Weekly Review — September 4, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

President George W. Bush predicted a “nuclear holocaust” if Iran develops weapons of mass destruction and accused the country of undertaking “murderous activities in Iraq”; Iran’s foreign minister described Bush’s comments as a sign of “political despair” caused by “a serious problem in creating propaganda for the next election.” BBCBBCBreitbart.com via Drudgereport.comBush announced his intention to found a “fantastic Freedom Institute” after he leaves office,NY Timesand two brothers survived in a collapsed Beijing coal mine for five days by eating coal and drinking their own urine. “You can only take small sips,” said Meng Xianchen, “and when you’ve finished, you just want to cry.”BBCSouth Korea was scandalized by resume cheats. “Before, we struggled more with fake luxury goods,” said Moon Moo-il, a prosecutor who combats credentials fraud. “Now that we have entered the knowledge-based society, we have to deal with an overflow of fake knowledge.” NY TimesThe Ugandan Interfaith Rainbow Coalition Against Homosexuality called on the government to uphold its laws against gays and lesbians,BBCand Kenya’s Anglican archbishop consecrated two homophobic American priests as bishops at a ceremony in Nairobi.NY TimesIndia’s Khasi tribespeople announced that they would honor Al Gore’s cinematic excellence at a “People’s Parliament” held in a sacred forest,BBCNubian militants in Sudan were organizing efforts “to get rid of the Arabs,” Los Angeles Timesand guitar player Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack.BBC

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo marked the second anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster by suggesting that the “gravy train” of “so-called ‘recovery’” should leave “the New Orleans station,”The Hill via Drudgereport.comand U.S. Representative Jon Porter (R., Nev.) warned that premature evacuation from Iraq would cause American gas prices to rise.ReviewJournal.com via Drudgereport.comGay marriage was legal in Iowa for four hours,NY TimesU.S. Senator Larry Craig (R., Idaho) insisted that he was “not gay” and had not ever “been gay,”NY Timesand the Alton, Texas, chief of police was arrested for making “unwelcomed” sexual advances toward two male employees.KGBTV.com via Nerve.comPrincess Diana had been dead for ten years.NY TimesTony Snow resigned as White House press secretary because the pay was too low,BloombergHomeland Security chief Michael Chertoff vowed to make employers who hire illegal immigrants “unhappy,”Washington Postand polling revealed that Democrats despise President Bush more than any other executive in history. “No one,” said Gary C. Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, “comes close.”NY TimesCity officials in Houston, Texas, were investigating a “Ghetto Handbook” distributed by the local police to its officers. The booklet, subtitled “Wucha dun did now?” contained, among other items, a glossary that would enable the police to communicate “as if you just came out of the hood.” Terms defined in the glossary included “foty” for a 40-ounce bottle of beer; “aks” for “to ask a question”; and “hoodrat” for “a scummy girl.”Houston ChronicleAtlanta’s city council debated whether or not to outlaw baggy pants,Atlanta Journal ConstitutionNASA announced that none of its astronauts were guilty of flying a spacecraft while drunk, CNNand officials in Tarrytown, New York, installed suicide-prevention telephones on the Tappan Zee bridge.WCBSTVScientists in Louisiana determined that some obese people may be infected with a fat virus.MSNBC.com

A vegetable grower in Fresno, California, recalled 8,000 cartons of salmonella-tainted spinach,Washington PostWest Nile virus was discovered in Vermont,Rutland Heraldand a federal judge upheld New York City’s prohibition on metal baseball bats.NY TimesAnother elementary school??this one in Colorado Springs, Colorado??banned tag.My Way NewsChina declared its one-child policy an environmental weapon in the fight against global warming,Alertnet.organd a wild male elephant burgled a circus in eastern India, making off with an attractive female elephant.Yahoo News via Nerve.comU.S. transportation horticulturalists were seeding the nation’s roadsides with asters, amsonia, and flowering white thoroughwort, among other wildflowers. NY TimesDeceased real estate mogul Leona Helmsley left a $12 million bequest to her dog, a small white Maltese named Trouble;New York Daily Newsreality-show personality Nicole Richie was released from jail in Los Angeles after serving 82 minutes for drunk driving.My Way NewsJohn Ashbery was named the poet laureate of MTV.NY Times

Share
Single Page

More from Theodore Ross:

Weekly Review June 22, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review February 9, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

The Neoliberal Arts

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gangs of Karachi

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today