and entering

Club Historian “Just Polishing Up The Lit Review!”

Arlington considering grabbing his things and running away, as far as he can.
CAMBRIDGE, MA — In a exec board meeting Friday afternoon, Harvard Close-Up Magic Club leadership was shocked to learn that, after a year on the board, club historian Elmer P. Arlington ’22 has been “hard at work” on a comprehensive literature review all year instead of just twiddling his fuckin’ thumbs.
“Yeah we made that position as kind of a joke,” HCUM president Jen T. Poole ’21 said. “Like, what was Elmer going to do, engage in rigorous historical scholarship in an attempt to intervene in current debates about our shared past?”
Friday’s meeting consisted of board members sharing what they’ve accomplished over the summer. Poole and her co-president Andrew M. Jensen ’21 discussed socials and postering, and comp director Eliana Q. D. Pollak ’22 discussed recruitment. As other board members spoke, onlookers said Arlington became visibly sweaty and began pulling up tabs on JSTOR and the American Historical Review.
“I…um…I am so…honored you’ve chosen me to engage in the important work of the historian,” he said. “As well all know, historians are charged with engaging critically with the past and thereby illuminating the, uh, future, which is what’s I’ve, uh, sought to do this semester.”
He then launched into an explanation of several divergent “camps” in scholarship on close-up magic among American historians and venerable institutions: the “externalist” camp, the “internist” camp, and — as everyone is aware — the famed “Chicago” camp. 
“The latter, of course, is made up of several historians who believe true close up magic can, uh, excuse me…” he gurgled. “Those who believe close-up magic came solely out of Cook County, Illinois and nowhere else.”
Arlington added that after being elected club historian, he delved deep into the Widener stacks to read seminal works on magic history.
“Club historian was such an honor,” he said. “I mean, they really trusted me to generate original ideas about such an important subfield of cultural and social history.”
Arlington’s insights were met with shocked and awed looks from his fellow board members, according to Poole and Pollak.
“Wow, I didn’t expect Elmer to be able to offer such a succinct examination of the scholarship — almost graduate-level really,” Pollak said. “Really makes you think.”
At press time, Arlington was hard at work on preparing a brief epigraph on the use of bird imagery in the 1968 Nevada Magic Games for the club’s October general meeting.
“I wouldn’t want the new compers to think I don’t take the pursuit of history seriously,” he said. “I mean, as Thucydides once said, ‘self-control is the chief element in self-respect,’ hahaha!”
© 2019