It seems like every conversation I have nowadays is some relationship blah-blah bullshit. Why must Harvard conversations consist primarily of watered-down relationship-centric circumlocution? Why do we leave bold, meaningful speech for living wage protesters and angry conservatives?
It’s because there’s a conscious effort to not seem so damn Harvard. So we throw on this thick coat of casual indifference, and start acting like we were back in freshman year of high school wearing a Ben Folds Five T-shirt pretending not to be waiting for the schoolbus. We don’t want to be that guy in the Moral Reasoning section who begins his jabberings with some crap like “I thoroughly doubt people have read this book, but I feel like Richard Rorty, in his seminal work entitled...”
That guy does indeed merit a stinging backhand slap and an eyeful of hot coffee. But that doesn’t mean we have to back off entirely and have the IOP, the UC, and the editorial pages of a few publications have a monopoly on intellectual debate. It is, in fact, okay to talk about topics other than who got to second base with who last weekend and whether that disrespects some other person she’s “quasi-dating.” Just don’t make it a place to show off your in-depth knowledge of some obscure branch of sociology. In any case, leave the endless banal blathering about relationships to those select professionals appearing on MTV.