Campaign to Impeach Lewis Lapham as Editor of Harper's Magazine.
Wealthy blueblood Lewis Lapham has a lot of nerve always complaining about privilege and nobility when he's the best example of same in the United States. He's been welded into the Harper's Editor chair for-- how long? Over 20 years? With no signs of departure. Two Marine brigades fresh from battle in Fallujah couldn't blast him out of there, though we suspect that's what it would take. For complete honesty he should change his title to "Dictator for Life."
It's not as if he offers anything new in Harper's pages-- the same stale essays and stories by the same stale writers; Francine Prose, Louis Menand, Vince Passaro, and the like; guaranteed to be of Lapham's same mindset. (Maybe they attend the same Manhattan parties.) Lapham's own contributions are predictably similar-- descriptions of courtiers in Washington. He hasn't had a new insight in decades. Try something new! Talk about courtiers around the Editor's chair at your magazine. One wonders if the staff has a few dozen Lapham editorials on file which they keep in rotation.
Which raises the question of Lewis Lapham's condition. I'm not saying he's in Arafat shape (well, metaphorically he is); more like the decrepit Brezhnev-style rulers during the Soviet Union's last days-- wacked-out to the max but surrounded by yes-people too dim-witted to mention retirement to the guy. Must keep the rusty machine operating! Lapham-- spawn of a rich New York banking family-- is on good terms with the billionaire who finances the thing so the mag keeps staggering along on its million-dollar tax-avoiding subsidy.
Harper's is known as one of the flagships of American writing and it's completely fossilized. Term limits for editors? Why not? Let's enact some before the Harper's staff decides to stuff the guy after he dies. They'll have someone behind his desk speaking for him-- moving his arms on occasion-- to keep their comfortable scam operating. As long as he's silver-haired, polished, and stiff as usual it'll fool people.
(Not the last word on this campaign.)