten several phone calls and e-mails – even from traveling soccer teammates from eighth grade.

For his part, Hicks is taking the mild-mannered approach to exploiting his game show success. “It’s definitely on my resume as a conversation piece,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to talk about than my investment banking experiences.”

On a Mission


Brooke Clayton says she’s a lot colder these days, and that may be understandable. She has spent the last year and a half on the Canary Islands working as a Mormon missionary in the Las Palmas Spain Mission.

Clayton, a 1L, recently returned from her 18-month mission, during which time she worked with community leaders and local membership, in an effort to educate people about the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints. Her missionary work also included community service projects such as visiting retirement homes.

“When people ask what have you been dong for the past year or why I deferred, it’s really interesting that the conversation always leads to my religion and to my faith, because that wouldn’t necessarily be the case before. I think that it really identifies me or characterizes me as a person,” said Clayton.

Clayton was originally admitted to Harvard Law School two years ago. Just weeks before she was set to arrive in Cambridge, she decided to defer school and apply to serve as missionary, as encouraged by her faith.

“I thought if I didn’t do this now, I would never get a chance to do it,” she said. “I felt like I have been given so much in my life and I had something that really makes me truly happy and I have a desire to share it. And on the other hard, I felt like there would be so much for me to gain on a personal level and that I would be taught so much by doing it.”

So, instead of beginning law school, Clayton began her missionary work in the Canary Islands. Before traveling to the Las Palmas, Clayton spent one month in a United States training center and one month in a Madrid, Spain training center where she brushed up on her knowledge of scripture and Spanish, which is the official language of the Canary Islands.

The Las Palmas Mission houses about 100 missionaries. Each individual missionary is paired with a partner (known as a “companion”) with whom they spend all of their time and do all of their work. During her time as missionary, Clayton had seven different companions.

Each day, Clayton and the other missionaries would rise at or before 6:30 am to begin a few hours of study on scripture and then go out to meet people. “I was always talking to people,” she said.

Clayton lived in rural and urban areas on the islands, worked in offices and with the public, made new friends and educated members and non-members about her faith.

“It would be deeply gratifying to me to help somebody feel that she knew God a little bit better, that she knew that God is real, that he lives, that he is alive, that he cares about us and he knows who we are,” she said. “Essentially that’s why I went — that’s what I really care about. I think that’s a message that people need and that he continues to speak to us on a personal level. I think its important to understand that life has a purpose — that we came from somewhere and we’re going back to somewhere and we’re not here by accident.”

Now back from her missionary work, Clayton says that Harvard Law is a great fit for her. She says she likes the rigorous study, and feels that her experience prepared for her life at HLS.

“I think it’s a good transition,” she said. “I think I appreciate a little bit more than I did before just the importance of freedom of conscience and freedom of thought, those are just absolutely essential.”

Faculty Close-Up: Professor Trachtman


Joel P. Trachtman, a distinguished scholar in the field of international trade law, is visiting this semester from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is teaching the HLS course, “The Law of International Trade.” David Baharvar conducted the following interview for The RECORD.

How would you describe yourself as a scholar of international trade law? Where do you fit, ideologically and politically, in the spectrum of current scholarship in the field?
My involvement with international trade law came from an interest in international business regulation and the allocation of jurisdiction over business. I realized that in order to pursue that interest I would need to pursue a greater understanding of the law of international trade. It turns out that these concerns have been a growing area of attention in international trade law. The key question in my mind has always been, “As a teacher and scholar, what do you add to the field?” I believe very much in what Kant once said, that without a theory, we are blind. Part of my scholarship has focused on adapting law and economics theorywhich I see as a strong source of social-scientific tools — to the field of international law. The other half focuses on doctrinal international trade law issues, where I have tried not just to describe, but to be analytical, using these tools. Though I know I don’t always succeed, I try to separate my professional concerns on international trade and other issues from my views as an individual and as a citizen. While I accept the critical legal studies position that it is impossible to do so all of the time, I try nonetheless. I tend toward a positivist view of international law, based on normative individualism. This means that my normative perspective often, but not always, simply leads to the enforcement of the law as written. But I also think it is important to use analytical tools to show the causes and effects of particular legal rules, and I feel this is an important critical function. For example, one of my current projects seeks to focus on the relationship between current international trade law rules and poverty.

You graduated with a degree from HLS in 1980. How was your experience as a student here?
I enjoyed my time at HLS immensely. There is an amazing concentration of intelligent, skilled people here to learn with. One of my roommates in my 2L year was David Kennedy, now a professor of international law here. I vividly remember taking Henry Steiner’s course on transnational legal problems together with David. He always had a perspective on the topic of the day that I found intriguing and that I hadn’t seen in the materials myself.

You’ve also spent time at the London School of Economics & Political Science. How does the HLS environment compare to other schools?
I did not have the sense to do a joint degree while I was at HLS, though I knew of some opportunities such as the Fletcher School. I admired Fletcher very much then, and it’s probably even more of a useful program today than it was at that time. But I was one of those people who wanted to get out there into the working world and do things as soon as possible, so I didn’t want to stay an extra year for a joint degree. That was a mistake.
One advantage of a joint degree with a school like Fletcher or the Kennedy School is that it allows you to obtain a broader set of social science tools. I believe that legal education as doctrinal education is too limited. HLS has a mandate and an ability to do more than that. While it has put more social science into the law school curriculum, it would still be very useful for students to get even more, like a mastery of economics, political science or anthropology. The comparative advantage of legal education is mostly in telling what the law is, but not what the law should be, and other social sciences contribute more to our understanding of what the law should be.

As an undergraduate at Columbia, why did you choose to study political science? When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer, and why?
I have always been interested in social relations. Psychology, anthropology, how people work together. Political science seemed like the natural place to look into, but I didn’t know that I would go to law school. I had studied at the London School of Economics & Political Science in my junior year, focusing on international relations and international law. I remember asking my international law professor (Rosalynn Higgins, now a judge on the World Court), “Do I have to be a lawyer to do international law?” because I really liked the problems of the subject. She said “yes,” slightly bemused.
I knew that I was interested in social relations but in a sense law school as a professional school for practicing lawyers was a diversion from that interest, that intellectual curiosity about social relationships, especially in the international sphere. I practiced corporate law for nine years at Shearman & Sterling, where I learned a lot, but it was a bit of a diversion from what I’m doing now and the trajectory that I seemed to have in college.

In your experiences as a practicing attorney, what kind of law practice excited you the most and why? The least?
I was mostly a transactional lawyer, dealing with international banking, securities, joint ventures, takeovers, leveraged buyouts, bankruptcies, etc. What I liked most were the highly negotiated transactions where the lawyers would try to present their end and their competitors do the same, and there was a real back-and-forth.

Why did you choose to teach at Fletcher? What is it like there?
Fletcher was a very attractive teaching job for me because it has allowed me to teach only international economic and business law, as opposed to having to teach contracts or torts or banking law as well. To have a complementary match between teaching and scholarship is Nirvana. I don’t have to spend time working on things to teach that aren’t going to be useful for my scholarship. And my scholarship provides me with new ideas, understandings and information for my teaching. What’s more, something that I’ve come to appreciate is that Fletcher is a truly interdisciplinary school. The whole idea of a school like Fletcher is that you look at international problems from economic, historical, political and legal perspectives, and I think that’s a great approach to international problems. At Fletcher I’ve found that my colleagues and students prod me to think about things in more ways than I might have had I not been at the Fletcher School. This has changed my scholarship considerably.

What are your highest career aspirations? What are your highest goals, and what would be ideal five or 10 years from now?
Since spending time as academic dean and then interim dean at Fletcher, I am glad that my terminal rank in academia will be “professor.” I am really happy with the way things have turned out for me. I have the privilege to teach at Fletcher and at Harvard Law School, teaching really great students who I think are going to do useful things in the world is a great privilege and opportunity to contribute, and I take it very seriously. The subjects that I’ve studied have intrinsic interest and I like studying them and talking about them. So it’s a pretty nice place to be when your work is also your hobby. There may come a time when I do some international public service, at a place like the WTO. But I really enjoy the independence of a professor. Academic freedom means that I can direct my own studies, and that is very valuable to me. I have tried to engage in public service as an advisor to international organizations like the WTO, the OECD, UNCTAD and APEC.

Les Zygomates: Wine that makes you smile


117 FOOD Les Zyg.jpg

Looking for a decent French bistro with an amazing wine list and live jazz performances to enhance your dining experience? If the answer is yes, then Les Zygomates near South Station is your destination. Roughly translated as “the muscles in the face that make you smile,” Les Zygomates can be quite affordable even for a student budget with its $21 prix fixe three-course menu. However, if you’re in a splurging mood, feel free to order a la carte from their dinner menu. Or if you have the late night munchies and happen to be around downtown, you can find a snack from the late night menu. In addition, every Tuesday night at six and eight o’clock, the restaurant offers a wine tasting at $25 per person (tax & tip included) for the first 30 people who reserve a seat. The tastings typically four to five wines each time from literally all over the world. Wines from Alsace, South Africa, New Zealand and Chile have all been featured for one night at the wine tasting.

Occupying two storefronts with large glass windows on a nondescript street filled with residential lofts on top of dreary offices, Les Zygomates appears to be the most charming location on the block. To start things off, the restaurant features both cold and hot appetizers. The half dozen oysters ($12.50) were fresh but a bit on the small side. The tea smoked quail with foie gras ravioli and truffle sauce ($12.50) was more attractive: The quail was tender, and the tea smoking process gave the dish a mild woodsy flavor that was not overpowering and worked quite well with the meat.

Among the fish dishes, the pan-seared scallops with wild mushroom ragout and potato galette ($24) and the skillet roasted skate wing with ratatouille and bordelaise ($23) sounded inviting but were somewhat disappointing. Both dishes tasted remarkably alike and were too salty. The ratatouille and bordelaise overpowered the natural flavors of the skate, which normally is a wonderfully textured fish. The scallops were tasty but nothing special. Strangely enough, the vegetarian autumn risotto ($18) was perhaps the best main course of the evening even though it’s not a French entrée. The risotto was simply delicious and struck the right balance between the slight chewiness of the rice and the overall smoothness of the dish. The restaurant also offers a meat and fowl selection highlighted by delicacies such as lamb confit with white beans and cherry tomatoes ($22) and pan-roasted veal sweetbreads with parmesan gratin, sauce perigourdine ($24). To finish off the meal, I tried the warm chocolate cake with cinnamon and banana ice cream ($8). The dessert soothed the soul, but it still didn’t quite compete with the heavenly warm chocolate cake at Finale.

To complement the meal, Les Zygomates features a six-page wine list including wines from the reserve list, the $20 list and wines by the glass. Most economical diners are aware by now how impossible it is to find decent wines served by the glass at a restaurant, but Les Zygomates goes out of their way to offer a spectacular 76 wines by the glass. The wait staff is also willing to help you select an appropriate wine if the list threatens to overwhelm you. For me, the 1999 J.A. Ferret Pouilly Fuisse ($15 per glass) served nicely to complement the seafood, and the sweetness of the 1998 Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glacieres ($10 per glass) balanced out the slight bitterness of the warm chocolate cake for dessert.

When making reservations, make sure to ask for a table at the “music loft,” where lively jazz performances make for a more festive experience. One caveat: Be prepared to spend an entire evening at Les Zygomates if you plan to dine there, since the service both from the wait staff and the kitchen is interminably slow. The pain at least eases when there’s good jazz in the house.

Getting There:

Les Zygomates Wine Bar & Bistro

129 South Street

Boston, MA 02111

(617) 542-5108

M-F: 11:30am-1am, Sat. 6pm-1am


Fenno: Election night


Everyone could tell Katie Biber was psyched. Wicked psyched. And everyone knew why: the New Hampshire governor’s race had gone Republican. Who would’ve thunk it, thought Fenno: people in New Hampshire choosing a Republican governor. Just goes to show that anything can happen in the United States, and even more so in New Hampshire, that bastion of political unpredictability.

The GOP election night party was in full swing, and Fenno knew it was the place to be. There would be trivia. Trivia! And it wasn’t even Wednesday. It wasn’t even the Forest Café. It was the Hark. The Hark!

The Fox News Channel was blaring fair and balanced coverage of a fantasy election from 1952 while Brit “Droopy Dog” Hume spoke personally to every member of the gathering individually. Fenno guzzled another Ashcroft Amber and waited for the next satirically pregnant moment. At least here at the GOP election bash Fenno could be sure any satirically pregnant moment would be brought to full satirical term. Fenno was giddy with anticipation. He bent eagerly if a bit woozily over his trivia answer card.

“Who was the first Republican leader to ascend bodily into heaven?” shouted Mark DeLaquil through a cheerleader’s bullhorn. “Bid even numbers between 0 and 20.”

Fenno bid 4 and scribbled Ronald Reagan. He walked up to the bar and turned in his card. Droopy Dog delivered the answer over the television (apparently a game with national participation) after liberating an inland sea of phlegm: “Jesus.”

“Jesus was a woman!” exclaimed Lea Sevcik. The room fell silent. “The Alliance of Independent Feminists has provisionally adopted this position to retain credibility in criticizing NOW,” she added by way of explanation.

The room breathed a sigh of collective understanding. During this moment of relative quiet, Fenno detected a low rumbling sound coming from the north. He ran up the steps and into the Hark’s main floor, where he was nearly run over by three eleven-year-olds on bicycles joyriding through Gropius. Shrugging this off as merely a symptom of an energized electorate, Fenno emerged onto Everett Street. The light rain that had just begun to fall reflected what appeared to be very powerful headlights all along the street. In this scattered glow several large green banners were visible hanging from the street lamps. Each of them read “Nader 2004,” but in a nearly illegible scrawl. The sound he’d heard inside was now clearly that of groaning metal and rubber. He looked up.

Sure enough, there was Clifford Ginn wearing a battle helmet and sitting in the gun turret of a tank. “Cliff!” called Fenno. “What are you doing with that thing?” “I knew this was a winner back in ’88,” Ginn replied. “People just weren’t ready for it. And I’m also showing everyone that I’m tough on the environment. Can’t stop now, Fenno. Have to see if this thing really can defeat genetically modified food.”

There was a slight pause. “Ow, dammit!” Cliff yelled.

“What’s the matter?” Fenno asked, concerned.

“I cut my hand on the gear shift,” Cliff complained. “There aren’t any warning labels on this deathtrap of a product. You’d think the Army had never heard of consumer safety. Gotta call Ralph,” as he pulled out a genetically modified cell phone. Cliff and his helmet and his tank continued their lumbering and irrelevant journey towards Oxford Street.

Fenno circled around the Hark and passed Hauser. He heard another far-off song. Fenno followed the sound. There on the steps of Langdell was a tall, thin figure of a man singing a full-throated rendition of “Proud to Be an American.” But as Fenno got closer, he thought it couldn’t actually be a man. It was wearing shorts and socks pulled up to the knees and a baseball cap and… a yellow scarf. Yes, that’s it! Fenno said to himself: It’s Michael Scoville engaged in some sort of election night ritual.

“Hey Fenno,” Mike saluted between verses. “Don’t you just love democracy?”

“Sure,” said Fenno.

“Isn’t it just so invigorating, you know, the freedom of it all?”

“Sure,” said Fenno again.

“Doesn’t it make you proud?”

“Sure,” replied Fenno, finding the rhythm of this conversation.

Scoville continued: “Doesn’t democracy make you want to stand out here in the dark and sing at the top of your lungs and hope that someone might hear you but think that you don’t think anyone’s listening, so as to erase the mutual embarrassment that singing out loud in public almost always occasions, while still giving others the benefit of your extraordinary voice?”

“Um, sometimes,” Fenno replied.

“Doesn’t democracy make you horny?” Mike asked.

“Um, no not really.”

“Me neither.”

Fenno: “You said ‘hungry,’ right.”


“No, it doesn’t make me hungry,” Fenno answered.

“Me neither,” agreed Mike. “I was an Eagle Scout,” he added.

“I know,” said Fenno. “Everybody knows.” Mike looked up at the sky and began singing “Blackbird.”

It was getting late. Fenno looked at his watch: just after 2 a.m. He headed toward Mass. Ave. As he passed by the north basement door of Hastings he heard the distinct and terrible sounds of wailing and screaming and much gnashing of teeth. There was no doubting its source: CR-CL had just learned the terrible news. Elena Goldstein rushed out the door, looking at Fenno in wild-eyed panic. She had evidently been trying to rend her garments and pull out her hair. “Leave this place! You must leave this place. It’s not safe here anymore. For any of us!” Fenno could take a hint. He disconsolately made his way to the Law School Democrats post-election party in the hope of finding comfort among his peers.

Once inside the party, Fenno made his way to the keg to try a Larry Tribe Lager. Instead of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” the Cure’s “Pictures of You” was wafting through the apartment. Even the donkeys on the signs looked depressed. He walked into the living room, where he recognized Greg Lipper sitting on the floor in front of the TV. He held a joystick in his hand as if he were playing a video game. But when Fenno looked at the screen, all he saw were a few paragraphs of text.

“Hey Greg,” Fenno said in greeting, “whatcha doin’?”

“Oh hi Fenno,” Lipper grumbled. “I’m playing this great game I just bought for Nintendo Gamecube. I guess you can try it, but you probably won’t be any good.”

Fenno wasn’t the type to shrink from a challenge. “Okay, but what is it?”

“Don’t you know?” asked Lipper. “It’s Ultimate Legal Writing Championship II: Quest for the Quill Pen.” He grew more animated, which Fenno thought was a good sign. Lipper continued: “Here, it’s really fantastic. If you press circle, x, circle, down-right, down-left three times really fast you get the complete text of Justice Holmes’s exquisite dissent in Lochner v. New York!” Lipper fiddled with the joystick for a few seconds and then stared in awe at the screen as he read aloud, shrieking with delight, “‘General propositions do not decide concrete cases!’ Oh, I almost can’t handle it. It’s like that feeling you get climbing the rope in gym class….&#82

“That’s really neat, Greg,” Fenno said out loud. My God, thought Fenno to himself, those intramural football players were right. Greg Lipper will lose Ames.

Vino & Veritas: Really cheap wine



Welcome to the Public Interest wine column. Since the OPIA folks take it upon themselves to act in our interest (ostensibly), we thought we would return the favor. Thus, we dedicate this column to wines OPIA types can afford, with screw-tops and artificial flavors. Let’s see if OPIAtes have the intestinal fortitude to pursue careers of moral rectitude. At least you’ll be a little less hammered in some cases.

Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry ($2.99/750mL): Nearly colorless and tasting of heavily sugared raspberries, this “flavored apple wine product” delivers “country style premium quality” that rivals “potted meat product.” Public interest-ers, get ready to drink lots of wines that are self-proclaimed “wine products.” A mere 5 percent alcohol (low wreckage factor).

Arbor Mist Strawberry White Zinfandel ($4.49/750mL): Light pink, no nose at all, stings the tongue. Tastes like…strawberries! A measly 6 percent alcohol. Buzz-worthy!

Franzia Chillable Red Table Wine with Natural Flavors ($1.95/750mL, $12.99/5L): Who can argue with “America’s Most Popular Wine,” packed in a five-liter stay-fresh mylar pouch in a cardboard box with a handy dispensing nozzle? Heck, who could have a beef (literally and figuratively) with a red wine that should be “serve[d] chilled” and has an expiration date? Sour armpit on the nose, sweet mold on the tongue. Nine percent alcohol.

MD 20/20 Red Grape Wine, Banana Red and Kiwi-Lemon ($2.99/750mL): Yes, we tried three different flavors of MD 20/20 because, darn it, we love you people. All of these “wines,” which the bottles assure us are indeed made from “grapes,” should be “serve[d] cold.” I would recommend serving these products very cold to people whose taste buds have been surgically removed. Red Grape (18 percent alcohol) tasted and nosed of alcohol, although Asian friend and co-RECORD columnist Eugene Mar reported “wasabi on the nose.” Banana Red (13 percent) evoked cries of “eww, tastes like banana Runts.” Kiwi-Lemon (13 percent) was anti-freeze colored and flavored.

Oy! I understand a certain 3L is genuinely put out that I, a goy, would employ Yiddish without his permission. Now, I would feel like a schlemiel had I misused “kvetch,” but given my correct usage I say only this: I’ll stop with the Yiddish when you give up English.


Admittedly, I am somewhat of a wine snob when it comes to how much money I spend on wine. I generally spend over $25 on most bottles I drink and I never purchase a bottle of wine under nine dollars unless I am trying to review wines within the constraints of the RECORD’s paltry wine budget or plan to use the wine for cooking. (One piece of advice: Don’t bother buying wines labeled for cooking. Such bottles are inferior wines that are heavily salted. Simply buy an inexpensive bottle of a red or white. Henceforth, the only excuse you have after reading this column for purchasing a “cooking wine” is being under 21 years of age.)

Of course, these prophylactic rules reflect my preferences. I prefer a cold beer to a cheap glass of wine, NL baseball to AL baseball and Jennifer Aniston to Courtney Cox. For those who do enjoy the quest for good five dollar bottles, I offer some advice: Try more obscure grape varietals. You are more likely to discover a value Gewürztraminer than a bargain merlot. Likewise, try more obscure regions. This rule applies to all alcohol: I hear that Liquor World of Somerville produces highly affordable vodka. Finally, regardless of how much money you decide to spend on your wine, I implore you to never buy anything that Duncan and I sampled today.

Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry ($2.99/750mL): Unsurprisingly, Boone’s Farm’s biggest fan at the tasting is a gentleman hailing from the cosmopolitan Maple Lake, West Virginia.

Arbor Mist Strawberry White Zinfandel ($4.49/750mL): The clear winner of the six — this White Zin is basically a Bartles & Jaymes Strawberry Daquiri wine cooler. As an added bonus, the nutrition label on the bottle indicates that I received 6 percent of the recommended daily calcium allowance.

Franzia Chillable Red Table Wine with Natural Flavors ($1.95/750mL, $12.99/5L): Like taking a first date to John Harvard’s. Tastes like orange drink fermented under a radiator.

MD 20/20 Red Grape Wine, Banana Red and Kiwi-Lemon ($2.99/750mL): Mad Dog produces alcohol in a variety of unholy fruit flavor combinations that all manage to resemble pure rubbing alcohol.



Students protest anti-Asian Abercrombie shirts

It’s not just about ugly sweaters and pants with multiple zipper pockets anymore. Now, Abercrombie and Fitch has aroused the ire of Asian-Pacific American groups, including students from HLS and the University, who gathered Saturday in front of the Abercrombie and Fitch installation in Harvard Square to protest a series of t-shirts produced by the chain that include offensive characterizations of Asian-Americans, such as one that shows two slant-eyed caricatures working at a laundry that bears the caption, “Wong Brothers Laundry Service – Two Wongs Can Make It White.” The Crimson reports that about 100 people attended, booing one Abercrombie employee who chose to walk outside during the protest wearing one of the offensive shirts. And you thought that nudie mag the chain calls its “Quarterly” was in poor taste.

Portman puts HLS activist’s essay in Washington Post

Nothing like a little star power to attract attention to your cause. 3L and well-known HLS activist Faisal Chaudhry gained some unexpected fame when the Washington Post picked up on a letter sent by Star Wars: Episode I star Natalie Portman to The Crimson in response to an essay published by Chaudhry about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Chaudhry purportedly referred to the violence as “Israel’s racist colonial occupation,” in which “white Israeli soldiers destroy refugee camps of the brown people they have dispossessed for decades.” Portman’s response called Chaudhry’s essay, “a distortion of the fact that most Israelis and Palestinians are indistinguishable physically,” adding that, “Outrageous and untrue finger-pointing is a childish tactic that disregards the responsibility of all parties involved.” At least neither side has gotten their hands on a Death Star.

Dowd says professional women can’t get dates

In a rather depressing bit of news for HLS women, after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an op-ed piece about how, “professional women are repelling the men they’re trying to attract,” she got a whole bunch of responses, many of them “scorching career women as materialistic, choosy and self-absorbed.” While some fellows out-and-out defended the attractiveness of women with brains, one guy just admitted that, “What do successful men want? Typically, a good-looking woman who is kind.” If there’s anything scientific about the column, it certainly provides yet another example of how the dating lives of most smart professional types aren’t exactly Sex and the City. HLS men are still awaiting a comparable column on how the use of good personal hygiene, fashion sense and a strenuous avoidance of “dropping the H-bomb” can also be a boon to one’s ability to attract professional women.



Meltsner responds to FYL criticism

A commentary criticizes HLS and FYL for an Ames moot court problem which raised claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act as to whether 1) a medicated condition limited the appellant’s major life activities and 2) the appellee was an exempt private club. The authors call use of this case “offhanded inclusion of segregationist and discriminatory course materials.” They also contend there was an absence of debate about what it means to be a professional in the class. These assertions are baseless and unfair to the teacher involved. Certainly, one side of this ADA case is more appealing to my sense of justice but, as the authors understand, in the real world cases are not always balanced and lawyers do not always have the luxury of choosing their clients. What they miss is that the statutory and other issues in this case are NOT open and shut, and that teaching lawyers to work with doctrine on behalf of the unpopular is an important craft skill. I found this out first in 1968 when I represented Muhammad Ali – then a man reviled as much as he is now celebrated. Secondly, last semester this section had a class with Professor Wilkins on the legal profession as well as one with a serious discussion of the lawyer’s role evoked by poignant excerpts from the film The Sweet Hereafter. There were also intense after-class discussions with the instructor about lawyer use of certain quantified analytic methods. No doubt, FYL teachers can do more on what it means to be both a lawyer and a humane person in an adversarially-driven profession, especially when so many HLS graduates will go to work for powerful corporate firms. But law students also have a responsibility to voice their concerns. I am particularly disturbed by the fact that the writers chose to present their views exclusively in the RECORD and not in class, or even privately with the teacher – making it impossible for him to deal with them until too late. I simply think this is not respectful of the teacher or the class and this failure is magnified by a totally-uncalled-for effort to link this Ames case to “recent events on campus.” – Professor Michael Meltsner Director, First Year Lawyering Program

Alumnus demands changes

Dear Deans Clark and Rakoff:

I write to express my concern and dismay at the recent spate of racially charged incidents that have occurred at the Law School. While I was saddened to read about racially insensitive remarks made by HLS students, I was mortified to read about Professor David Rosenberg’s bizarre statement. In my years at the Law School, I learned that students, even HLS students, can be as insensitive as the world at large. Faculty members, however, must be held to a higher standard.

Rosenberg’s remark that “Feminism, Marxism and the Blacks” have contributed nothing to his field of study (torts) or to the world at large is as indefensible as it is unintelligible. It is my understanding that, while Rosenberg has tried to “clarify” what he meant, he has staunchly refused to retract his statement or apologize. As an alumnus, I find that position unacceptable.

If Professor Rosenberg remains intransigent, he must be disciplined in some manner by the Law School. I will not speculate as to what form the reprimand must take – be it a suspension, a demotion or a categorical rebuke – but the action must be swift, it must be official, and it must be public. If the Law School does not take disciplinary action, all its public displays of sympathy and regret – and promises of “sensitivity training” – will be so much lip service.

Let me be blunt: If Rosenberg is not disciplined, I shall never make another donation to the Law School.

I have been in contact with several other recent alumni who feel as strongly as I. Now, realistically, as recent alumni, we realize that the loss of our contributions will not have as great an immediate impact as would those of our older, more affluent brethren. But if the Law School turns its back on our concerns now, we will not forget the slight in 10 years or 20 years, when the absence of our contributions will be more sorely missed. Twenty years seems like a long time, but it is a mere heartbeat in the life of an institution like HLS.

I implore you to show me, and those who share my sentiment, that the obtuse callousness displayed by Rosenberg will not be tolerated. If not, “Feminism, Marxism and the Blacks” will not be the only elements failing to contribute to Professor Rosenberg’s world. Angry alumni won’t be contributing either. – Jon-Peter F. Kelly A.B. ’94, J.D. ’97

Sanctions for “hate speech” wrong

As much as the recent use of racial epithets and racist insignia in Section IV disturbed me, I am equally disturbed at the reactions by so-called liberal student organizations. As a student of Jewish heritage – as well as one in favor of racial, religious, and sexual equality – I stand firmly against all types of prejudice and discrimination. However, with regard to the latest racist incidents, the most vocal of the HLS community have gone further than standing against hate speech – they have called for official sanction of it. This, in my opinion goes too far.

I cannot agree with the letter of the “affinity groups,” nor with critical race theorists such as Charles Laurence, when they say hate speech chills the speech of everyone else. Perhaps in Alabama in 1950 that was the case, but it is not so at Harvard in 2002. Clearly nobody’s speech was chilled when nearly the entire HLS student body either publicly or privately condemned the words of Camara, Scholl and the anonymous flyer poster. At least 400 students felt free enough to stand silently in protest with each other.

In some ways, the presence of racist speech made it easier for everybody to debate about racism and hate speech. Each of us realizes that we live among bigots, whether bigotry is expressed or not. Yet, I would be uncomfortable rallying against racism and anti-Semitism on campus if I had no affirmative evidence that any existed. Now I, along with hundreds of my classmates, debate the topic with ease because there is something concrete to rally against. Far from chilling speech, racist speech has impelled us to shout it down.

This is not to say that racist speech, or even speech that appears tainted with racism, by teachers should not be sanctioned. Since teachers are in authority positions, they must be careful not to express views that would make students feel that other views are unwanted in class. I believe a balance can be struck between this position and that of Professor Rosenberg – that we must be careful not to chill controversial academic speech by teachers as well.

I think those who have called for official sanctions and codes for speech that is not “threatening” or clear “patterns” of “harassment” have done themselves a personal and political disservice. First, by reacting with more than simply counter-speech, such people have infantilized themselves. We all realize that there is covert hate out there. We should be adult enough to be able to operate fully despite of it. There are no speech codes in the real world. Second, centrists and those on the right who might be skeptical of the BLSA-type organizations in the first place can now claim that multi-cultural organizations are simply groups of hypersensitive students who wish to stifle opposing speech. In the long-run, the demands of the “affinity groups” will undermine their credibility. – Aaron Katz, 1L

Student leaders suggest changes

(This letter was written before we received Dean Clark’s 4/23 e-mail.)

We are deeply troubled by the recent rash of offensive incidents at HLS. Their recurrent nature demands more than an ad hoc solution. We live, study and work with articulate, inquiring, passionate individuals in an environment where conflict is routine and welcome. Yet our handling of conflict and communication must improve in order to achieve shared goals of scholarship, understanding and community. We encourage ever
yone at Harvard Law School to focus on the following objectives, all of which should be implemented by the beginning of next fall:

Students: We must embrace our collective responsibility for transforming the quality of our dialogue and creating a community in which diversity is welcomed and understood. Student organizations should work together, independently of the faculty and administration, to develop structured ways that this dialogue can take place. We should do this in a way that does not unduly burden individual students to function as spokespersons for underrepresented minorities.

Administration: The Law School should develop a policy that defines and disciplines discrimination and harassment, and promotes tolerance and inclusion. The Administration should also provide appropriate training to entering students and new faculty.

The Law School should employ a full-time, trained member of the administration, with all necessary support, to function as a mediator and trainer and as an advocate/adviser for students who become victims of racial, religious, cultural or gender/sexual orientation-based discrimination or harassment.

The Law School should make available information regarding HLS and University procedures for reporting such behavior.

Faculty: The immediate wake of an incident is a counterproductive time to lead an intellectual discussion of what has just occurred.

We realize that not all faculty deem it appropriate to address racial, cultural, religious or gender/sexual issues and that many who do are uncertain how to proceed. One proactive approach would be for faculty to lead periodic discussions about these issues.

Professors who have repeatedly offended minority groups in class should not teach non-elective courses.

We insist that all parts of the HLS community demand as much of ourselves in addressing these challenges as we demand in other respects. We believe that the pain of facing our shortcomings and failings squarely must be experienced now to make HLS a much better learning environment in the immediate future.

– Bill Dance President, Law School Council and the entire membership of LSC – This letter was also signed by the leaders of 27 student organizations, speaking only for themselves. For a complete list, e-mail wdance@law.harvard.edu

HLS should support academic freedom

I write in support of Professor David Rosenberg and in defense of principles of academic freedom currently under assault at the Law School.

The administration’s response to Rosenberg’s remarks includes: a) making class attendance optional and b) asking that he allow supplemental lectures from “additional torts perspectives.” With respect to the first measure, the Harvard Law School Catalog provides: “Regular attendance at classes and participation in class work are expected of all students.” To make an exception to this policy for students who disagree with what is being taught in class is both foolish and hypocritical.

As for the second measure, the Law School’s “Rights and Responsibilities” state that “freedom of speech and academic freedom” are “essential to its nature as an academic institution.” Furthermore, “Interference with any of these freedoms must be regarded as a serious violation of the personal rights upon which the community is based.” The choice of materials to be included in a professor’s syllabus is critical to any exercise of academic freedom. To control or curtail it for ideological reasons is inimical to the interests the law school purports to uphold.

BLSA has gone further, asking that Professor Rosenberg be publicly censured for his academic expression and be barred from teaching 1L courses. Besides this obvious attack on First Amendment values, if implemented, these changes would significantly impoverish the 1L experience. As a veteran of Rosenberg’s Federal Litigation class, I know that his “tough love” style of teaching can be provocative. But his functionalist approach, and the “line-by-line feedback” from one of America’s most brilliant litigators, are one of a kind. This is precisely the “robust exchange of ideas” Justice Powell praised in his Bakke opinion defending diversity in higher education. People of color do not enjoy a monopoly in contributing to intellectual diversity, and Professor Rosenberg’s contributions are at least entitled to tolerance and respect.

The measures taken against Professor Rosenberg to date are unacceptable; to cave in to BLSA’s further demands would be disastrous. – Carlos M. Lazat’n, 2L

Dershowitz a hypocrite?

Regarding Professor Dershowitz’s remarks chronicled in “Dershowitz discusses terrorism and Arafat” (RECORD, 4/18): Yes, terrorism really works – for Israeli extremists. The bulldozing of settlements of fanatic Israeli fundamentalists are tangible proof.

Yes, terrorism really works – for desperate Palestinians who want to end their suffering and that of others with suicide.

Dershowitz seems to think everyone else in the world has his socioeconomic mobility and can simply up and leave the unpleasantness in their lives behind them in exchange for some imaginary comfortable supra-nationalist haven. Isn’t it more likely that populations will wait for extreme force to coerce mass refugee flows? The history of genocide in the 20th century seems to prove this human habit.

Someone who passed through our suite last month remarked “shouting hypocrite” upon seeing Dershowitz’ new book, “Shouting Fire.” How appropriate.

Perhaps Dershowitz fans could raise enough money for Attorney General Ashcroft to replace that nasty statue of blind Justice with naked breasts with a more appropriate naked, fig leaf-less and blindfolded advocate-supporter like himself, with a line of grad students in tow lugging briefs.

Humanity this year seems once again ready to take its favorite holiday of all – war. Happy holidays to us all. Support the UN. – Peter KubaskaStaff member



This school year began with the World Trade Center towers falling, an instant that changed the entire world. It ends with a race controversy still raging, with demands being made and students standing against the purported indifference of the administration. This is a year that began with tears, and ends with strife and shame.

But the news, though it may have seemed so, wasn’t all bad. Indeed, this year’s 3Ls graduate in a much different world – and from a much different Harvard Law School – than that which they entered. The school they leave, at least, will be far better for their presence, its social climate at least a little richer, its sense of community and friendship far stronger. The very battles that rage over race reflect tension and discord, but they also reflect unity – unity among student leaders, unity among concerned students and within organizations, and especially, unity among black students, whose courage has proven that in even relatively small numbers there can be a great deal of strength.

Today’s HLS boasts smaller section sizes and a revamped legal writing program, both of which are at least partially responsible for happier 1L classes. By the end of this year, every single 1L should have been invited to each of their professors’ homes at least once. The stress of the 1L rat race has been at least partially tempered by the large-scale efforts of a student-started non-profit corporation – and even bookworms can thank HL Central for the easiest access to outlines, ever. Instead of gossiping about the horrors of Turow’s “One-L,” students might now find it more relevant to debate the truth behind the debauchery and idleness detailed in Jaime Marquart ’98’s sordid “Brush With the Law.” Even Hemenway gym – a perpetual complaint – is finally a decent place to exercise.

Still, HLS remains far from perfect. Strong student organizations and a happier student body cannot disguise the fact that the school continues to support the efforts of some out-of-touch professors who disregard the value of teaching, that it continues to underfund and undervalue its public interest advising, and that it continues, partly by lack of stricter standards and an interviewing process, to admit the sort of embarrassing applicants responsible for the controversy in Section IV.

Many students here learn early on to believe their legal education is a joke, to be tempered by skipping class, drinking heavily and disrespecting this institution and the purposes for which it stands. Students learn this by the example of the institution itself – which often seems to put prestige and money, instead of people, first. Students learn that law school is little more than a few aimless years before a meaningless but lucrative law firm career because that is precisely the career option HLS makes most attractive and makes even easier to pursue. Students learn not to care about their professors’ teaching because they learn that many of their professors do not care about them – or when they are offended or confused by what those professors are saying. Students continue to wonder – and with good reason – why the law school with the largest endowment of any in the nation continues to underinvest in facilities and benefits for them, offering as its excuse the might of its prestige and the easy wealth it provides. HLS has been under the same leadership for a very long time. Perhaps it is time for a change.

One change we will all regret will be the passing of the Class of 2002 – one of the finest collections of individuals this school has seen in awhile. With its fanatical leaders, quirky personalities and famous faces, the Class of 2002 made HLS an object of fascination both inside and out. This class led by example, and leaves a much different place – and a much different attitude – behind. In a year filled with tragedy, this class leaves a wake of optimism and hope, of respect and admiration. This is a class of stars, who prove that HLS still attracts some of our nation’s best and brightest. They will be dearly missed, and not easily replaced.

Chez Henri


While often overlooked by the Harvard crowd, Chez Henri (located across the street from North Hall) is a charming restaurant that receives constant raves from Boston foodies. Chef Paul O’Connell fuses French and Cuban influences to create dishes that differ from standard bistro fare. But with entrÎe prices hovering in the mid-$20s, dining at Chez Henri can quickly drain a student budget. Fortunately, the restaurant’s bar offers a more affordable alternative.

The drinks at Chez Henri are quite different from those found at Cambridge Common or Temple Bar. The menu proclaims the trendy mojito ($6.95) to be “the most popular drink in Cuba.” It certainly was the most popular drink at Chez Henri on a recent Saturday evening. To make this fantastic concoction, fresh mint leaves, sugar and lime juice are furiously muddled over ice. Then, white rum and soda water are added, and the drink is finished with a mint garnish. For those who venture past the mojito, the caipirinha ($6.95) is wonderful. It resembles a margarita, but has a stronger lime flavor and a Cachaca (a dry Brazilian rum distilled from sugar cane) – rather than tequila – base. Pineapple juice plays prominently into the Havana Special ($5), where it is mixed with rum, and the Flamingo ($5.25), which includes a touch of grenadine.

Just as the Mojito is the drink of choice, the Pressed Cuban “Cubano” Sandwich ($10.95) is by far the most popular dining option. This massive creation is a great sandwich to share – eating it whole is a cardiologist’s nightmare. Layer after layer of slow roasted pork is pressed with cheese between pieces of crusty bread, then flattened and grilled into a gooey masterpiece. A vegetarian version is also offered.

Moving past the Cubano, the conch fritters ($7.95) are far superior to most versions. Though fried, they are surprisingly non-greasy and the light breading does not overpower the conch meat. The remoulade (spicy mayonnaise) sauce provides a nice kick for this sumptuous appetizer.

The duck tamale ($8.95) has an interesting preparation, but does not stand out as much. More of a light entrÎe salad than an appetizer, a single tamale is served on top of a large spinach salad. The mix of textures (chewy duck meat, soft corn meal, and crunchy spinach leaves) is appealing, and the vinaigrette’s acidity forms an interesting contrast with the well-spiced tamale. The onion soup gratinee ($7.95) was by far the most ordinary offering. Many of its components are perfect: soft stewed onions, topped with a slice of crusty baguette and gruyere cheese melted to perfection. However the broth itself is very salty, and a strong beef flavor overpowers the other ingredients.

The scene at Chez Henri is quite different from other bars in the area. The twenty seats (nine at the bar and a few small tables) fill up quickly with regulars. It’s worth waiting for a seat, because the standing area is narrow and en route to the bathroom. In addition to the limited bar menu, the full menu is also available anywhere in the restaurant. If trendy Latin drinks don’t strike your fancy, there are several beers on tap and wines by the glass.

Chez Henri is not the only upscale restaurant to offer a less expensive bar menu. Rialto in the Charles Hotel, Sister Sorel (the same kitchen as Tremont 647) in the South End and Sel de la Terre (a more casual restaurant from the L’Espalier owners) on the waterfront also provide this option. While the experience of eating at a bar undoubtedly differs from an elegant dining room, so does the tab at the end of the evening.

Paradise Lost


During the 1960s and 1970s, growing environmental awareness led to the passage of this country’s landmark environmental laws, a bureaucracy to administer them and a greater emphasis on environmental factors in administrative decision making generally. While current scientific knowledge demonstrates that we must go much further than any of those laws do to address the many threats to health, safety and welfare that our unsustainable consumer culture creates, there is little question that these laws produced dramatic changes.As companies in the polluting and extractive industries were increasingly forced to internalize the social costs of their activities, they turned to the public relations industry for help. The consultants examined the grassroots organizing methods that had made the environmental movement and other social movements so successful, and recommended that their employers adopt similar methods. Of course, pollution and waste do not have the same public appeal as health and efficiency, so the industries involved needed to compensate for their lack of popular support with money. The enormous success of the counterrevolution that ensued has been evident in Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses alike.A primary tool for corporate public relations is the creation of front groups, allegedly grassroots organizations that dress industry’s preferred policies in the garb of “reason,” “science” and “public interest.” Take, for example, The Information Council on the Environment, a coal-industry front group. Documents outlining its media strategy described a plan to target “older, less-educated males from larger households who were not typically information-seekers.” Public relations firms like Merrill Rose encourage companies to “put your words in someone else’s mouth,” and the numerous “citizens'” groups supporting mining in the western states speak quite well for the companies who fund them.Corporations such as Mobil, Du Pont, Ford, Philip Morris, Monsanto and Pfizer all support multiple organizations with deceptive names like “The American Council on Science and Health” and “Citizens for a Sound Economy.” These groups often share office space with more overt industry lobby groups. The Council for Solid Waste Solutions shares space with the Society of the Plastic Industry, Inc. The Oregon Lands Coalition has the same address as the Association of Oregon Industries. Sometimes the groups even masquerade as environmental organizations. The National Wetlands Coalition, made up largely of oil and gas companies, was formed to protect its members’ “right” to drill wherever they please, and the Keep America Beautiful Campaign has fought aggressively against recycling legislation. The media uncritically reports statements from these organizations and government officials cloak favors to their contributors in talking points these groups provide. Media reports also fail to dismiss the outrageous claims about the lobbying power of environmental and other social justice groups. The pollution lobby outspends them at least ten to one, spending over $1 billion. So where can you go for reliable information? You may not take me seriously when I say “environmental groups,” but let me explain why this is actually a reasonable answer. Industry’s power is grounded primarily in money. Because companies deliver their message through other people’s mouths, they can propagate lies as often as they like. When one group gets exposed, they start another and pump some money into it. Most people assume that corporate representatives are bending or ignoring the truth when they speak directly on the corporation’s behalf. Recent revelations about the tobacco industry provide only one of thousands of examples justifying such cynicism. However, environmental groups have nothing if they lose their credibility. Their power is almost entirely grounded in their ability to convey accurate information in such a way that people understand its significance for their daily lives. When I worked for the Sierra Club, every fact that went into print, be it for press releases, information sheets handed out at street fairs or internal newsletters, had to be carefully checked. No exaggerating or fudging was permitted. There are few incentives to do otherwise. Comparatively speaking, environmentalists have less to gain personally from the policies they advocate than do most lobbyists. It is fairly obvious why Ford Motor Company does not want stricter fuel efficiency standards, but it is less obvious why an upper middle-class Manhattanite would devote hundreds of hours to reducing the number of diesel bus depots in the Bronx. More to the point, organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists (a real environmental group) could not plausibly have any reason for existing, other than to promote reasonable scientific solutions to real environmental problems.

Ball Game : Disney Knuckleball


Dennis Quaid is soaking wet. Rain fills every inch of the air surrounding him; rivulets of it run swift and steady through the many creases in his tattered face. Baseball caps are better shade trees than umbrellas, as Quaid’s proves by yielding to the shoulder-bound spouts that arise at regular intervals on its surface.

But Quaid is playing Jim Morris, and Morris is unfazed by climatic conditions. He screws his wrinkled maw into position, grimly channeling the phrase, “don’t fuck with me,” though there is no batter in the box. The face is by now a ritual, as much a part of Morris’s pitching motion as the movement of his fingers or hips as he leans back to begin his delivery. He’s going to throw a fastball. He always throws the fastball.

There is a slight pop, a heady whoosh, and the ball flashes almost imperceptibly across the wide, wide screen. As the sound whizzes from the right speaker to the left, terminating in the satisfying THWACK of ball against mitt, you realize that CinemaScope and Digital Theatre Sound were made for baseball movies.

It’s a nice moment, one of several in Disney’s true-life adventure The Rookie, wherein the House that Eisner Built keeps the schlock to a considerate minimum and seasons it with a healthy amount of the gravel and grit that pave the jagged surfaces of real life in America.

Sure, Quaid looks very little like the mustachioed Morris, whose big-league debut at age 35 squeezed ink from the pens of sports scribes nationwide. Sure, Jim’s wife (played robustly by Rachel Griffiths, of HBO’s Six Feet Under) is a little too saintly in her handling of three young children while Jim works his way through the minor leagues. Sure, Jim’s spunky firstborn, Hunter, is unbearably adoring and adorable. And yes, we are asked to stomach some sidekick-y comic types as inhabitants of Big Lake, TX, where Jim coaches high school ball. There’s the Wily Hick, the Nearsighted Old Coot, and even the Wacky Black Kid – though the latter quickly cedes the spotlight to the Fiesty Latin Slugger.

But despite all of this, director John Lee Hancock (himself a rookie) and writer Mike Rich deftly resist the urge to paint their picture by the Disney numbers. Quaid is one real asset to their cause. His careful demeanor and measured (line) delivery are well-matched to his leathery exterior, allowing him to convey sincere affection for his family and his team without resorting to cloying sentimentality or emasculated pleading. In the film’s Big Game Pep Talk, he doesn’t even allude to the bargain that has kept the Owls in the pennant race all season. His major-league tryout can wait; for now “[t]his team has won 16 games. We need 17.”

Hancock and Rich also profit from the talents of (frequent Michael Bay flunky) John Schwartzman, whose camera makes fluent and frequent use of rain and sunbeams to highlight the on-field dramatics. Schwartzmann also succeeds at documenting the maddening, glorious flatness of Jim’s Texas environs – which David Byrne once called their “same but more” quality. Perhaps his only weakness lies in a predilection for what my date called “soft, glowy light” whenever Ms. Griffiths steps on screen.

The music is also remarkable – almost exclusively genuine and heart-rending country & western. Like the lines on Quaid’s face, every note sung by Willie Nelson or Guy Clark (“Stuff that Works”!) seems to encapsulate the whole tragedy of Jim’s middle age: I’m stuck in Texas, I never made something of myself, and man, am I down!

Unfortunately, even a small dose of reality, when injected into the rigid Disney formulae, can be enough to remind one that life always resists reduction to 90 wholesome minutes. The Rookie clocks in at 126 – downright epic for a G-rated picture. Even at that length, it really can’t explore the brevity of Morris’s big league career (he pitched 15 innings, over parts of 1999 and 2000) or the reasons for his departure (eventually he re-injured his arm; the film gives the not implausible impression that he simply had no curveball).

Against these omissions, long scenes of domestic chores or children’s birthday parties begin to seem like extraneous padding. Because of their demonstrated good faith, though, I’m willing to give Hancock and Rich the benefit of the doubt, and remember the immortal words of Joel Hodgson: “Only Love Pads the Film.”