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Is there any way this country can officially disown Anthony Blair? Those of us who were never fooled by him now have to watch as he cashes in on his time as Prime Minister in ways which are actually shaming. His dishonesty, his lack of embarrassment and his greed are all so great that it is now possible to imagine him ending up munching gonads on I’m A Celebrity, perhaps trying to restore his fortunes after yet another failed property speculation…
I had to watch the ludicrous transformation of this man, who to my personal knowledge did not know in 1997 that they spoke Portuguese in Brazil, into a supposed World Statesman, the victor of Kosovo and the scourge of Saddam. These two wars, one dubious, the other indefensible, were conducted on the basis that Mr Blair is a dedicated foe of tyranny. Quite a lot of people still believe this piffle. But how can they now, after Mr Blair’s trip to Azerbaijan, there to open a formaldehyde factory?
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature