Weekly Review — April 12, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An angry-looking, monkey-like creature showing its teeth.

A kinkajou, 1886.

Less than an hour and a half before a budget-negotiation stalemate would have necessitated the first U.S. government shutdown since 1995, Democrats and Republicans worked out a compromise. The stopgap agreement, which will fund government operations until Thursday, April 14, proposes a $38-billion reduction in annual spending, the largest ever budget cut, achieved by slashing mainly health and education allocations, including public housing, as well as Pell grants for low-income college students. The military, however, would receive $5 billion more than it did last year.NYTProtesters had planned a demonstration during which they would deposit trash outside the home of John Boehner, but cancelled it in the wake of the budget deal.WPNPRWSJWLTXFox NewsAmid word that he will announce his candidacy for president, Donald Trump continued to search for Barack Obama??s birth certificate by sending a team of investigators to Hawaii. “I don??t like to talk about this issue too much,” Trump said on CNN, “because I really would rather talk about China.”Fox NewsResearchers concluded that liberals have larger anterior cingulate cortices than conservatives, indicating a greater ability to deal with conflicting information; that conservatives have larger amygdalae, indicating a greater ability to recognize threats; and that members of Congress spend 27 percent of their time taunting one another.CNNScience DailyWP

Muammar Qaddafi agreed to a peace plan, proposed by the African Union, that calls for a cease-fire and the disbursal of humanitarian aid, but Libyan rebels rejected it. “From the first day,” said rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil, “the demand of our people has been the ouster of Qaddafi and the fall of his regime.”BloombergSeventy-five-year-old Hayastan Shakarian, who is accused of disabling Internet service in Armenia and Georgia by accidentally cutting through a fiber-optic cable while searching for scrap metal, pleaded innocent. “I have no idea what the Internet is,” she said.SMHAFPScientists discovered what they claimed to be the first known gay caveman; others said he was neither gay nor a caveman.Daily MailScientists also hypothesized that feathered dinosaurs had lice and determined that yawns are contagious among chimpanzees.Discovery NewsBBCIn Sweden, an anteater at a zoo broke into the flamingo compound and murdered ten flamingoes, and the country’s National Board for Consumer Disputes fined the organizers of a Hawaiian colon-cleanse course after insufficient toilets forced one participant to empty her bowels outside, with spectators. “The vast majority would prefer,” wrote the Board in its decision, “the possibility to defecate in private.”The LocalThe LocalAn F/A-18 fighter jet crashed into a field in central California, and a Royal Navy serviceman shot two people onboard the HMS Astute, a nuclear submarine.ABCGuardianThe Obama Administration announced its decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before a military commission rather than in a civilian court, and New York representative Peter King, who last month led hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, received a severed pig’s foot in the mail.NYTNYDN

Oceanographers mapped the course of the “island of debris” that resulted from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Ships, houses, cars, and human remains are expected to wash up on Hawaiian shores within a year, and on Californian shores within three years.CNNAfter sixty-six days at sea, Anthony Smith, an 85-year-old sailor, completed with three friends a voyage across the Atlantic in a raft. Smith was able to pay for the raft after a van accident broke his hip and he received compensation. “Some people say it was mad,” he said of his journey. “What else do you do when you get on in years?”Daily MailMSNBCA Mesquite, Texas, police officer caused outrage after repeatedly administering pepper spray to a baby squirrel that had been following students around a middle school, and a teenager was arrested after trying to smuggle five pounds of marijuana from Mexico into the United States hidden in the seat of a wheelchair.FoxKTLAKristen LaBrie, whose nine-year-old son died of leukemia in 2009, stood trial on the charge of attempted murder for withholding from him at least five months of chemotherapy medications. “I didn’t actually see the cancer make him very sick,” she told the prosecutor. “What I saw make him very sick was the two weeks they blasted him with chemotherapy.”Cw56A fifth grader with no hands won a penmanship award in the National Handwriting Contest.CNN

Share
Single Page

More from Justin Stone:

Weekly Review December 4, 2012, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review October 23, 2012, 12:25 pm

Weekly Review

Weekly Review September 10, 2012, 4:26 pm

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2019

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.

Make Way for Tomorrow

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Red Dot

= 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.

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
Burning Down the House·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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·

= 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.

Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to the president who now hosts a radio show called America First, was banned from YouTube for repeatedly uploading audio from the rock band Imagine Dragons without copyright permission.

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