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

A Humbug (Weekly)Violent demonstrations in Kiev resulted in the deaths of dozens of antigovernment protesters, the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, the release from prison of opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and the passage of a law returning Yanukovych’s 345-acre Mezhyhirya compound along the Dnieper River to state ownership. “It’s like we entered Berlin and seized the Reichstag,” said one of the thousands of Kievans who came to see Mezhyhirya’s golf course and private zoo. Partially incinerated financial records recovered by a diver from a nearby reservoir indicated that Yanukovych had spent $115,000 on a statue of a running boar. “Let him be hanged or hidden away in a place where nobody will find him,” a demonstrator said of Yanukovych, who was suspected to have fled by helicopter to Balaklava.[1][2][3][4] During political demonstrations in Venezuela’s central Carabobo state, Génesis Carmona, a 22-year-old marketing student and former Miss Tourism, was shot in the head by members of a progovernment militia, and Geraldine Moreno Orozco, a 22-year-old cytotechnology student, was shot in the head by national guardsmen. In a broadcast on Venezuelan state television, President Nicolás Maduro, who denied press credentials to seven CNN reporters and ejected three U.S. diplomats from the country, appeared to confuse the distress signal SOS, used in the popular Twitter hashtag #SOSVenezuela, with the Rioplatense Spanish verb sos, meaning “you are.” “¿Sos Venezuela, ah?” said Maduro. “¡Sos gringo!” “This is not how democracies behave,” said U.S. secretary of state John Kerry.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] A New Flemish Alliance parliamentarian questioned the Belgian prime minister’s choice of a francophone zoo to house a pair of giant pandas. “He was not acting as prime minister of all Belgians,” said the parliamentarian. “The pandas,” said the zoo’s owner, “are Chinese.”[12]

Chevron delivered gift certificates for a large pizza and a two-liter bottle of soda to 100 households in Bobtown, Pennsylvania, following an explosion and five-day-long fire at a fracking well in neighboring Dunkard Township. “We are committed to taking action,” said a letter accompanying the certificates.[13] Cornish bakers sent pasties to flood workers in Somerset, and Welsh fishermen left unable to work by bad weather called for the creation of an emergency fund. “We are on stop,” said seafood distributor Skip Rudder.[14][15] The U.S. Department of Homeland Security denied New Jersey an exception from a federal law requiring that all domestic shipments be delivered by U.S.-flagged vessels, temporarily stranding 40,000 tons of rock salt in Searsport, Maine. “We’re all in the same boat,” said a New Jersey public-works director.[16] The Akan-language interjection tweaa, used to express contempt, was banned from Ghana’s parliament, and U.K. House of Commons speaker John Bercrow called for an end to “yobbery and public-school twittishness” during Questions to the Prime Minister.[17][18] Psychiatrists in Coventry found that preteens who change schools frequently are likelier to exhibit psychosis. “There are areas of darkness we have not explored,” said a British researcher.[19] Neuroscientists at Harvard demonstrated that the movements of an avatar monkey could be controlled by the nerve impulses of a master monkey.[20] It was reported that a Pocatello, Idaho, zoning-board meeting had been moved from the Paradice Conference Room at city hall to a larger venue after more than 100 residents attended to debate the proposed construction of a mosque. “I get very fearful, because I live close to this place,” said the Reverend Jim Jones.[21][22]

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

Emirati clerics issued a fatwa prohibiting one-way travel to Mars.[23] Police in Kazakhstan detained seven women protesting a ban on synthetic underwear, biophysicists in Queensland used squeezed light to examine living yeast cells, and archaeologists in Manhattan determined a cylinder of mammal bone to be a nineteenth-century douche.[24][25][26] Workers at Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Kentucky were attempting to inoculate sows against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus by feeding them the ground intestines of piglets who had succumbed to the disease.[27] Clown trade groups noted a decline in membership. “The older clowns,” said Clowns of America International president Clyde D. Scope, “are passing away.”[28][29] Geologists attributed Yellowstone National Park’s high rates of helium-4 emission to accumulations of the gas within Earth’s crust. “You have these old crustal rocks just sitting around,” said one chemist, “giving up all their long-held secrets.”[30] Dozens of elderly relatives separated six decades ago by the division of the Korean Peninsula were reunited at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort. “You look old,” said a 93-year-old South Korean father to his 64-year-old North Korean son. “Come give me a hug.”[31] Captive Asian elephants were observed to grasp the genitals of distressed members of their herd in order to console them.[32][33]


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 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 

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dear Rose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

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