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!
Some posters on Strictly Platonic want to buy things for other people; some posters want things bought for them. One woman is eager to listen to any guy, any guy at all, natter on about Park Slope in Brooklyn — “You can show me where you like to shop, tell me some history about the area or chitchat about whatever you want” — if he will treat her to a single glass of wine. Another one is willing to pick up the tab for everything and even prove that his wife knows he is on Craigslist looking for female friends, if a woman will just go see some plays with him. –“What Platonic Means on the Internet,” Virginia Heffernan, New York Times Magazine
Not until the heyday of Progressivism in the 1910s did writers begin to advocate an ideal of objectivity for the press, and not until the years following the Second World War did major newspapers and magazines begin to uphold with any consistency that standard in the newsroom while relegating political opinion to the editorial page. By the middle of the twentieth century, reporters were expected to strive for neutrality, compiling a litany of unbiased facts that were presented to readers who would then discharge their civic duties by making political decisions in their light. It truly was the high tide of postwar liberalism. –“American Journalism Comes Full Circle,” Damon Linker, The New Republic
It is considered impolite to inquire after a bear’s sexual habits, since what may seem promiscuous to humans is accepted and even encouraged among bear populations. Think of it as an opportunity for cultural education and cross-pollination. Of course, a bear’s laissez-faire attitude toward sex in public can be awkward during cocktail parties. Providing guests with pepper spray may help reduce the number of unwanted advances. A bear’s weight is an issue of particular delicacy and should be broached only in exceptional situations. Keep in mind that an undernourished bear risks death during hibernation. Try to support the bear’s pursuit of obesity during autumn months by promoting a home environment in which the bear can cultivate a healthy self-image. Mottos such as “Hurray for hyperphagia!” and “Eat now, sleep later,” make delightful and educational refrigerator magnets. –“Living with Bears: A Practical Guide,” Jenny Williams, Swink
Coney before the Fall.
More from TedRoss:
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.”