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!
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
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.
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.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
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!
“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.”