Kilroy Was Here
May 23, 2002
As Good as Magazines Can Get
Last night, I couldn't sleep. Around 11, the pump in my garden pond began to squeal in the same way as my 1976 Oldsmobile did in high school when it needed new belts. Around 12:30, a racoon invaded the back yard, turning over buckets in search of cat food. At 1:30 it got too hot. At 2:30, it was too cold. Around 2:45, I gave up the race and let insomnia catch me.

I'm glad insomnia caught me last night. Because it gave me a chance to read through the June 2002 issue of Harper's magazine. An issue which, like certain albums of my youth, had so many good pieces in it that I had a hard time picking out one to share with you.

Unfortunately, the articles in the June issue of Haper's aren't online, so I can't link the essays or letters for you. I can't link to Lewis H. Lapham's wonderful editorial on Nicolo Machiavelli, the current state of the war on terrorism, and the "morality of the city" vs. the "morality of the soul".

I can't link to Annie Dillard's great essay on pragmatism and Truth called This Is The Life, so you can't experience the build up to the wonderful last lines: "Say you have seen something. You have seen an ordinary bit of what is real, the infinite fabric of time that eternity shoots through, and time's-soft-skinned people working and dying under slowly shifting stars. Then what?"

I can't find the eulogy that Reverend Doctor Duncan E. Littlefair delivered on January 13th, 1947 on behalf of Arthur Anderson, founder of Arthur Anderson & Co, so you can't fully appreciate the irony in the lines "I am sure he would rather the doors be closed than that [his company] should continue to exist on principles other than those that he established. He left a great name. Your opportunity is tremendous; your responsibilty is great."

I can't introduce you to Sarah L. Courteau's beautiful portrait of her mother, the farmer's wife, who knows when animals must be killed, but still feels the killing, and weeps for Chicken 81.

I can't celebrate with you Rich Cohen's admiration for the glory of the aged athlete who, rather than going out on top, drinks every last drop from the game that has been his life.

I can't share any of this with you here. But I can recommend that you find the June 2002 issue of Harper's for yourself and experience these things first hand.

So, go and find this magazine. And then tell me what you think.


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