Supporters of striking Harvard printers and typesetters will rally at 11:15 a.m. today outside Lowell Lecture Hall while the Class of 1949 conducts its class day symposium within.
Protesters will hear speeches by striking members of the Graphic Arts International Union (GAIU) until noon, when they will accompany the alumni to the steps of Widener Library where the '49ers will pose for their class picture.
The purpose of the rally, organized by a coalition including union members and student members of the New American Movement, is to pressure the University into settling the two-month-old strike before Thursday's Commencement exercises, James Pope '73-4, one of the rally's organizers, said yesterday.
Seek Salary Increase
The bulk of the 36 printers and typesetters went on strike April 9, after the University refused to offer more than a 5.5 per cent salary increase over their last contract, which expired in November 1973. The strikers are demanding wage increases of 10 to 14 per cent, which they claim would set them on a par with other Boston-area printers and typesetters.
George Santayana '86 (if it were not he, it should have been, or was it Henry James?) once compared the human mind to a furnished room. If either of those two men were alive today they undoubtedly would have added the presence of an expensive decorator. With that addendum firmly in mind (as well as in the room), what changes in decor and in vista do we notice with the passage of 25 years.
The McLuhan Effect: While the socalled "Gutenberg Man" (he of the printed page) has not yet followed the Java Man to extinction, his demise appears well on the way. Edmund Burke's famous query, "Who now reads Bolingbroke?" can today be shortened to "Who reads?"
This, by the way, is not the same as "Who cares?" a distinction which surely, standing alone, is reason enough for guarded optimism.
One thing, however, does appear perfectly clear. Television has dealt a blow to the Aristotelian unities from which they are not destined to recover in our lifetime.
Good Bye, Old Paint: The named horse of the masked or unmasked man has become an endangered species. No longer does Silver heigh-ho. One consequence of this phenomenon has been the general decline of charisma. The devastating effect has been the same on Adlai Stevenson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Wayne, and Jack Armstrong, as well as some fall-out on Doc and Reggie.
One could even frame this proposition as a categorical imperative: Anonymous horseshoes will be inexorably followed by clay feet.
Perhaps even more unsettling is the idea that even the"heavies" don't stay put. Thus it was not all that easy rapidly to assimilate the image of J. Edgar Hoover as the tenacious civil rights champion during the era of the short-lived Huston Plan. But as this college class has come to know, with the right kinds of effort almost anything can be accomplished.
The De Leon Syndrome: Careful study of persons like Joan Crawford and Zsa Zsa Gabor will indicate that no one grows old anymore. The same observation can be confirmed by scrutiny of the "then" and "now" photographs in the 25th Anniversary Report of the Harvard College Class of 1949. "Youth's a stuff will not endure," wrote George Orwell in his essay on "The Art of Donald McGill," but that prediction may well prove less accurate, in the long run, than his views of 1984.
The Crisis in Confidence: When Birnham Wood was brought to Dunsinane, there were those who regarded this program as the first sincere public reforestation effort since the Venerable Bede. Often overlooked is the circumstance that this action occurred at a time when there was a severe erosion of confidence in the government of Scotland. Somewhere, in all this, there is a lesson to be learned, and this generation of Harvard men has learned it. They probably learned it from the sayings of Chairman Mao, now made respectable by the vice-president. For example:
"When you let a hundred flowers bloom, you may have to cut the tops off a few. This improves subsoil conditions and fosters genuine self-criticism and photosynthesis."
This firm determination in the Class of '49, not to surrender to the fashionable pessimisms of the present day, has forged an iron link from the age that is past to the age that is waiting before. And I, for my part, say unabashedly, congratulations, Class of '49 on a job well done.
Richard W. Wallach, a graduate of the Law School as well as the college, is Justice of the Civil Court of New York County. He is currently chairman of the Committee on Structure and Organization of Courts of the American Bar Association; and a member of the Committee on Judicial and Professional Ethics and the Special Committee on the Lawyer's Role in the Search for Peace of the Bar Association of the City of New York.