Weekly Review — January 14, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A Pakistani ninth-grader sacrifices himself to save his classmates, Chris Christie saves himself, and Cormac McCarthy’s ex-wife chooses an unconventional holster 

A Humbug (Weekly)In Ibrahimzai, a majority-Shia village in northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a Sunni militant killed himself and a ninth grader named Aitzaz Hasan in a suicide attack on a local secondary school. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recommended that Hasan, who had been excluded from morning assembly as a punishment for tardiness and tackled the bomber before he could enter the school’s main gate, be awarded Pakistan’s Star of Bravery. “My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” said Hasan’s father. “He was very cute,” said a cousin.[1][2][3][4][5] Former Israeli prime minister and general Ariel Sharon died after eight years in a coma, prompting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to hand out sweets in celebration. “His people loved him,” said President Shimon Peres. “Our people,” said a Hamas spokesman, “feel extreme happiness.”[6][7] Thousands of refugees left Iraq’s Anbar province for the Kurdish north of the country, fleeing sectarian fighting around the city of Fallujah, the site of a 2004 U.S. military offensive that resulted in the deaths of nearly a hundred Marines. “Lives were wasted, and now everyone back home sees that,” said one American veteran. “Wow, thanks for dragging up all these memories I tried to forget that were controlling my life,” said another.[8][9] The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced that it had ceased updating its tally of Syrian civil war deaths because of insufficient information, and an American philosopher cautioned against excessive webcam monitoring in the home. “Sometimes the key to overcoming resentment,” said the philosopher, “is being able to forget.”[10][11]

Emails released under the Freedom of Information Act showed last September’s partial closure of the George Washington Bridge, which lasted four days and affected more than half a million vehicles, to have been arranged by members of the administration of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who declined to endorse Christie for re-election. In a press conference lasting nearly two hours, Christie repeatedly denied involvement. “You try to tell me the guy’s in charge and he don’t know?” said Fort Lee resident August Caccavone. “It strains credibility,” said New Jersey assemblyman John S. Wisniewski. “I think it’s pretty darn credible,” said former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.[12][13][14][15][16] The district attorney of Manhattan unsealed disability-fraud indictments against 80 retired police officers and firefighters, including one man who complained of a fear of crowds but subsequently sold ice-cream-filled cannoli at the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.[17][18][19] Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) reiterated his opposition to federal milk regulations, and Kraft Foods declared a Velveeta shortage.[20][21] In West Virginia, an estimated 7,500 gallons of the foaming agent 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked into a local river from a storage facility operated by Freedom Industries, prompting the state’s water utility to issue do-not-drink warnings in nine counties. “It’s a prison from which we would like to be released,” said the mayor of Charleston.[22] A Kentucky state representative accidentally discharged her semiautomatic Ruger .380 pistol in Frankfort’s Capitol Annex, a former wife of the author Cormac McCarthy was released on bond after threatening her boyfriend with a silver gun retrieved from her vagina, and anthropologists showed that economic misery begets literary misery.[23][24][25] West of Hope, British Columbia, a tractor-trailer carrying wine collided with one carrying pulp.[26]

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

The dark side of the moon was shown to be turquoise.[27] Uncle Misho, the last shoeshiner of Sarajevo, died of a heart attack.[28] Sirgiorgiro Clardy, a pimp serving a prison sentence in Oregon for assaulting a john with his Jordans, filed suit against Nike for failing to label the sneakers as potentially dangerous, and biologists at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies concluded that ocean acidification makes conchs less likely to use their strong feet.[29][30] An Illinois peacock froze to a pine tree, and thousands of Queensland’s little red flying foxes succumbed to heat stress. “They just fall in heaps at the base of trees,” said a bat conservationist, “like dripping chocolate.”[31][32] A Welshman was sentenced to six years in prison for the arson of a crisps plant in Crumlin, and an opposition politician in Zambia was arrested for comparing the country’s president to a sweet potato.[33][34] A doctor in Darwin, Australia, used olive oil to suffocate a cockroach stuck in a man’s ear, and authorities in Mooroopna, Australia, used olive oil to free a nude man stuck in his washing machine. “It was a bit like a birthing,” said the Mooroopna man.[35][36] The Colorado child-safety hotline 1-877-LUV-TOTS was found to have become a phone-sex hotline, and Internet users in Motherwell, Scotland, were found to average briefer visits to PornHub than users in Staines-upon-Thames.[37][38] Speaking at the Museum of Tolerance in Manhattan, Congressman Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) requested that former NBA power forward Dennis Rodman cancel a planned basketball game in North Korea. “It would be like inviting Hitler to lunch,” said Engel.[39] The Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao proposed to buy the Wall Street Journal. “I am very good,” said Chen, “at working with Jews.”[40]


Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Anthony Lydgate:

From the July 2014 issue

Vulgar Materialism

Weekly Review April 8, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Afghanistan votes, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of wealthy political donors, and China standardizes its pets 

Weekly Review February 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Upheaval in Ukraine, yobbery in the United Kingdom, and a historic douche in the United States

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2017

Preaching to The Choir

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Monumental Error

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Star Search

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Pushing the Limit

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Bumpy Ride

Bad Dog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Article
Star Search·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On December 3, 2016, less than a month after Donald Trump was elected president, Amanda Litman sat alone on the porch of a bungalow in Costa Rica, thinking about the future of the Democratic Party. As Hillary Clinton’s director of email marketing, Litman raised $180 million and recruited 500,000 volunteers over the course of the campaign. She had arrived at the Javits Center on Election Night, arms full of cheap beer for the campaign staff, minutes before the pundits on TV announced that Clinton had lost Wisconsin. Later that night, on her cab ride home to Brooklyn, Litman asked the driver to pull over so she could throw up.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Bumpy Ride·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

One sunny winter afternoon in western Michigan, I took a ride with Leon Slater, a slight sixty-four-year-old man with a neatly trimmed white beard and intense eyes behind his spectacles. He wore a faded blue baseball cap, so formed to his head that it seemed he slept with it on. Brickyard Road, the street in front of Slater’s home, was a mess of soupy dirt and water-filled craters. The muffler of his mud-splattered maroon pickup was loose, and exhaust fumes choked the cab. He gripped the wheel with hands leathery not from age but from decades moving earth with big machines for a living. What followed was a tooth-jarring tour of Muskegon County’s rural roads, which looked as though they’d been carpet-bombed.

Photograph by David Emitt Adams
Article
Bad Dog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Abby was a breech birth but in the thirty-one years since then most everything has been pretty smooth. Sweet kid, not a lot of trouble. None of them were. Jack and Stevie set a good example, and she followed. Top grades, all the way through. Got on well with others but took her share of meanness here and there, so she stayed thoughtful and kind. There were a few curfew or partying things and some boys before she was ready, and there was one time on a school trip to Chicago that she and some other kids got caught smoking crack cocaine, but that was so weird it almost proved the rule. No big hiccups, master’s in ecology, good state job that lets her do half time but keep benefits while Rose is little.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Estimated portion of French citizens with radical-Islamist beliefs who grew up in Muslim families:

1/5

Human hands are more primitive than chimp hands.

Trump declared flashlights obsolete as he handed them out to Puerto Ricans, 90 percent of whom had no electricity in their homes; and tweeted that he wouldn’t keep providing federal hurricane relief “forever” to Puerto Rico, a US territory that the secretary of energy referred to as a “country.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today