Weekly Review — January 14, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A Pakistani ninth-grader sacrifices himself to save his classmates, Chris Christie saves himself, and Cormac McCarthy’s ex-wife chooses an unconventional holster 

A Humbug (Weekly)In Ibrahimzai, a majority-Shia village in northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a Sunni militant killed himself and a ninth grader named Aitzaz Hasan in a suicide attack on a local secondary school. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recommended that Hasan, who had been excluded from morning assembly as a punishment for tardiness and tackled the bomber before he could enter the school’s main gate, be awarded Pakistan’s Star of Bravery. “My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” said Hasan’s father. “He was very cute,” said a cousin.[1][2][3][4][5] Former Israeli prime minister and general Ariel Sharon died after eight years in a coma, prompting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to hand out sweets in celebration. “His people loved him,” said President Shimon Peres. “Our people,” said a Hamas spokesman, “feel extreme happiness.”[6][7] Thousands of refugees left Iraq’s Anbar province for the Kurdish north of the country, fleeing sectarian fighting around the city of Fallujah, the site of a 2004 U.S. military offensive that resulted in the deaths of nearly a hundred Marines. “Lives were wasted, and now everyone back home sees that,” said one American veteran. “Wow, thanks for dragging up all these memories I tried to forget that were controlling my life,” said another.[8][9] The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced that it had ceased updating its tally of Syrian civil war deaths because of insufficient information, and an American philosopher cautioned against excessive webcam monitoring in the home. “Sometimes the key to overcoming resentment,” said the philosopher, “is being able to forget.”[10][11]

Emails released under the Freedom of Information Act showed last September’s partial closure of the George Washington Bridge, which lasted four days and affected more than half a million vehicles, to have been arranged by members of the administration of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who declined to endorse Christie for re-election. In a press conference lasting nearly two hours, Christie repeatedly denied involvement. “You try to tell me the guy’s in charge and he don’t know?” said Fort Lee resident August Caccavone. “It strains credibility,” said New Jersey assemblyman John S. Wisniewski. “I think it’s pretty darn credible,” said former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.[12][13][14][15][16] The district attorney of Manhattan unsealed disability-fraud indictments against 80 retired police officers and firefighters, including one man who complained of a fear of crowds but subsequently sold ice-cream-filled cannoli at the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.[17][18][19] Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) reiterated his opposition to federal milk regulations, and Kraft Foods declared a Velveeta shortage.[20][21] In West Virginia, an estimated 7,500 gallons of the foaming agent 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked into a local river from a storage facility operated by Freedom Industries, prompting the state’s water utility to issue do-not-drink warnings in nine counties. “It’s a prison from which we would like to be released,” said the mayor of Charleston.[22] A Kentucky state representative accidentally discharged her semiautomatic Ruger .380 pistol in Frankfort’s Capitol Annex, a former wife of the author Cormac McCarthy was released on bond after threatening her boyfriend with a silver gun retrieved from her vagina, and anthropologists showed that economic misery begets literary misery.[23][24][25] West of Hope, British Columbia, a tractor-trailer carrying wine collided with one carrying pulp.[26]

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

The dark side of the moon was shown to be turquoise.[27] Uncle Misho, the last shoeshiner of Sarajevo, died of a heart attack.[28] Sirgiorgiro Clardy, a pimp serving a prison sentence in Oregon for assaulting a john with his Jordans, filed suit against Nike for failing to label the sneakers as potentially dangerous, and biologists at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies concluded that ocean acidification makes conchs less likely to use their strong feet.[29][30] An Illinois peacock froze to a pine tree, and thousands of Queensland’s little red flying foxes succumbed to heat stress. “They just fall in heaps at the base of trees,” said a bat conservationist, “like dripping chocolate.”[31][32] A Welshman was sentenced to six years in prison for the arson of a crisps plant in Crumlin, and an opposition politician in Zambia was arrested for comparing the country’s president to a sweet potato.[33][34] A doctor in Darwin, Australia, used olive oil to suffocate a cockroach stuck in a man’s ear, and authorities in Mooroopna, Australia, used olive oil to free a nude man stuck in his washing machine. “It was a bit like a birthing,” said the Mooroopna man.[35][36] The Colorado child-safety hotline 1-877-LUV-TOTS was found to have become a phone-sex hotline, and Internet users in Motherwell, Scotland, were found to average briefer visits to PornHub than users in Staines-upon-Thames.[37][38] Speaking at the Museum of Tolerance in Manhattan, Congressman Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) requested that former NBA power forward Dennis Rodman cancel a planned basketball game in North Korea. “It would be like inviting Hitler to lunch,” said Engel.[39] The Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao proposed to buy the Wall Street Journal. “I am very good,” said Chen, “at working with Jews.”[40]


Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Anthony Lydgate:

From the July 2014 issue

Vulgar Materialism

Weekly Review April 8, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Afghanistan votes, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of wealthy political donors, and China standardizes its pets 

Weekly Review February 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Upheaval in Ukraine, yobbery in the United Kingdom, and a historic douche in the United States

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

  • the albatross

    Usually this column is fun; but trying to make a joke out of reactions to the death of a child from a bomb (first issue – ‘he was cute’…)? That’s sick. Harpers, tragedies that befall children are out of bounds for this kind of journalism.

    • paulina

      agreed. i always look forward to the weekly review, but that “cute” inclusion made me feel ill.

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

June 2015

Loitering With Intent

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Polite Coup

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Findings

What Went Wrong

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Shooting Down Man the Hunter

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

[Browsings]
“Here, a long finger of snow replaced by gray patches of dirt and rock; there, a grayish blob of ice the texture of corduroy, where once a vibrant white patch of snow lay.”
Photograph by the author
Article
Legends of the Lost·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“A bond with reality has gone, and sometimes you wonder whether that fosters our feeling that movies are a fleeting art.”
Photograph by Alexander Perrelli
Article
What Went Wrong·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In the seventh year of his presidency, Barack Obama was presenting himself as a politician who followed the path of least resistance. This is a disturbing confession.”
Photograph by Pete Souza
Article
Surviving a Failed Pregnancy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If this woman — who spent her days studying gray screens for early signs of gestation — could not see my pregnancy, what were the chances that anyone else would?”
Illustration by Leigh Wells
Article
Interesting Facts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“My husband is forty-six. I am forty-five. He does not think that, in my forties, after cancer, chemotherapy, and chemically induced menopause, I can get pregnant again, but sisters, I know my womb. It’s proven.”
Photograph by McNair Evans

Number of British women killed last fall by lightning conducted through their underwire bras:

2

British women wear heels for fifty-one years on average, from the ages of twelve to sixty-three.

Thousands of employees of McDonald’s protested outside the company’s headquarters near Chicago, demanding their wages be increased to $15 per hour. “I can’t afford any shoes,” said one employee in attendance, “and I want Versace heels.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“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.”

Subscribe Today