Area jesters and sycophants have a field day this time of year speculating about who will receive Harvard honorary degrees at Commencement. With Harry Truman out of the running, the flunkies and lackeys are abuzz with talk of Lon Nol, the harsh dictator of Cambodia.
Lon Nol, whose name spelled backwards is also Lon Nol, has been in power for almost three years now, kept there against the wishes of hundreds of thousands of freedom fighters by American carpet bombing.
The Governing Boards probably want to give Henry A. Kissinger '50 one of the valuable scraps of paper, but fearing mass demonstrations, will settle for second best--Kissinger's creation. Look for a wizened old Asian dictator to step off a special Air America flight at Logan and head for Harvard Square tomorrow.
More substantively: one of the eight or so degree recepients customarily is a denizen of the literary world. Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsberg are definite Longshots so leading the pack are John Updike '54 and Norman K. Mailer '43.
Mailer would probably get drunk and stampede through the proceedings like a crazed bull elephant, so Updike, who writes novels and poems that The New Yorker likes, is considered a better shot for the nod.
The Governing Boards also like to toss a piece of parchment to a rich alum who donates a lot to the University. Many of these creatures are in the environs, but some have been tarred with the Nixon-Watergate brush. Consequently, this one is way up in the air.
Harvard's heavies also like to tab a community activist-type person. His obvious merits aside, Michael Ansara '67, one of the founders of Harvard SDS, is still too young to get the award.
So we have to settle for Mary Bunting, George Ball, and Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, all of whom will be in town--and you can bet your Doctor of Humane Letters it isn't to take the tour of the Science centre.