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Harper's Magazine June 2021

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.

United States
Harper's Magazine Foundation
R 115,66
R 578,87
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min

Death from Above Reading Lauren Markham’s essay about human-animal conflict resolution [“The Crow Whisperer,” Miscellany, April], I was reminded of a strange experience my own family had with birds. My in-laws have a large black-and-white tomcat—generally friendly, but with one notably unfriendly habit: hunting pigeons. Week after week, my father-in-law would discover the butchered remains of pigeons scattered throughout his house and garden. One day, he heard a scuffle outside and ran into the garden, where he encountered an unusual spectacle: his gentle tomcat cowering near a wounded pigeon, the cat’s eyes dilated in fear. Dozens of crows had begun to gather around the scene of the crime. They perched on fences and on the roofs of neighboring houses. In her article, Markham writes that crows can sometimes “seek retribution for perceived…

10 min
easy chair

Since becoming a father, I have thought a lot about what exactly we’re doing when we name something or someone after someone else. Three years ago, my wife and I, already the parents of a four-year-old girl, Marlow, were expecting a son. I began to contemplate masculine inheritance—of debts to the future and the past, the divides a name can help bridge and the ones that are too vast to straddle. I was thinking specifically of my very “white” name and of the “black” man who’d given it to me, and asking myself what, as a father who isn’t white, I could and would pass on to a boy who almost certainly would appear to be. All of which is to say I was trying hard to figure out just…

6 min
blood ties

By Sarah Schulman, from Let the Record Show, a history of ACT UP New York, which was published last month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It’s March 2018. I have been struggling with a serious genetic disease, caused by a Janus kinase 2 gene mutation, for a decade, and my veins have become scarred after two years of phlebotomies, given every five weeks. The nurse who has been patiently sitting with me and helping me, Trish Sullivan, used to be an AIDS nurse at NYU Langone, known at the time as NYU Medical Center, in the early days of the epidemic. She told me about the endless diarrhea that nurses had to deal with, how they would try to clean up patients when their friends or parents came to visit. The…

1 min
a man’s world

From an assignment at Shallowater High School in Texas titled “Rules for Chivalry,” which required female students to “demonstrate to the school how the code of chivalry and standards set in the medieval concept of courtly love carry over into the modern day.” The female students were to be awarded ten points for each signature collected from an adult or a male student certifying that they had followed one of the guidelines. The assignment was canceled after parents complained. Ladies must cook something for the gentlemen in their class Ladies must bring in root beer, ginger ale, or sparkling cider for the gentlemen in their class Ladies should clean up after the men Ladies must not complain or whine Ladies must dress in a feminine manner to please the men Ladies must address all men respectfully…

3 min
cult of hospitality

From a lawsuit filed in February in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Panda Express and Alive Seminars, a company hired by the fast-food chain to run a four-day self-improvement seminar for its employees. The suit was brought by a former cashier. Panda Express pushed its employees in the Los Angeles region to complete an Alive Seminars training. The seminar was bizarre and quickly devolved into psychological abuse. At the start, the attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in eerie isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating the attendees for sitting there and doing nothing when that is exactly what they had been instructed to do. The man loudly proclaimed that the attendees were “nothing” and “don’t…

2 min
sweet om alabama

From emails sent to Alabama state representative Jeremy Gray regarding a bill to legalize the practice of yoga in K–12 schools, which was banned in 1993. I have only done yoga once or twice, but knowing that there was more to it than stretching and strengthening, I decided to do some research. As a follower of Jesus, I always want to be careful with what I introduce into my spirit, soul, and body. Based on what I have found—my trusted pastor’s teaching, even the teachings of Indian yogis—yoga cannot be separated from the Hindu faith. The poses are used to worship multiple gods. So I can’t, knowing what I know, in spite of the apparent benefits, participate. But this isn’t about my personal decision. My concern is about introducing the practice…