adBlockCheck

Louis Lapham Went Way Over The Line This Time

Top Headlines

Recent News

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

Bill Clinton Resting Up To Sit Upright At Next Debate

CHAPPAQUA, NY—Stating that the former commander-in-chief had his sights squarely set on next Sunday, spokespeople for the Hillary for America campaign informed reporters Wednesday that Bill Clinton is currently resting up in preparation for another evening of sitting upright at the next presidential debate.

Cyclist Clearly Loves Signaling Turns

MILWAUKEE—Judging by the firm outward thrust of the woman’s arm and the length of times she held the gestures, witnesses confirmed Wednesday that a local bicycle rider clearly loves signaling turns.

Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Louis Lapham Went Way Over The Line This Time

I hope you don't mind, but I've really got to blow off a little steam after reading editor Lewis Lapham's "Notebook" column in the June issue of Harper's Magazine. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to Lapham's disregard for propriety, but this time he went way over the line. I tried to keep calm, but when I read that the magazine's new "Archive" feature was meant, as he put it, to counter the popular impression that we live in a perpetual and annihilating present that severs our kinship with the past—man, oh man, I wanted to find that guy and pop him a good one.

Mr. Lewis H. Lapham, you better just watch where you're throwing your accusations. I, for one, have always felt that a sense of history is critical to acumen of the zeitgeist beyond the veneer. Maybe you goddamn better well delineate the perimeters of what you consider the "popular impression," pal. Oh, I'm seeing red.

I can usually take Lapham's column or leave it for what it's worth, but not this month. Not this.

When I read Lapham's Fortune's Child: A Portrait Of The United States As Spendthrift Heir, I managed to keep a level head. In fact, I even kept my calm all the way through Hotel America: Scenes In The Lobby Of The Fin-De-Siecle. I mean, sure, Lapham has quite a bit to say about the feckless American establishment, but I'm usually able to remember that he's entitled to his opinion. I may be troubled by the point-to-point logical flow of some of his commentary on the insouciance of the monied ruling class, but it's a free country, right? He can say what he wants.

Still, there was just something about this month's editor's address that made me snap. I mean, was he trying to piss me off? I don't think he could have done it more perfectly if he'd set out with that purpose. This asshole always seems to pick just the right Edith Wharton quote to really make my blood boil.

The thing is, it shouldn't even fucking surprise me anymore. What do you expect from a guy who gets his rocks off by saying that Americans need a new public narrative? We all know it's just because Lapham believes that the word "public" has become a synonym for corruption and futility with the last two decades' shift to private-sector dominance. Maybe this joker thinks the public sector is not a living presence protecting, animating and inspiring us, but that doesn't mean everyone else does. Lapham had better learn to watch his mouth, that's all I can say.

I feel like telling Mr. Bigtime Editor to take his theories on a society adjusted to the specifications of the tabloid press and its inability to draw distinctions between appreciable and negligible discourse and shove them where the sun don't shine. And where the fuck does he get off saying that the images of sex in the media are meant to be understood not as representations of reality, but as symbols and allegories? That's the biggest piece of horseshit I've ever read. Yeah, right, buddy. So, now the commercial market is no longer responsible for transgressions which directly affect society? I don't think so, Lapham.

Doesn't this guy have any self-control? I mean, think a little before you write this stuff. Who does he think he is? Stanley Crouch?

It's kind of almost too bad Lapham has to shoot his mouth off like that. I met him at a Calhoun College Master's Tea last year, and he seemed like a pretty decent guy, as far as guys like that go. And to tell you the truth, I pretty much agree with him on his various writings concerning how the country's moral guidebooks fail to account for the political, economic, social and technological changes that over the last 100 years have reconfigured not only the relation between the sexes, but also the Christian definitions of right and wrong.

But, come on, you bastard—saying that in absence of a unified field of moral law that commands a sufficiently large number of people to obedience and belief, we rely on meaningless surrogate protocols? Where the fuck do you get off?

Christ Almighty, rein it in, Lapham. Rein it in.

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close