Weekly Review — June 21, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Lost Souls in Hell, 1875]

Lost Souls in Hell, 1875.

In New Delhi, India, children and adults carrying both lit candles and hydrogen-filled balloons marched to mark the World Day Against Child Labor. At least twenty-five people were subsequently hospitalized for exploding-balloon-related burns.ReutersDennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, former executives at Tyco, were found guilty on thirty counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and securities fraud.Houston ChronicleA llama was found on the freeway in Pennsylvania,TheWGALChannel.compolice in Tennessee arrested 144 people at a cockfight,Wired Newsand the sixty-two-year-old man who was attacked and mutilated by two chimpanzees in March was brought out of his coma.News4Jax.comBritish potato farmers held protests against the Oxford English Dictionary; they were offended by the term “couch potato.”The GuardianAn achondroplastic dwarf in Florida named Molly Beavers sued Wal-Mart for firing her from her job at Sam’s Club because she did not smile enough; Beavers cannot smile because her face is partially paralyzed.St. Petersburg TimesFlorida police found six endangered gopher tortoises in the back of a car. The owner of the car said that he was planning a soup.Chicago Sun-TimesA British man pleaded guilty to unloading a fire extinguisher into his friend’s anus. “It was just horseplay that went wrong,” said the man’s lawyer.The Daily RecordAnother British man was sentenced to twenty-seven months in prison for making his friend Ernest dress in a skirt, forcing him to strip, shaving him all over, and painting him green so he would look like Shrek.The Sun

An autopsy showed that Terri Schiavo had never been abused, was blind at the time of her death, and had a brain half the normal size.New York TimesWhen asked about his earlier statements on Schiavo, Senator Bill Frist, who on March 17 said from the floor of the Senate that he had reviewed videotapes of Schiavo and that the “footage, to me, portrays something very different than persistent vegetative state,” said, “I never, never, on the floor of the Senate made a diagnosis.”Washington PostThe Senate apologized for not making lynching a federal crime, although eight senators, including Trent Lott, did not take part in the voice vote or the signing of an apology.The New York TimesRalph Nader said that the efforts of the Democratic Party against him had made him feel like a nigger.Daily News Daily DishA two-faced kitten was born in Oregon,SFGate.coma six-legged puppy was found in Malaysia,Boston.coma county commissioner in Marion County, Florida, was promoting his plan to send sex offenders to Mexico,Local6.comand four cheerleaders in Texas were in trouble for smearing human feces on a pizza in an attempt to frame a rival cheerleading squad.WOAI.comA man in Shreveport, Louisiana, attempted to rob a beauty school at gunpoint only to be severely beaten by nearly thirty women with sticks, table legs, and curling irons. “They kept pulling him back in and beating him,” said a policewoman. “I wore him out with that stick,” one woman said.TodaysTHV.comA nun in Romania, undergoing exorcism, died after she was tied to a cross, gagged, and left alone for three days in a cold room. “I don’t understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this,” said the priest who organized the exorcism.BBC NewsDeep Throat and the Runaway Bride were both working on movie deals,Sify.comABC Newsand a bar of soap allegedly made from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sold for $18,000.BBC News

A Kansas teenager was in trouble for vomiting on his Spanish teacher,Boston.comand Philip Cooney, the chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who achieved notoriety when he revised government reports on global warming to cover up the link between greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures, quit his job to become a lobbyist for ExxonMobil. “Perhaps he won’t even notice he has changed jobs,” said the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.Washington PostA report prepared for the London Metropolitan Police Service expressed concern that young African boys were being sacrificed in England.The GuardianScotland’s Cottle and Austin Circus fired Todd the Human Cannonball because he was afraid of flying and replaced him with Diego the Human Rocket.The TimesA four-year-old boy died after passing out on the Mission: Space centrifuge ride at Disney World,Chicago Sun-Timesand in Britain a ten-year-old boy began to bang his head into a car dashboard. “It’s eating me, it’s eating me,” he yelled as blood trickled down his face. Doctors later removed a hornet (or possibly a horsefly) from his inner ear.ICBerkshire.co.ukDuring a White House press conference, journalist Terry Moran asked Scott McClellan whether the insurgency in Iraq was in its “last throes,” as had been claimed by Vice President Dick Cheney, or was not. McClellan gave a vague answer, so Moran repeated his question five more times. “Is there any idea,” he finally asked, “how long a last throe lasts for?”The White HouseCNNDonald Rumsfeld admitted that, statistically, things were just as bad in Iraq as they were at the time Saddam Hussein was deposed. However, he said, “a lot of bad things that could have happened have not happened.”BBC NewsSeveral U.S. soldiers went public with their experiences guarding Saddam Hussein. “He’d eat a family-size bag of Doritos,” one soldier said, “in ten minutes.”The GuardianIt was reported that as many as one thousand teenage boys have been thrown out of a fundamentalist Mormon community so that their fathers could marry more wives.The GuardianPorn star and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey attended a Republican fundraiser where George W. Bush was speaking. “I was told that they had people ready to tackle me if I tried to get up close to him,” she said. “I was getting propositioned to have threesomes with wives or mistresses. I was offered money from oil tycoons.” Carey also said that she would one day like to become president. “I’m very friendly,” she offered.Jossip.comWorldNetDailyIn Bullskin Township, Pennsylvania, four men were accused of butchering a pet pygmy goat so that they could trade its meat for either money or crack cocaine.Post GazetteMore than one million people were estimated to be living with HIV in the United States,APone thousand people were dying every day in Congo,Christian Science Monitorand nearly one hundred people died in suicide bombings in Iraq.BBC NewsOsama bin Laden was safe.Seven News

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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