By refraining from competition in the intercollegiate quiz sport "College Bowl" (Channel 5, 5:30-6 p.m. Sundays), Harvard may be hiding its intellectual lights under a bushel-basket; solid achievement, such as our Rhodes Scholarship record, cannot hope to stagger the public so smartly as the sight of the bright young flash gleaming out cultural answers over CBS-TV.
Understandably enough, Harvard wishes to hold itself high above the herd--to appear in print only at birth, death, and marriage, as it were--but, like the lady said, times have changed. Perhaps Harvard students need to enjoy the sensation of the intellectually competitive experience that "College Bowl affords, in order truly to comprehend the world in which they perforce will move. It is all very well for young people to flirt with individuality and rugged independence, but when they get out of college they will have to learn that in this world we must conform--if the other boys push buttons on a quiz show, Harvard should too.
Naturally enough some of the old guard may feel that sporting on such foreign playing fields is not cricket. To these the avant garde can answer that in our new bright and shiny society an artist needs his dealer, a writer needs his agent, and everyone needs his public relations counselor. Mere quality is no substitute for rating. It pays to advertise.
We must tune in next Sunday and see whether "College Bowl" has a tasteful sponsor, the kind that believes in gracious living, deodorants, and knowing the kind of people that people like us--intellectuals, but regular fellows--would like to get to know.