How to Not Get Published in Harperís



Answer: write something good. In last weekís Harperís, the headline article read: the Ecstasy of John Ashcroft. Now I hate John Ashcroft as much as the next guy, so I got excited and quickly found the piece on page seven. Sadly, there was nothing insightful or new or funny about John Ashcroft. There were, however, many sentences like this one: "Nuclear weapons acquired the powers once assigned to the bones of the saints, and the opaque language of diplomatic compromise was lifted to the pitch of a prophetic crying in the wilderness." And donít worry, it makes even less sense in context. I could guess what the line is trying to say, but I would only be guessing. The more important point is that Lewis H. Lapham, and Harperís by association has perfected the art of stating the obvious, only in words you donít understand and have to look up. And look up again the next time you see them, because, well, they just werenít very good words in the first place. Thatís why nobody uses them. Personally, I suggest not looking them up, not reading Harperís and doing something else with your time. I will leave it to you to determine what that is. Incidentally, there is a crossword puzzle at the back of the magazine.


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