The latest Harper's Magazine
has been a feast for my hungry mind:
Human Nature and Human Rights
an excerpt from an essay which looks
to biology and sociology to investigate whether "human rights" are the
same as "natural rights"
"Can the parents of a minor child
who was kidnapped by a person not related to the child take a dependency
exception for the child in the year of the kidnapping if the child is missing
at the end of the year?"
"From a September 27, 1970, cable
sent by CIA officials in Langley, Virginia, to covert operatives in Santiago,
Chile. Twelve days earlier, Richard Nixon had ordered the CIA to foment
a military takeover to block the November inauguration of Salvador Allende,
a democratically elected Socialist."
Whatever We Did is No Good
"From the transcript of the cockpit
voice recorder of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed into the Pacific
Ocean near Los Angeles on January 31, 2000". (Some of the most affecting
words I have read as of late)
"In March 1958, a B47 Stratojet accidentally
dropped a nuclear bomb in Gregg's garden near Florence, South Carolina."
"From lyrics posted on The Playground,
an online rap competition hosted by the official Lil
Bow Wow website.
Fiction: "Curly Red" by Joyce Carol Oats
With such strange truths found in
Harpers, I rarely read its fiction.
main course: folio
Tense Present: Democracy, English and the Wars over
by David Foster Wallace
"Did you know that probing the seamy
underbelly of U.S. lexicography reveals ideological strife and controversy
and intrigue and nastiness and fervor on a nearly hanging-chad scale?"
side dish: book review
Out of Print: Publishing's future, seen from the
Discussed in this essay:
Business of Books, by Andre Schiffrin
Business, by Jason Epstein
Or: how we learned to stop worrying and love the
"But by the late 1980's, Detroit
marketers had begun to identify a new class of driver - a pleasure-seeking,
"self-oriented" man or woman who liked to drive fast, cared deeply about
a car's appearance, had an above-average fear of road dangers (including
crime), and wasn't exactly eager to advertise his or her married status."