- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
La Forge: “Captain, the tech is overteching.”
Picard: “Well, route the auxiliary tech to the tech, Mr. La Forge.”
La Forge: “No, Captain. Captain, I’ve tried to tech the tech, and it won’t
Picard: “Well, then we’re doomed.”
James Ellroy’s brand of extreme writing is fun to read. At its best, it could be addictive. The stories are told in a uniform, crazed, modern American vernacular, and with such breakneck speed, hairpin plot turns, compression, and telescoping of events that the reader needs to stop and rest from time to time. The standard noir subject matter of killings, beatings, and acts of revenge is all here, but the incidents are so closely packed and described with such loving attention to the injuries suffered that it’s hard not to feel that some limit of what the reader can bear is being toyed with:
He shot them in the back at point-blank range. Small-bore exit wounds —the cleanup wouldn’t be that big a deal….
Fulo smashed their teeth to powder. Pete burned their fingerprints off on a hotplate.
Fulo dug the spent rounds out of the wall and flushed them down the toilet. Pete quick-scorched the floor stains—spectrograph tests would read negative.
Fulo pulled down the living-room drapes and wrapped them around the bodies. The exit wounds had congealed—no blood seeped through.
Forget everything you’ve read about vampires so far. The current bloodsucking trend, achieving maximum ferocity in November with the release of the sequel to Twilight, isn’t about outsiders or immigrants or religion or even AIDS, as critics and bloggers have argued ad nauseam these past few months. There’s a much better, simpler, more obvious explanation: Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men. –“What’s Really Going on With All These Vampires?” by Stephen Marche, Esquire
Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner:
The bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, was being scrutinized in the hope of building a better airplane engine.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”