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Harper's MagazineHarper's Magazine

Harper's Magazine April 2019

HARPER’S MAGAZINE, the oldest general interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation through such celebrated features as Readings, Annotation, and Findings, as well as the iconic Harper’s Index.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harper's Magazine Foundation
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time4 min.
letters

Crimes and Misdemeanors I agree with Lionel Shriver’s assertion that the complete cultural banishment to which perceived sexual offenders are sometimes subjected is harsh, and mindlessly so [“Cruel and Unusual Punishment,” Easy Chair, February]. The idea that we must scour our libraries, museums, cable feeds, and movie houses for the output of anyone morally imperfect is absurd on its face. An artist’s work attains a life of its own, firmly apart from its creator: it moves beyond his or her private identity to touch something universal in us. This is precisely why it has value. To dismiss this output because of flawed behavior and human frailty is cultural suicide. Shriver rightly points out that it is all the more vital to preserve what’s positive in the artist’s oeuvre, especially in the face…

access_time12 min.
easy chair

For American liberals, the European Union is a bastion of social justice, secular humanism, and civic virtue. Taxed gratefully into equality, its subjects spend their days recycling kefir containers and protecting the realm from genetically modified foods. Only this wise, collegial institution prevents a recrudescence of World War II. After Bush v. Gore and Trump, it’s to this land of milk and honey—or crème fraîche and Cointreau—that disgusted Democrats have threatened to decamp, although my compatriots rarely seem to go. That may be fortunate. Fantasies rarely survive close scrutiny. For it’s more the case that the EU is a bloated bureaucracy packed with pampered timeservers inventing gratuitous regulations to justify their sinecures. A fine idea when first conceived as a free-trade bloc, the profligate, power-hungry body has warped into a centralizing…

access_time32 min.
readings

[Discussion] SALABLE VIRTUES By Rony Brauman, from Humanitarian Wars?, which will be published in April in the United Kingdom by Hurst. Brauman, a physician, was president of Doctors Without Borders from 1982 to 1994. This conversation, with journalist Régis Meyran, took place in the spring of 2017. The book was translated from the French by Nina Friedman. “IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FORMULATE A GENERAL LAW FOR INTERVENTION” RÉGIS MEYRAN: Let’s discuss the series of wars conducted by the West, which the media and politicians portrayed as “just.” RONY BRAUMAN: By “just wars” we mean wars ostensibly motivated primarily by humanitarian concerns, that is, the protection of civilian populations: saving a population from a famine in Somalia, an impending massacre in Kosovo, or oppression in Afghanistan. I draw a distinction between these and other wars or…

access_time1 min.
southern fan

From descriptions, published in a music review by Texas senator John Cornyn, of Neil Young’s 1972 album Harvest. The article was printed in February of that year in the Trinitonian, the newspaper of Trinity University, in Texas, where Cornyn was a student. Is genuine Is polished Is multifaceted Contains simple tunes Contains surprising orchestrations Contains lyrics that drive listeners crazy Reveals Young’s nature Reveals Young’s previously hidden emotions Dwells on the futility of Young’s relationships with the opposite sex Indicates that Young has been shafted by more women than any man alive…

access_time1 min.
turndown service

From reviews, published on TripAdvisor, of the Hennna Hotel, a robot-run resort in Japan that laid off more than half its automated workforce in January. Henn-na bills itself as a hotel staffed by robots You get greeted by two dinosaur robots The dinosaur says “thank you” The baggage check is a robotic arm Your bartender is on an iPad Robo-vacuums clean the carpets A robot carries the luggage Churi is this silly doll on the nightstand that starts talking At first it is exciting communicating with Churi Churi is a native Japanese robot Churi doesn’t understand Churi is kind of a hassle Churi is not cooperative During the night Churi becomes creepy Churi says, “Hi! Are you talking to me?” You ask Churi to be quiet Churi keeps talking…

access_time36 min.
like this or die

1. Alex and Wendy love culture. It’s how they spend their free time. It’s what they talk about at dinner parties. When they go jogging or to the gym, they listen to podcasts on their phones. On Sunday nights they watch their favorite new shows. They go to the movies sometimes, but they were bummed out when MoviePass went south, so now they mostly stream things. They belong to book clubs that meet every couple of weeks. Alex and Wendy work hard at their jobs, but they always have a bit of time to check their feeds at work. What’s in their feeds? Their feeds tell them about culture. Their feeds are a form of comfort. Their feeds explain things to them that they already understand. Their feeds tell them…

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