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I’m confident we will all land on our feet. And I’m certain that the experience will be an opportunity for us to find strength we didn’t know we had. I’ve met us. And we are, to be frank, pretty amazing. But the dream of Biglaw is hard to let go. And after all, there isn’t necessarily any shame in wanting to make money. Some of the wealthiest Americans have been its greatest philanthropists. Bill Gates has retired from Microsoft and dedicated a large portion of his financial empire to addressing global warming and poverty. And Tony Stark created his Iron Man suit to fight the spread of technological weaponry the sales of which, well, financed the creation of his Iron Man suit. Fine, that one isn’t very persuasive. Still, I don’t think we should be judged for wanting to be Biglaw associates with the money and power that would eventually have brought. Maybe we just wanted to be Iron Man. Think about it. –“Unemployed law student will work for $160k plus benefits,” Anonymous 3L, The Harvard Law Record
According to Doug Steele, the bar’s Canadian owner, “at the Duck you got laid even if you didn’t want to.” On Ladies’ Night, the doors opened at seven p.m., but the only people let in were women, as long as they were at least 16 years old. They’d drink for free. At nine, the men were allowed in. It wasn’t until the metro stations opened the next morning that it ended, and in the meantime, anything went. “Orgiastic” is an insufficient description. The only appropriate word seems to be Caligulan, and not just because the Duck was situated steps from Lubyanka, the former prison and Soviet torture chamber that now housed the F.S.B. The action was mostly elevated, according to Vlad Baseav, an early Exile general manager, with women and men alike dancing on the bar and on the tables, disrobing on the bar and on the tables, having sex on the bar and on the tables, fighting on the bar and on the tables, and then crashing in various states of undress onto the floor scrum. “They would get up and continue dancing, blood everywhere,” Baseav says. Steele recalls a night when the deputy head of a Moscow police unit, drunk beyond all reckoning, emptied his pistol into the ceiling and made everybody lie on the floor for three hours. Lavelle claims he saw a man stabbed to death next to him one night. “No one thought it was unusual.” –“Lost Exile,” James Verini, Vanity Fair
Joan Copjec’s take on Kiarostami crystallizes just how his films are seen in such a deeply political light in the West—and also how this vision is so alluring. These alien people with their alien logic have, she writes, “a different distribution of the visible and the invisible.” This claim worries me, because what is unseen by Copjec—“the hejab covering women that obscures them from the sight of men to whom they are not related”—leads to a celebration of this “alien logic of the look.” Despite her intention to champion Kiarostami’s work, her gesture is an unwittingly exoticizing one. Thus, Kiarostami’s becomes a cinema that anyone with Orientalist urges—from the browsers of Anthropologie clothing catalogs to the addicts of the New York Times’s Sunday travel section to the fedayeen of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations—can cherish. –“Watching Shrek in Tehran,” Brian T. Edwards, The Believer
Iran arrests director Jaffar Panahi;
Chinese anxiety over the citizenship of Yao Ming’s baby;
chances are, she won’t end up in Chen Mingjing’s Kingdom of the Little People
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“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.”