Vanitas – The Harvard Lampoon

Once in a Blue Moon #

| Issue Editor: AJ '18 | Art Editor: TN '19

Vanitas

  AJ '18

Now that you finally have this issue in your hands, you’re probably wondering one thing and one thing only: two things. First, what is this, and second, how much can I sell it for? Well, I love to disappoint, but the Lampoon magazine is worth less than the paper I handwrite each issue on. The only question you have now is, “What is this issue about?”

This issue is about rare, special things that come about once in a lifetime, like this issue. It’s also about other rare things I know about, like beauty and love. I know about beauty from when I looked in the mirror for the first time. I thought, “I need a word to describe the opposite of what I am seeing.” I learned about love when I looked up the word “lope” in the dictionary while writing a diary entry about when I saw a tall, thin dog running.

This issue is also about things that make you say “wow,” like when I hand you a note that says, “Say ‘wow’ out loud right now or I’ll blow your brains out. Also, please read my screenplay about a young Asian-American woman who just might learn a little something along the way. The film touches on the big questions like death, dis-organized religion, the so-called ‘Prozac Nation,’ and it is not about race in any way. Be honest, like, tell me what you really think, but also I have a gun to your head.” Many people have read my screenplay, and they always say, “Wow!”

This issue is about how beautiful the Grand Canyon looks as you’re diving into it.

This issue is also about valuable objects, like a huge, golden, I dunno, chalice, and it’s like, encrusted in jewels, and it’s so shiny that people cry when they look at it and say, “That’s so cool, Alice, we’re so sorry that we voted you ‘Most Changed Since Freshmen Year’ in a passive-aggressive way.” Then I’ll be like, “I forgive you,” but I secretly don’t. I’m just waiting to make my next move (Queen to F7, putting myself in checkmate and making me the first person to lose 500 straight games against the chess-playing AI Deep Blue.)

You might think that because of the nature of time, every moment is unique, meaning that all of reality is in fact rare and special. Of course, yes, I have thought of this too. I did not copy that sentence from an Internet forum. But to think that everything is special and beautiful requires a cheerful, optimistic worldview that I do not have. I think everything is bad.

Anyways, this issue is about diamonds. That’s it. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, which explains why I have no real friends, but doesn’t explain why I also have no diamonds. They say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but that doesn’t explain why I saw a man and a dog arguing at a bus station last week. They say that this Vanitas is too repetitive, but that doesn’t explain why they say that this Vanitas is too repetitive.

As you may have intuited, this issue will be divided into five thematic parts: “Once,” which is about things that happen one time, “In,” which is about things inside of other things, “A,” which is about the last letter of the alphabet, Z, “Blue,” which details the origin story of the Blue Man Group, and “Reflections,” which is about the victories, defeats, and little surprises from my time growing up in the Harvard Lampoon.