Commentary — May 23, 2008, 2:13 pm

Replies

From: Steven Matz, Chicago
Subject: The Case for Political Rudeness, by Ken Silverstein, May 23, 2008

You make a great case for the effectiveness of rudeness, or ahem, direct language. I wholehearted agree in its effectiveness and necessity.

I work in construction. A few years ago I was chatting with another supervisor, from a concrete company, and he summed up the reality that “sometimes, I don’t know why, but you have to just get in someone’s face from time to time in order to get the project moving.” I supervise a variety of trades and while I don’t necessarily enjoy it, I too find that you have to breathe fire to get things moving occasionally.

My father ran a delicatessen in Northeast Philadelphia and I grew up working with him and watched him often unleash tirades upon hapless customers, employees and suppliers. He made a lot of money and stayed in business for 35 years. The episodes were classic theater: “Are you trying to bust my balls?” he once growled to a particularly whiny customer, who confronted him directly, in his kitchen, during the lunch rush, while holding a plate with a half eaten sandwich. The crowded dining room fell silent; waiting for the coming tirade. I think the guy might have wet his pants at one point.

Watching political discourse over the last 18 years being dominated by right wing loud mouths I cheered when I read about Jim Webb’s retort to Bush’s bullshit comment. W. is a special type of cocksucker and no one save Colbert and Webb have called him on it. He’s lucky Webb didn’t crush his larynx right there on the spot. If I were in his shoes and my boy was in Iraq, shit, I don’t think I could contain myself.


From: Fernando Colina
Subject: Why Does the Wall Street Journal Hate America?, by Scott Horton, May 20, 2008.

Scott Horton asks:

And this raises the question: Why does the Wall Street Journal so disrespect the men and women in uniform who run our military justice system?

The very simple answer is that Cheney and his cabal hold uniformed lawyers in contempt. He and his cronies have maintained the view that if JAG lawyers were any good at lawyering, they would be in private practice. The Wall Street Journal echoes this despicable view.


From: Betty
Subject: Weekly Review, by Chantal Clarke, May 20, 2008.

I thought you might be interested to learn that when one person forces another to have sex, the word to describe it is “rape.” For example, when Wolfgang Priklopi kidnaps a ten-year-old Natasha Kampusch hostage in a cellar dungeon and rapes her, it’s a “cellar rape dungeon,” not a sex dungeon. Framing like that minimizes her trauma and makes rape less horrifying in the public imagination–just for a little bit of misogynist titillation. I would have thought better of Harper’s.

Share
Single Page

More from Harper’s Magazine:

Official Business March 17, 2015, 4:01 am

Radio Hustle

Listen to the broadcast version of “American Hustle,” Alexandra Starr’s story, for the April 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine, about how elite youth basketball exploits African athletes.

Official Business January 8, 2015, 3:57 pm

The Art of Outrage

We defend Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish its cartoons—and our right to critique them.

Memento Mori September 2, 2014, 5:33 pm

Charles Bowden (1945–2014)

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2016

Standing Rock Speaks

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Prose by Any Other Name

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The New Red Scare

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Separated at Birth

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Priest in the Trees

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Lightness

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
With Child·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley
Article
Swat Team·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"As we shall see, for the sort of people who write and edit the opinion pages of the Post, there was something deeply threatening about Sanders and his political views."
Illustration (detail) by John Ritter
Article
Escape from The Caliphate·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"When Matti invited me on a tour of the neighborhood, I asked about security. 'The message has already been passed to ISIS that you’re here,' he said. 'But don’t worry. I guarantee I could bring even you in and out of the Islamic State.'"
Photograph (detail) by Alice Martins
Article
In This One·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Illustration (detail) by Shonagh Rae
Article
“Don’t Touch My Medicare!”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Medicare’s popularity, however, comes with almost no understanding of what the program is and how it works."
Illustration (detail) by Nate Kitch

Amount of sunscreen Bob Dole uses:

0

A study of wheat prices suggested that sunspots influence crop success.

Hundreds of Viagra pills were found in the office of the South Korean president, who is a woman; North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asked his country’s scientists to develop a cure for sexual dysfunction using snake extracts, mushrooms, and sea urchins.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today