...AND STUDENT MANNERS AT HARVARD

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Andrew Jamison seems to think that the Harvard community should be chastised for not submitting docilely to the spectacle of boredom and inarticulateness presented by Dietrich Wessel. It seems to me that Mr. Wessel's "history of German SDS" could have been better rendered by Michael Walzer in twenty minutes, or by a competent poet or film-maker in ten. Mr. Wessel was a failure as a rhetorician and as a disseminator of radical thought: that was the overriding reality of the Sept. 27 fiasco in Lowell Lec. He was simply out of touch with the mainstream spirit of the new radicalism. The kind of tiresome reasonableness and ponderous logic that oozed forth from him resonated well with the familiar oppressive arguments used by the Establishment in defending itself. Only the premises were different; the style was the same.

It is hard to believe that Mr. Jamison is not putting us on: does he really feel that the tedious, humorless thought purveyed by Dietrich Wessel and by the more calcified thinkers of the radical left is worth an hour and more of our Friday evenings? It is even harder to believe that Mr. Jamison could be "embarrassed to go to Harvard" because of the audience's reactions: I felt, with every burst of laughter and derision that night, that we were a healthy body defending itself against strangulation. May our laughter and derision be stronger for the next Dietrich Wessel. John A. Newmeyer   Tutor in Social Relations