Weekly Review — September 8, 2017, 4:49 pm

Weekly Review

Trash talk

Hours before Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, destroyed 90 percent of the structures on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, Rush Limbaugh, a talk-radio host who has said that the United States needs “segregated buses” and that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton castrates men and keeps their genitals in a “testicle lockbox,” went on the air and said that “these storms are never as strong as they’re reported.”[1][2][3][4] Limbaugh said that “the real man-made disaster” from Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that killed at least 70 people in Houston, was not physical damage but “liberalism,” citing in particular the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose agenda he once described as securing the right to “urinate on other people.”[5][6][7] “Some in the media are lying,” said Limbaugh, who also claimed that “like 30 percent” of people who came to the United States as undocumented children are “hardened criminals,” and who, after a 28-year-old man from Florida shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, said it was “unconscionable” how “the media” had used “racist” and “hate-oriented” attacks on the shooter, who was “unable to fight back” because he had no microphone.[8][9] Limbaugh said that a group of Republican lawmakers who were photographed meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump to discuss raising the federal debt ceiling and funding a $7.9 billion hurricane-relief package were “out looking for the Earth’s clitoris,” a reference to a college professor who has sex with nature, and whom Limbaugh has covered at least two times.[10] “This woman undoubtedly believes that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are part of climate change and the Earth doing something sexually,” said Limbaugh, who has also argued that feminism was “established” to allow “unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”[11][12] Limbaugh, who has called women who take birth control “sluts,” said he coined the term “feminazis” in the 1990s to describe people who were “intolerant.”[13][14] Limbaugh, who has said that he “loves the ‘women’s movement’” when he’s “walking behind it,” said that Trump, who claimed he “wasn’t interested” in Paris Hilton when she was 12 years old, was “not a pig”; Limbaugh, who referred to himself as “El Rushbo,” said that Trump, who once said the length and beauty of his fingers had been “well documented,” was “not a buffoon”; and Limbaugh, who once said that Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease was “purely an act” and that it hasn’t been “proven that nicotine is addictive,” said that Trump, who once said that “we need global warming” because “it’s freezing and snowing in New York,” was “not an idiot.”[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Limbaugh said that he was not “a meteorologist,” that he was “the go-to guy” for hurricanes “bearing down on South Florida,” that local reporters who cover hurricanes conspire with businesses to sell bottled water and television advertisements, that there was “just no way to predict where these storms are gonna go until probably the day before,” and that he was evacuating his Palm Beach home, two days before Hurricane Irma was expected to make landfall in Florida.[24][25] Limbaugh said that he was “not a climatologist” and discussed the sales ranking of former U.S. vice president Al Gore’s book about climate change, titled An Inconvenient Sequel, which he described as “wrong about everything.” “Number 23,000 at Amazon,” said Limbaugh, whose first book, The Way Things Ought to Be, is ranked at number 481,165 on the same list, and whose subsequent book, See I Told You So, is ranked at number 943,470.[26][27] Limbaugh said the NFL has a “lack of concern” for “what’s happening” in “middle America,” where “the people who like statues,” fly Confederate flags, and “hate illegal immigration” live.[28] “They hold ’em in contempt,” said Limbaugh, who once said that the NFL “looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons,” that there is “nothing factual about Black Lives Matter,” that former U.S. president Barack Obama is a “halfrican American,” that “all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson,” that the NAACP should “get a liquor store and practice robberies,” that the NBA should call its teams “gangs,” that a subscription service for African-American movies was “a break for all those on welfare,” that a black woman who called in to his show should “get that bone out” of her nose and then call him back, that “all this white guilt” needed “to end” because “if any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it’s Caucasians,” that Planned Parenthood is “doing the job the Klan could never finish,” and that the killing of 86 million indigenous Americans, whom he occasionally refers to as “injuns,” was nothing for survivors to “complain about.” “They all have casinos,” said Limbaugh, who is the most listened-to radio host in America and whom Trump has described as “fantastic!”[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41]

Sign up to have the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox.

Share
Single Page

More from Joe Kloc:

Weekly Review April 4, 2018, 5:16 pm

Weekly Review

Departments of Justice

Weekly Review February 28, 2018, 12:01 pm

Weekly Review

Magic bullets

Weekly Review February 20, 2018, 6:13 pm

Weekly Review

Infrastructure week

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2018

Slingshot

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Walk Away

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Perfectly Respectable Lady

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Driven to Distraction

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dinner Party

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Exiled

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Exiled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

It has become something of a commonplace to say that Mike Pence belongs to another era. He is a politician whom the New York Times has called a “throwback,” a “conservative proudly out of sync with his times,” and a “dangerous anachronism,” a man whose social policies and outspoken Christian faith are so redolent of the previous century’s culture wars that he appeared to have no future until, in the words of one journalist, he was plucked “off the political garbage heap” by Donald Trump and given new life. Pence’s rise to the vice presidency was not merely a personal advancement; it marked the return of religion and ideology to American politics at a time when the titles of political analyses were proclaiming the Twilight of Social Conservatism (2015) and the End of White Christian America (2016). It revealed the furious persistence of the religious right, an entity whose final demise was for so long considered imminent that even as white evangelicals came out in droves to support the Trump-Pence ticket, their enthusiasm was dismissed, in the Washington Post, as the movement’s “last spastic breath.”

Illustration by Andrew Zbihlyj
Article
Church and State·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Just after dawn in Lhamo, a small town on the northeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau, horns summon the monks of Serti Monastery to prayer. Juniper incense smolders in the temple’s courtyard as monks begin arriving in huddled groups. Some walk the kora, a clockwise circumambulation around the building. Others hustle toward the main door, which sits just inside a porch decorated in bright thangka paintings. A pile of fur boots accumulates outside. When the last monks have arrived, the horn blowers leaning out of the second-floor windows retire indoors.

When I visited Lhamo in 2015, most monks at Serti attended the morning prayers, but not Ngawang Chötar, the vice president of the monastery’s management committee, or siguanhui. Instead, he could usually be found doing business somewhere on Lhamo’s main street. Like all Tibetan monks, he sports a buzz cut, and his gait, weighed down by dark crimson robes, resembles a penguin’s shuffle. When he forgets the password to his account on WeChat, China’s popular messaging service—a frequent occurrence—he waits for the town’s cell phone repairman at his favorite restaurant, piling the shells of sunflower seeds into a tidy mound.

Illustration by Simon Pemberton
Article
The Pictures·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

As he approached his death in 1987, the photographer Peter Hujar was all but unknown, with a murky reputation and a tiny, if elite, cult following. Slowly circling down what was then the hopeless spiral of ­AIDS, Peter had ceaselessly debated one decision, which he reached only with difficulty, and only when the end drew near. He was in a hospital bed when he made his will that summer, naming me the executor of his entire artistic estate—and also its sole owner.

The move transformed my life and induced a seething fury in lots of decent people. I can see why. Peter did not make me his heir for any of the usual reasons. I was a good and trusted friend, but he had scads of those. I was not the first person he considered for the job, nor was I the most qualified. In fact, I was a rank amateur, and my understanding of his art was limited. I knew his photographs were stunning, often upsetting, unpredictably beautiful, distinctively his. I also knew they were under­rated and neglected. But I did not then really grasp his achievement.

Photograph by Peter Hujar
Article
Drinking Problems·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The friendly waitress at the Pretty Prairie Steak House delivers tumblers of tap water as soon as diners take their seats. Across Main Street, the Wagon Wheel Café offers the same courtesy. Customers may also order coffee or iced tea, but it all starts at the same tap, and everyone is fine with that. This blasé attitude about drinking water surprised me: everyone in this little farm town in Reno County, Kansas, knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the liquid flowing from the municipal water tower was highly contaminated with nitrate, a chemical compound derived from fertilizer and connected to thyroid problems and various cancers. At the time I visited Pretty Prairie, last fall, nitrate levels there were more than double the federal standard for safe drinking water.

Illustration by Jen Renninger.
Article
Nothing But·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The truth—that thing I thought I was telling.—John Ashbery To start with the facts: the chapter in my book White Sands called “Pilgrimage” is about a visit to the house where the philosopher Theodor Adorno lived in Los Angeles during the Second World War. It takes its title from the story of that name by Susan Sontag (recently republished in Debriefing: Collected Stories) about a visit she and her friend Merrill made to the house of Adorno’s fellow German exile Thomas Mann in the Pacific Palisades, in 1947, when she was fourteen. It seemed strange that the story was originally …
Photograph by Augusta Wood

Percentage of US college students who have a better opinion of conservatives after their first year:

50

Plastic surgeons warned that people misled by wide-angle distortion in selfies were seeking nose jobs.

Trump fires missiles at Syria, a former FBI director likens Trump to a Mafia boss, and New Yorkers mistake a racoon for a tiger.

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