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An Unconditional Apology

Wow, this week has seen some developments – Nick’s tragic withdrawal from editing the Harbus, CNN coverage of the event and a question over the freedom of speech in Harvard. I felt a little left out so, to join in the spirit of “covering my butt,” I’d like to just make the following apologies. They are based on the assumption that in the past six weeks I may have offended someone, sometime, about something in one, some or all of my articles.

To the following people and organizations, I am unreservedly sorry:

Martha Stewart – I’m sorry I said you lacked subtlety but you’ve got bigger battles on your hands currently so I forgive you for not getting in touch to complain.

Jack Welch – I suggested you weren’t potty trained. This was based on absolutely no knowledge of your bladder control and, I admit, was a cheap way of getting a laugh.

Aldous Huxley – I plagiarized your famous book title for my article on reality TV. Sorry. You might have laughed at the article though…

Santa – sorry for thinking that you were responsible for B-school gradings. With Christmas just round the corner I’d like to really make sure that you understand just how sorry I am. Since I may have unwittingly got your attention, can I put in a plea for a small blue box from Tiffany’s?

Various media groups including, but not restricted to – BusinessWeek, The Economist, Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times for suggesting you produced questionable B-school rankings. I guess I’ll just keep waiting for that phone call asking me to come and work for you.

Leaf tea (including Indian, China and Darjeeling) – for suggesting you might have prophetic properties. There is no credible scientific basis for this old wives’ tale. And until it is a reported finding in an international, peer-reviewed and acclaimed journal of repute I will never promote the use of leaf tea as anything other than a beverage.

The US service industry – it’s an all-inclusive apology. Since I didn’t name names in the article about shonky shopping experiences I thought I’d just say sorry to you all. Keep up the good work. Hope business picks up soon.

Brigham and Women’s – for suggesting that you might have an entomologist on the staff.

The IRS – for suggesting you have your hooks in every person with a US social security number. I’m sure you don’t. I’m sure you employ lovely people with lovely families who are nice to their pets and don’t litter.

Looking back, I see that I may have picked fights with no small fry. Perhaps I should hang up my keyboard for a little while and take a break from this writing thing. It’s entertaining but I’m not sure I can afford the potential litigation costs.

But I’d hate to think we were all thinking the same thing because the Harbus would be very empty and we’d have nothing to entertain us through the week.

November 18, 2002
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