The XX Factor

Harvard Liars

Thanks to fabulist Adam Wheeler -the average student who forged his way into Harvard and almost became a Rhodes Scholar-we now have documentation for what it takes to climb to the pinnacle of the meritocracy in the form of his fake resume . This is a work of art worthy of Borges , filled with the kind of detail designed to make the people who bestow the meritocratic jewels hear that little voice that says, “When Adam Wheeler becomes president, I will get quoted that I was among the first to see his genius.” What a masterstroke to list among his languages “Old Persian” and “Classical Armenian”-obviously no one on the Rhodes committee was going start the interview by saying, “How are you?” in classical Armenian. He claimed to have six books under contract, such as The Mapping of an Ideological Demesne . (It’s always good when a book title makes you feel inferior because you don’t even know what it means .) In the period from 2008 to 2009 he said he was the recipient of 15 awards and grants, such as the “Le Baron Briggs Traveling Prize in English,” which is real, but sounds as if it was concocted by Charles Dickens. Surely this young man has some kind of mental disorder, but one that allowed him to perfectly send up the system he desperately wanted to be part of. Oh, the foreshadowing in this pseudo-scholar’s purported thesis: Mappings, Unmappings, and Remappings , which he says “articulates a positive and generative potential in the experience of getting lost.”