Weekly Review — July 25, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Killing Ground, May 1874]

Killing Ground.

Israel insisted it had no immediate plans for a large-scale ground invasion of Lebanon, although it seized two Lebanese towns, called up 10,000 troops to the border, and called thousands of reservists to active duty. Almost 400 people (362 Lebanese, 37 Israelis) have been killed so far in the conflict. European governments debated the proportionality of these deaths, and Syrian president Bashar Assad told the international community to stop procrastinating and broker a ceasefire.NY Times and The AustralianPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran predicted that Israel had “pushed the button of its own destruction.”The AustralianNY TimesThe AustralianThe AustralianNY TimesNational PostThe AustralianEhud Olmert, prime minister of Israel, said Hezbollah’s war on Israel was a ruse to divert attention from Iran’snuclear weapons program. Kayhan, an Iranian news daily, replied that it only “wish[ed] Israel’s lies were true.”BBCOne thousand Americans were evacuated from Beirut aboard a 38-year-old cruise ship named the Orient Queen.BBC via Google NewsWashington Post and Cruises.about.comA 950-foot luxury sea liner unexpectedly listed off Port Canaveral, Florida,.EITB24.com via Google Newsand a tractor-trailer carrying a Tomahawk missile overturned in New York City.NY TimesFifty-three Iraqis died when a car bomb exploded in the Shiite city of Kufa, and 48 lost their lives to Sunni Arab gunmen in Mahmudiya.NY TimesViolence was forcing Shiite-ownedbakeries in Baghdad’s Sunni neighborhoods to close their doors,NY Timesand Saddam Hussein was being force-fed through a tube.NY TimesBBCEthiopia denied reports that it had attacked Somalia,BBCand Somalia declared an “all out holy war” on Ethiopia.Somalinet.com via Google NewsIndia was gagging blogs.The HinduThe president of Vietnam told reporters to “stick to their principles” and to “do their utmost in the fight against wrong-doing and crime.”Vietnam NewsThe Chinese government announced that it would begin issuing identity numbers to fresh vegetables.Reuters

U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia claimed that God supported a Constitutional amendment banning same-sexmarriages. “I think,” he said, “God has spoken very clearly on this issue.” “It’s part of God’s plan,” said TexasCongressman John Carter, “for the future of mankind.” “We best not,” said Colorado Representative Bob Beauprez, “be messing with His plan.”Washington PostPresident George W. Bush issued his first executive veto, striking down a bill that would have expanded federal research involving embryonic stem cells.NY TimesProsecuting attorneys in California and New York were trying to limit “gay panic” defenses in criminal trials, CNN.comadvisers at federally funded “pregnancy resource centers” were telling women that abortions increase the risk of cancer, infertility, and mental illness,Reuters via Yahoo Newsand a doctor and two nurses at the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans were charged with the murder of four patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.BBCHillary Clinton warned that advertisers may attempt to place mind-controlling computer chips in the brains of children.Daily News via Google NewsAttorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified to the Senate that President Bush personally blocked an investigation of the administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program,NY Timesand the National Enquirer admitted that Britney Spears’s marriage was stable, despite reports to the contrary.CNN.comScientists learned that Britain’s wealthy neighborhoods may cause cancer in children,Washington Post and Cruises.about.comand that one third of the country’s river fish are undergoing sex changes.EITB24.com via Google NewsScientists in Austria recommended that men sleep alone to better safeguard their brainpower. BBC

The United States and Russia agreed to set quotas for how many polar bears they would kill each year,Washington Postand British stage actor Frank Harrison, 70, was fined $919 for lightly spanking an actress. “All pretty little girls,” said Harrison, “deserve to be spanked once a day.”BBCResearch revealed that giant thermonuclear explosions detected in the constellation Ophiuchus were caused by a Red Giant star dumping gas onto a White Dwarf star,CNN.comand that Canadian high-rise hotels may be to blame for a 200 percent increase in mist levels at Niagara Falls.NY TimesThe United States agreed to buy a 29-foot-tall cross located on a hilltop in San Diego,NY Timessheriff’s deputies in Arizona stumbled upon 100 Mexicanimmigrants wandering in the desert west of Phoenix,NY Timesand a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania discovered a positive correlation between education and sunburn.Washington PostA taxidermist from Lake County, Florida, was arrested after urinating on $500 worth of frozen food,Local 6.comand thieves stole a 14-foot inflatable sheep from a store in Rochester, Minnesota.WCCO.comWolf-dogs attacked and killed a woman in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Local 6.com

Share
Single Page

More from Theodore Ross:

Weekly Review June 22, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review February 9, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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