Jeremy Keehn

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Weekly Review — September 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Scotland rejects independence, Sierra Leone issues a three-day lockdown, and Iran lashes its citizens for doing a “Happy” dance

Weekly Review — September 9, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

ISIL murders journalist Steven Sotloff; Satan in Moscow and Detroit; and Florida police play Cherries Waffles Tennis

Weekly Review — August 5, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Alternating shelter bombings and ceasefires in Gaza; a do-nothing Congress whimpers feebly into recess; and India hires a troupe of black-faced-langur imitators

Weekly Review — July 15, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The United States prepares to return thousands of minors to Central America; Israel launches an offensive in Gaza; and a wildfire traces back to Freddie Smoke

Weekly Review — June 24, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Joy, agony, and racism at the 2014 World Cup; ISIL on the march in Iraq; and crowd-surfing to Handel’s Messiah

Weekly Review — June 3, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Three brutal crimes against women in Asia, a controversial Taliban prisoner swap, and a human-skin heist in Connecticut

Weekly Review — April 15, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The infiltration of eastern Ukraine, the pain of Heartbleed, and the wrath of God Gazarov

Weekly Review — April 1, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Ennui sets into the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Guinea combats Ebola, and the distinctive arson of Cameo Crispi 

Weekly Review — February 18, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A U.N. report compares North Korean prison camps to Nazi concentration camps, Barack Obama plays through drought in California, and Canada’s Inuit are warned away from raw Beluga meat

Weekly Review — January 7, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Factional warfare in the Middle East, a politician under indictment for genocide seeks peace in South Sudan, and an embarrassment of coldness in Minnesota

Weekly Review — November 19, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Casualty counts and corruption in the Philippines, protest and repression in Russia, and the usual news from Toronto

Official Business — November 15, 2013, 11:53 am

Harper’s Magazine Now Available for iOS (and Soon for Android!)

Introducing the Harper’s app

Weekly Review — October 8, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. government shuts down, African migrants capsize in the Mediterranean, and miscellaneous global crushings

Weekly Review — July 30, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Egypt teeters precariously, cat zombies and zonkeys live, and a hexapus dies

Six Questions — July 30, 2013, 7:55 am

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

Mike Paterniti on the power of cheese, the pleasures of digression, and the War of the Roses method of book writing

Weekly Review — June 18, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. offers military aid to the Syrian opposition, Turkey clears protesters from Gezi Park, and oculolinctus enthusiast Elektrika Energias speaks

Weekly Review — May 28, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Obama calls for an end to the “war on terror,” tensions grow in Europe, and a Filipino with forty-one names

Weekly Review — April 2, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Supreme Court considers skim-milk marriage, a Guantánamo Bay hunger strike expands, and Egyptian scuba divers sabotage SEA-ME-WE-4

Weekly Review — March 5, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Sequestration remonstration, shticklomacy in North Korea, and the menagerie of Nutzu the Pawnbroker

Six Questions — February 27, 2013, 9:00 am

My Pain Is Worse Than Your Pain— The Film Adaptation

Filmmaker Adam Hall on capturing the dark magic of a T. C. Boyle short story

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December 2019

Gimme Shelter

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Body Language

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Trash, Rock, Destroy

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Make Way for Tomorrow

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Gimme Shelter·

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I.

That year, the year of the Ghost Ship fire, I lived in a shack. I’d found the place just as September’s Indian summer was giving way to a wet October. There was no plumbing or running water to wash my hands or brush my teeth before sleep. Electricity came from an extension cord that snaked through a yard of coyote mint and monkey flower and up into a hole I’d drilled in my floorboards. The structure was smaller than a cell at San Quentin—a tiny house or a huge coffin, depending on how you looked at it—four by eight and ten feet tall, so cramped it fit little but a mattress, my suit jackets and ties, a space heater, some novels, and the mason jar I peed in.

The exterior of my hermitage was washed the color of runny egg yolk. Two redwood French doors with plexiglass windows hung cockeyed from creaky hinges at the entrance, and a combination lock provided meager security against intruders. White beadboard capped the roof, its brim shading a front porch set on cinder blocks.

After living on the East Coast for eight years, I’d recently left New York City to take a job at an investigative reporting magazine in San Francisco. If it seems odd that I was a fully employed editor who lived in a thirty-two-square-foot shack, that’s precisely the point: my situation was evidence of how distorted the Bay Area housing market had become, the brutality inflicted upon the poor now trickling up to everyone but the super-rich. The problem was nationwide, although, as Californians tend to do, they’d taken this trend to an extreme. Across the state, a quarter of all apartment dwellers spent half of their incomes on rent. Nearly half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population lived in California, even while the state had the highest concentration of billionaires in the nation. In the Bay Area, including West Oakland, where my shack was located, the crisis was most acute. Tent cities had sprung up along the sidewalks, swarming with capitalism’s refugees. Telegraph, Mission, Market, Grant: every bridge and overpass had become someone’s roof.

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Body Language·

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I am eight years old, sitting in my childhood kitchen, ready to watch one of the home videos my father has made. The videotape still exists somewhere, so somewhere she still is, that girl on the screen: hair that tangles, freckles across her nose that in time will spread across one side of her forehead. A body that can throw a baseball the way her father has shown her. A body in which bones and hormones lie in wait, ready to bloom into the wide hips her mother has given her. A body that has scars: the scars over her lungs and heart from the scalpel that saved her when she was a baby, the invisible scars left by a man who touched her when she was young. A body is a record or a body is freedom or a body is a battleground. Already, at eight, she knows it to be all three.

But somebody has slipped. The school is putting on the musical South Pacific, and there are not enough roles for the girls, and she is as tall as or taller than the boys, and so they have done what is unthinkable in this striving 1980s town, in this place where the men do the driving and the women make their mouths into perfect Os to apply lipstick in the rearview. For the musical, they have made her a boy.

No, she thinks. They have allowed her to be a boy.

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Trash, Rock, Destroy·

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The writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes lives in a nondescript modern building in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris. I know it well: it has a Bricorama—like a French Home Depot—on the ground floor, where we sometimes had cause to shop back when we lived in the neighborhood. The people who work there seemed to hate their jobs more than most; they were often absent from the sales floor. In the elevator to Despentes’s apartment, I marvel that while I was trying to get someone to help me find bathroom grout she was right upstairs, with her partner, Tania, a Spanish tattoo artist who goes by the name La Rata, like someone out of one of Despentes’s novels.

In an email before our meeting, Despentes asked that we not do a photo shoot. “There are so many images available already,” she explained. Much had been written about her, too. A Google search yielded page after page: profiles, interviews, reviews, bits and bobs—she read from Pasolini at a concert with Béatrice Dalle; someone accused her of plagiarizing a translation; a teacher in Switzerland was fired for teaching her work. The week I met her, she appeared in the culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles in conversation with the rapper-turned-actor JoeyStarr. The woman is simply always in the news.

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Burning Down the House·

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Discussed in this essay:

Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright, by Paul Hendrickson. Knopf. 624 pages. $35.

Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t just the greatest of all American architects. He has so eclipsed the competition that he can sometimes seem the only one. Who are his potential rivals? Henry Hobson Richardson, that Gilded Age starchitect in monumental stone? Louis Sullivan, lyric poet of the office building and Wright’s own Chicago mentor, best known for his dictum that form follows function? “Yes,” Wright corrected him with typical one-upmanship, “but more important now, form and function are one.” For architects with the misfortune to follow him, Wright is seen as having created the standards by which they are judged. If we know the name Frank Gehry, it’s probably because he designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 1997. And Gehry’s deconstructed ship of titanium and glass would be unimaginable if Wright hadn’t built his own astonishing Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue some forty years earlier.

Article
The Red Dot·

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That night at the window, looking out at the street full of snow, big flakes falling through the streetlight, I listened to what Anna was saying. She was speaking of a man named Karl. We both knew him as a casual acquaintance—thin and lanky like Ichabod Crane, with long hair—operating a restaurant down in the village whimsically called the Gist Mill, with wood paneling, a large painting of an old gristmill on a river on one wall, tin ceilings, and a row of teller cages from its previous life as a bank. Karl used to run along the river, starting at his apartment in town and turning back about two miles down the path. He had been going through the divorce—this was a couple of years ago, of course, Anna said—and was trying to run through his pain.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

Shortly after the Regional Council of Veneto, in Italy, voted against climate-change legislation, its chambers were flooded.

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Jesus Plus Nothing

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By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

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