Awful, Iconic Images
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Feb. 22 2002 12:11 PM




Danny Pearl had been missing for so long that I'd begun, before last night, to mentally lump him in with those victims of Sept. 11 whose bodies haven't been found.

I'd also been thinking a lot about a devastating book that came out a few years ago, a book I've been surprised that more people haven't mentioned in light of the events of the past few months—The Missing, by the British journalist Andrew O'Hagan. It's a very smart, and feeling, exploration of what happens when people vanish and the effects not only on those close to them but the effects on all of us.

O'Hagan's book has one of the most haunting cover images I've ever seen on a book: the surveillance camera image of that British toddler, James Bulger, being led away from a Liverpool mall by one of the 10-year-old boys who will eventually kill him.

Now we learn that there's a video of Danny Pearl's death. And I suppose we can expect to see it any minute on Al-Jezeera. I hope not. I'm praying that Pearl's last moments don't become just another awful, iconic image.


P.S.: Well, Katie, that pretty much does it on my end. There are certainly a lot of other things we could have talked about in this morning's papers. (I'm sure I could have whipped up a little glee, for example, over the fact that the government has ordered commercial airlines to, for security reasons, to knock it off with those VIP lines. Class rage is so easy, and so much fun.) But somehow it doesn't seem like the day.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.