Weekly Review — March 2, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

An 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, killing at least 700 people and displacing more than 2 million. At least 100 aftershocks followed, including one that measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, and a Pacific-wide tsunami alert was issued for the first 24 hours after the quake. A four-inch wave struck Japan.New York TimesHeavy downpours (beginning several weeks before Haiti’s traditional rainy season) triggered floods that killed at least eight Haitians; storm system Xynthia killed more than 45 people in Portugal, Spain,Germany, and France; and following a blizzard that left New York City covered with more than 2 feet of snow, a 46-year-old busboy was killed when a snow-laden tree branch snapped and fell on his head. BBCBBCNew York TimesThe five-story-tall Taylor Glacier in Antarctica was spewing a blood-red waterfall.Good BlogDemocrats and Republicans met for the first-ever health-care summit, a televised event that ran well past its scheduled six hours and in which lawmakers, led by President Barack Obama, debated the merits of health-care legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) complained that Democrats were being given more time to speak, a point Obama conceded. “You’re right,” he said, “there was an imbalance on the opening statements because I’m the president.”Washington PostSenator John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), an orthopedic surgeon, argued that the public would make better health-care decisions if citizens had catastrophic coverage that required them to pay for most health services out of pocket. “Would you feel the same way if you were making $40,000?” asked President Obama.Talking Points MemoCalifornia’s state assembly passed a resolution to make the first week of March a “cuss-free” week.Mercury News

A new jobs bill, calling for tax exemptions for businesses and $20 billion in transportation funds, passed in the Senate with the support of many Republican senators, including the newly elected Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and was sent to the House.Talking Points MemoThe Senate failed, however, to extend unemployment benefits for 1.2 million Americans who are set to lose them next month, an outcome in large part due to Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning’s blocking of the vote during a debate that went until midnight. Complained Bunning: “I have missed the Kentucky – South Carolina game that started at 9:00.”Time MagazineTwo thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay.APScientists determined that a mid-day nap boosts learning power.BBCFormer president George W. Bush, who was scheduled to reunite with Dick Cheney at the inaugural breakfast for the Bush – Cheney Alumni Association, instead visited the former vice president at his home after Cheney’s fifth heart attack left him incapacitated. “Lookin’ good,” Bush told Cheney.Huffington PostLater, at the Alumni Association event, Bush commented on his legacy, telling attendees, “No Child Left Behind was the most advanced civil rights legislation since the Voting Rights Act.”PoliticoCalifornia’s Negrohead Mountain (whose original name was changed in the 1960s to make it less offensive) was renamed Ballard Mountain, after John Ballard, a blacksmith and former slave.BBCA British man admitted to beheading his family’s slave.BBCOne of Marie Osmond’s eight children committed suicide,.New York Timesand Lieutenant Kermit Tyler, the Army pilot who said, “Don’t worry about it,” when servicemen told him on December 7, 1941, that a large squadron of planes was approaching Hawaii, died. New York TimesResearchers reported that 74-year-old people are the happiest.Ananova

In search of a signature stench for its SAW Alive (billed as the world’s most extreme live-action horror maze), a British theme park was offering a $500 cash prize to the person who submitted the foulest-smelling urine sample.AnanovaA Florida woman live-tweeted her abortion. “Definitely bleeding now,” read one tweet.ABC NewsScientists discovered the first monogamous amphibian, the mimic poison frog. BBCAn Italian chef’s television show was canceled after he shared a recipe for cat, telling viewers that the feline meat could be tenderized by running spring water over it for three days,CNNA California grandmother survived being shot in the chest at close range when the bullet became lodged in her size-D breast implants,Ananovaand Samantha Lynn Frazier, a thirty-five-year-old woman on vacation in Atlantic City, survived being shot in the abdomen because of her love handles. “I’d been hollering how I want to lose weight,” she said. “I don’t want to lose weight anymore. I want to be as big as I can if it’s going to stop a bullet.”Press of Atlantic CityWhile audiences watched, a 40-year-old Sea World trainer drowned after Tilikum, a 22-foot orca that has been linked to two other deaths, pulled the woman into the water. “This,” said Richard Ellis, a marine conservationist, “was premeditated.”BBCTime Magazine

Share
Single Page

More from Claire Gutierrez:

Weekly Review May 31, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 30, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 22, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2019

Make Way for Tomorrow

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Red Dot

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gimme Shelter

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Body Language

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Trash, Rock, Destroy

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Gimme Shelter·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Post
Perhaps the World Ends Here·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Climate disaster at Wounded Knee

Article
Body Language·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
Trash, Rock, Destroy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
The Red Dot·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

An eight-foot minke whale washed ashore on the Thames, the third beaching of a dead whale on the river in two months.

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