Weekly Review — November 8, 2016, 11:49 am

Weekly Review

The Ku Klux Klan endorses Donald Trump, the FBI says Hillary Clinton won’t be prosecuted, and Americans pick their next president

WeeklyAvatar-SM.pngU.S. citizens headed to the polls to decide whether the former secretary of state, New York senator, and first lady Hillary Clinton or the four-times-bankrupt real-estate developer Donald Trump would become the country’s 45th president.[1] Days before the election, FBI director James Comey said he saw no reason to change the conclusion he reached in July that Clinton should not face charges for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.[2] The announcement buoyed European stock markets but drew criticism from both political parties. “Maybe he’s not in the right job,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said of Comey, who has more than six years and nine months left in his term.[3][4][5] At a rally in Reno, Nevada, Trump was rushed offstage after a protester held up a “Republicans Against Trump” sign that was mistaken for a gun.[6] Aides took away Trump’s Twitter privileges, the Ku Klux Klan’s official newspaper endorsed him, and his eldest daughter asked that her participation in a campaign commercial targeted toward suburban women be kept out of news releases so that it doesn’t harm her business ventures.[7][8][9] The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces began an offensive to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, and Iraqi forces entered eastern neighborhoods of Mosul.[10][11] It was reported that state television in Iran was broadcasting the U.S. presidential debates as anti-American propaganda. “We only need to sit back,” said an Iranian analyst.[12]

At New York’s Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, where students have correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential race since 1968, Hillary Clinton won a mock election with 52 percent of the vote.[13] Parents in Spain asked their children’s teachers not to assign homework, and more than 1,800 public primary schools were closed in New Delhi, where exposure to air pollution was said to be equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day.[14][15] Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that middle-school students are now just as likely to die from suicide as from traffic accidents.[16] Poor North Koreans were reported to be hanging scrolls that read “Spirit of Self-Destruction” in their elderly parents’ bedrooms, urging them to kill themselves.[17] Samsung issued a recall on exploding washing machines.[18] Protesters in Seoul called for South Korean president Park Geun-hye to resign after it was revealed that she had been receiving secret counsel from the daughter of an alleged cult leader.[19][20] A 31-year-old fishmonger in Morocco was crushed by a garbage truck days before the country hosted global climate-change talks, and a park ranger in Washington, D.C., shot himself in the foot while trying to fend off a raccoon.[21][22][23] Two teenage girls found hugging and kissing on a rooftop in Marrakesh were beaten by their families and charged with “licentious or unnatural acts,” and the Vatican condemned an Italian priest who said recent earthquakes were divine punishment for gay civil unions.[24][25] Police in Shenzhen, China, punished traffic violators by making them sit in front of a car with its high beams on, and a Texas police officer was fired for giving a homeless man a sandwich filled with feces.[26][27]

The Canadian military investigated acoustic anomalies that were said to be distressing bowhead whales and ringed seals in the Fury and Hecla Strait.[28] Researchers in Hawaii reported using a hydrophone and an accelerometer to detect humpback-whale vibrations from more than 650 feet away.[29] In Cheboksary, Russia, a 63-year-old man was arrested for murdering a friend who had insulted his accordion skills.[30] A squirrel injured three people in the activity room of a Florida retirement home, and vampire bats were found to be feeding on pig blood in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.[31][32] A Mississippi man who had an affair was forced by his wife to chew and swallow his severed genitals, and a Swiss café was reported to be considering hiring sex robots.[33][34] Neiman Marcus was selling four 12-ounce servings of frozen prepared collard greens for $66, plus shipping, and a Tennessee Eagle Scout who was suspended for buying an extra chicken nugget at lunch got his punishment overturned.[35][36] Students at a South Carolina elementary school were suspended for possession of a mixture of Kool-Aid powder and sugar known as happy crack, and, in Buffalo, a 62-year-old recovering heroin addict sued to stop the presidential election. “I was just waiting for an okay,” she said, “from God.”[37][38]

Share
Single Page

More from Stephanie McFeeters:

Response March 7, 2017, 6:51 pm

A Feminism for the Masses

Four women make the case for a strike

Weekly Review December 30, 2016, 3:50 pm

Weekly Review

The U.N. Security Council condemns the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an ordained Pagan priest receives permission to wear goat horns in his driver’s license photo, and snow falls in the Saharan town of Ain Sefra for the first time in 40 years.

Weekly Review September 20, 2016, 12:34 pm

Weekly Review

A homemade bomb explodes under a dumpster in New York City, Donald Trump admits U.S. president Barack Obama was born in America, and a fertility doctor in Indiana is accused of artificially inseminating his patients with his own sperm

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.

Shortly after the Regional Council of Veneto, in Italy, voted against climate-change legislation, its chambers were flooded.

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