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

May 2017

Facing the Furies

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The New Climate

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Dream Preferred

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Snowden’s Box

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

American Duce

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Prayer’s Chance

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Snowden’s Box·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

Illustration (detail) by Taylor Callery
Post
The Forty-Fifth President·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

Photograph (detail) by Philip Montgomery
Article
A Prayer’s Chance·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

Photograph (detail) by Robin Hammond/NOOR
Article
Bee-Brained·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

Illustration (detail) by Eda Akaltun. Source photograph of Jairam Hathwar at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee © Pete Marovich/UPI/Newscom
Article
My First Car·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Number of U.S. major-league baseball players this year who are natives of the Dominican Republic:

79

A psychopharmacologist named David Nutt declared that there was no good reason why scientists couldn’t come up with a cocktail of drugs that mimics all the pleasurable effects of alcohol without any of the negative side effects.

Three bodies were tossed from a low-flying plane in the Sinaloa state of Mexico.

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