Weekly Review — August 17, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]

Caught in the Web.

Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey announced that he is a “gay American” and resigned. “I am here today because, shamefully, I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony,” he said. “It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.”Men’s News DailyThe California Supreme Court nullified gay marriages in that state, andSan Francisco Chroniclethere was a scandal in Australiancattle circles over udder doping.Associated PressPhilippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo told her countrymen to stop kissing her, andAssociated Pressfour people were arrested in the Philippines for killing, cooking, and eating a relative at a wedding reception.Associated PressTerry Nichols was sentenced to 161 life terms without parole for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.IBSA British rapist who was out of prison for a weekend leave won the lottery, andThe SunDominican migrants, lost at sea on their way to Puerto Rico, threw a woman overboard when she refused to share her breast milk with other passengers.Associated PressA 480-pound Florida woman who had not left her couch for six years died when doctors attempted to separate her from the couch, which was fused to her body.WFTV.comA Jelly Belly factory was robbed, andReuterscrude oil prices were at record levels.ForbesPresident Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan ordered the construction of a palace of ice.BBCArabs hate America more than ever, according to a new poll,Palestine Chronicleand a man who was sued by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for selling “Arnie” bobblehead dolls announced that he will now sell “Arnie” urinal cakes and a “Girlie Man” bobblehead doll with the governor wearing a pink dress.Agence France-Presse

Hurricane Charley killed 13 people in Florida and caused an estimated $20 billion worth of damage.Reuters, New York TimesThere was heavy fighting in western Afghanistan.Associated PressPeace talks between the new Iraqi government and Moktada al-Sadr broke down;Times of Omanal-Sadr was reportedly wounded in a battle with American forces.CBSA British journalist was kidnapped in Basra and released a few days later; an Islamic website posted photographs of the beheading of an Egyptian.Associated PressAmerican warplanes bombed Fallujah.Associated PressCroatian explorers found the world’s deepest hole.Associated PressA plague of locusts was heading for Darfur, Sudan,Reuterswhere the national police force has been recruiting members of the Janjaweed militia.The ScotsmanHutu rebels attacked a refugee camp in Burundi and killed at least 159 Tutsis.ReutersThree British men who have been held in Guantánamo Bay for two years were preparing to meet their lawyers for the first time.IndependentA Pakistani man was in custody in North Carolina for videotaping skyscrapers.Associated PressAl Qaeda was reportedly planning a big assassination, andAgence France-PresseIran tested a new long-range ballistic missile.Associated PressRoughly 1,600 Palestinians in Israeli jails began a hunger strike to protest their conditions; “As far as I’m concerned, they can strike for a day, a month, until death,” said Tzahi Hanegbi, the Israeli security minister.BBCThe U.S. was planning to pull 70,000 troops out of Asia and Europe, andReutersNational Guard and reserve troops were losing their civilian jobs in greater numbers.ABC NewsA flaming rabbit burned down a British cricket club.Reuters

British researchers were granted a license to clone human stem cells.Associated PressA Texas dentist died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria called vibrio vulnificus,Health Talka crow in Oregon tested positive for West Nile virus,Associated Pressand three Vietnamese died of bird flu.Associated PressIt was reported that HIV has crossed the species barrier from apes to humans at least seven times in recent years and that a new strain of HIV, which is undetectable by normal HIV tests, has appeared in Cameroon. Scientists said that eating bush meat is the most likely cause; earlier this year, three bush-meat hunters came down with simian foamy virus.New ScientistScientists at Purdue University were using ribonucleic acid to create self-assembling nanostructures.ReutersCzeslaw Milosz died.BBCPeople born in January and February, a study found, are at greatest risk of getting brain cancer, while those born in July and August are least likely to develop it.ReutersA twin delivered two sets of twins on her birthday.Associated PressPeople in Mottola, Italy, made a 2,280-foot-long salami sandwich.TelegraphJulia Child died.New York TimesA linguist at MIT found that women prefer men with names containing “front vowels” rather than “back vowels”; in an experiment performed using the Hot or Not website, men named Matt, Ed, and Mike were sexier than the same men when they were named Paul, Sean, or Roger.TelegraphScientists used a dopamine blocker to turn lazy monkeys into hard workers.Reuters

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2020

Click Here to Kill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Vicious Cycles

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Oceans Apart

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Forty-Year Rehearsal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Whale Mother

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Click Here to Kill·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a sunny July day in 2018, Alexis Stern was sitting behind the wheel of the red Ford Fusion her parents had given her the previous year when she’d learned to drive. Robbie Olsen, the boy she’d recently started dating, was in the passenger seat. They were in the kind of high spirits unique to teenagers on summer vacation with nothing much to do and nowhere in particular to go. They were about to take a drive, maybe get some food, when Stern’s phone buzzed. It was the police. An officer with the local department told her to come down to the station immediately. She had no idea what the cops might want with her. “I was like, am I going to get arrested?” she said.

Stern had graduated from high school the month before, in Big Lake, Minnesota, a former resort town turned exurb, forty miles northwest of the Twin Cities. So far she had spent the summer visiting family, hanging out with her new boyfriend, and writing what she describes as “action-packed and brutal sci-fi fantasy fiction.” At sixteen, she’d self-published her first novel, Inner Monster, about a secret agent named Justin Redfield whose mind has been invaded by a malevolent alter ego that puts the lives of his loved ones at risk. “It isn’t until his inner demon returns that he realizes how much trouble he really is in,” the synopsis reads. “Facing issues with his girlfriend and attempting to gain control of his dark side, the tension intensifies. Being the best agent comes at a price, a price of kidnapping, torture and even death.”

Article
Oceans Apart·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I had been in Domoni—an ancient, ramshackle trading town on the volcanic island of Anjouan—for only a few summer days in 2018 when Onzardine Attoumane, a local English teacher, offered to show me around the medina. Already I had gotten lost several times trying to navigate the dozens of narrow, seemingly indistinguishable alleyways that zigzagged around the old town’s crumbling, lava-rock homes. But Onzardine had grown up in Domoni and was intimately familiar with its contours.

Stocky in build, with small, deep-set eyes and neatly trimmed stubble, Onzardine led me through the backstreets, our route flanked by ferns and weeds sprouting from cracks in the walls and marked by occasional piles of rubble. After a few minutes, we emerged onto a sunlit cliff offering views of the mustard-colored hills that surround the town, dotted with mango, palm, and breadfruit trees. We clambered down a trail, past scrawny goats foraging through piles of discarded plastic bottles, broken flip-flops, and corroded aluminum cans, toward a ledge where a dozen young men were waiting for the fishing boats to return to shore, gazing blankly out across the sea.

Article
Vicious Cycles·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

This is what I feared, that she would speak about the news . . . about how her father always said that the news exists so it can disappear, this is the point of news, whatever story, wherever it is happening. We depend on the news to disappear . . .
—Don DeLillo, “Hammer and Sickle”

What a story. What a fucking story.
—Dean Baquet, on the election of Donald Trump

a circular conversation

What is the news? That which is new. But everything is new: a flower blooms; a man hugs his daughter, not for the first time, but for the first time this time . . . That which is important and new. Important in what sense? In being consequential. And this has been measured? What? The relationship between what is covered in the news and what is consequential. Not measured. Why? Its consequence is ensured. Ensured. . . ? It’s in the news. But then who makes it news? Editors. Editors dictate consequence? Not entirely. Not entirely? It matters what people read and watch—you can’t bore them. Then boredom decides? Boredom and a sense of what’s important. But what is important? What’s in the news.

Article
The Forty-Year Rehearsal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On the evening of May 8, just after eight o’clock, Kate Valk stepped onstage and faced the audience. The little playhouse was packed with hardcore fans, theater people and artists, but Kate was performing, most of all, for one person, hidden among them, a small, fine-boned, black-clad woman, her blond-gray hair up in a clip, who smiled, laughed, and nodded along with every word, swaying to the music and mirroring the emotions of the performers while whispering into the ear of the tall, bearded fellow who sat beside her madly scribbling notes. The woman was Elizabeth LeCompte—known to all as Liz—the director of the Wooster Group, watching the first open performance of the company’s new piece, Since I Can Remember.

It had been a tense day, full of opening-night drama. Gareth Hobbs, who would be playing a leading role, had been sick in bed for days with a 103-degree fever, and he’d only arrived at the theater, still shaky, at three-thirty that afternoon. During the final closed rehearsal, performer Suzzy Roche fell on her elbow, then felt faint and had to lie prone while her colleagues fanned her and fetched ice. At one point, Erin Mullin, the stage manager as well as a performer, shouted: “We have one hour left, and we’re on page eight of fifty!” Not to mention that the piece still had no ending.

Article
Election Bias·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the spring of 2018, Tequila Johnson, an African-American administrator at Tennessee State University, led a mass voter-registration drive organized by a coalition of activist groups called the Tennessee Black Voter Project. Turnout in Tennessee regularly ranks near the bottom among U.S. states, just ahead of Texas. At the time, only 65 percent of the state’s voting-age population was registered to vote, the shortfall largely among black and low-income citizens. “The African-American community has been shut out of the process, and voter suppression has really widened that gap,” Johnson told me. “I felt I had to do something.”

The drive generated ninety thousand applications. Though large numbers of the forms were promptly rejected by election officials, allegedly because they were incomplete or contained errors, turnout surged in that year’s elections, especially in the areas around Memphis and Nashville, two of the cities specifically targeted by the registration drive. Progressive candidates and causes achieved notable successes, capturing the mayor’s office in heavily populated Shelby County as well as several seats on the county commission. In Nashville, a local measure was passed introducing a police-accountability board.

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.

The Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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. 

Subscribe Today