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Harvard Square Clocks

By Christine A. Hurd, Crimson Staff Writer

Everyone and their mother has an opinion on the newest album, movie, and art exhibit. But what about the things that we see every day, around Harvard and the Square? Shouldn't you have an opinion about those, too? To this end, the Campus Critic from the Arts Board is here to tell you what to think.

Time is meaningless as we are all rocketing speedily towards death. However, in the finite time we have left, clocks are arguably important. They police us for crimes of not fitting into the time fabric of our fellow sacks of meat. It's not presumptuous to say that public clocks are a prime supporter of Calvinistic death-ground—an even better reminder of mortality than your crackle-kinked ankles and inability to pull as many all-nighters as you did in high school.

Harvard Square has several of these heretofore-named "Death Reminders." The Campus Critic has evaluated their existence to remind you of the meaninglessness of your own.

The Cambridge Savings Clock, 1374 Mass. Ave.

For a select number of people who think it's cute to say they no longer can read an analog clock, this enormous digital clock only needs an alarm for it to ascend to the artistic heights of being the best reminder of the short duration of our lives. If only it had a chime on the hour—perhaps akin to the one on the iPhone that's like a "Metroid" sound effect, or perhaps a German-accented voice reading imperative statements such as "Stop being late," and "Another hour of your meaningless life has passed." 8 Sturms/10 Drang

St. Paul Catholic Church, 29 Mt. Auburn St.

Scientists can never agree on what the average human attention span is. For the sake of the argument to follow, I posit 15 minutes. How convenient, then, that the clock at St. Paul's Catholic Church rings in various stages of completion every fifteen minutes, reminiscent of that joke about having four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three at night (answer: Man! Haha! Why aren't you laughing?!). What a fantastic artistic representation to have the chimes become more aesthetically perfect as we move along the 15, 30, 45, and 60 minute markers—only to start again like an optimistically oscillating universe. 9 Danses/10 Macabres

Massachusetts Hall

This is one of those clocks that looks more like a sundial than a testament to human technological innovation (not to say that sundials don't have their place). How appropriate considering we shall all turn to dust and the lowest denominator in the run-up to glorious species death! Its inaccuracy coupled with its lack of a face brings to bear the true nature of the ontological God—ineffable and has something to do with Faust. 5 egos/10 Arcadias

Lamppost Clocks Around the COOP and Market

While the time they keep might not be the most realistic of artistic endeavors, it's nice to have a clock that is just standing in the middle of the sidewalk. No craning to look at a place that worships God or money (or in the case of Mass. Hall, both). No awkward ruffling through a purse to find a phone. No laboriously pulling up your sleeve to only sigh in frustration at your unreadable analog watch. It's just in front of you. Like Death. 1 Light, not at the end of the tunnel

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Harvard SquareArts Blog