It isn’t just the pepper spray that makes you cry

Wonderful Harper’s Review this week. This short excerpt gives a snapshot of the contradictions and folly our species. Vis:

Protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement ate donated Thanksgiving dinners in encampments across the country, while occupations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles faced eviction deadlines. “We’ve been sitting around, drinking coffee,” said a Philadelphia occupier. “This is bringing us back together.” In the course of Black Friday sales across the United States, police knocked a grandfather unconscious at a Walmart in Arizona and tasered a man at a Walmart in Alabama; an off-duty police officer pepper-sprayed unruly shoppers at a Walmart in North Carolina; a woman pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers to get to a discounted Xbox 360 at a Walmart in California; and customers rioted over $2 waffle irons at a Walmart in Arkansas. Andrea True, singer of the disco song “More, More, More,” died. I.B.M. noted a downward trend in the height of high-heeled shoes. 

Oh, and before I forget — from the same review:

The Vatican’s chief exorcist warned Catholics about the dangers of yoga. “You think you are doing it for stretching,” said Father Gabriele Amorth, “but it leads to Hinduism.”

Where there’s a willy, there’s a way

Two extracts from a recent Harper’s Review. The first says something about commodity fetishism that perhaps Marx had not intended. The second just says something …

… a Louisiana man told police he exposed his penis to a
Ford because he’s aroused by Walmart.

A Texas jury sentenced religious
fundamentalist Warren Jeffs to life in prison for
sexually assaulting two girls, aged 12 and 15, who
numbered among his 78 wives. A prison guard said Jeffs
has been masturbating continuously when not in court,
despite eating “[barely] enough to stay alive.”

And I can’t help quoting this bit from the same Review even though this kind of thing is dreary in its frequency and predictability:

Phillip Hinkle, an antigay Republican state representative from Indiana, was discovered to have offered cash to an 18-year-old man in exchange for spending the night, plus a tip for a really good time.

Not a haboob, but a haboob

Residents of Arizona objected to recent dust
storms being referred to by meteorologists as “haboobs.”
“While other countries in the world may call them that,
this is the United States,” wrote one reader of the
Arizona Republic. “This is Arizona, not some Middle
Eastern nation.”

— From Harper’s Review

Other versions of the story here in Bare Naked Islam and here on Rob-servations.