By Randy Cohen
Shark attack, avalanche, inhalation of volcanic fumes.
What's the connection?
by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer (email@example.com).
Responses to Monday's question (No. 74)--"Life After Debts":
Unless it comes up with more than $211 million--but quick--the United States will lose something. What?
"The rights to keep the animatronic Reagans going for at least one more Vanity Fair cover."--Barbara Lippert
"Our security deposit for a rented condo on a beach just outside Kosovo."--Jon Hotchkiss
"The respect of Firooz 'The Sturgeon' Zahedi, Iranian soccer bookie."--Chris Kelly
"Catcher Mike Piazza, to China, where he will bat cleanup for the expansion 'Beijing Riot Police.' "--Aaron Schatz
"Another four years of Kenneth Starr's investigation--including the thrilling conclusion!"--Matthew Budman
"The Justice Department, in a hostile takeover attempt by Microsoft."--Jon Delfin
"An ambassador's parking space at the United Nations."--Gene Cluster
Click for more responses.
The massive hand of capital warps every human interaction or, as Russ Granic puts it, "You've got an economic system that's just plain bad." Or was that Karl Marx? No, it was Granic, deputy commissioner of the National Basketball Association, explaining why, at midnight tonight, the owners will lock out the players. The owners have the right to renegotiate the league contract if players' salaries exceed 51.8 percent of revenue. And while it's tough to justify Kevin Garnett's $126 million deal, if they don't pay it to him it's not like they're going to give it to charity. And it is heartening to know that Garnett and Juwan Howard on their own could pay off that $211 million. And to recall that Marx could consistently stick the jumper from 15 feet in. I love this game!
Better Debtor Answer
The United States will lose its vote in the U.N. General Assembly, as Gene Cluster knows. We owe $1.5 billion in dues and assessments. Under Article 19 of the U.N. Charter, if your debt exceeds your contributions for the previous two years, you lose your vote. Simply by being in arrears, we sacrifice influence and prestige, says Richard Sklar of the U.S. delegation, noting that when he proposes economic reforms to other nations, they say: "What right do you have to talk to us? You're a deadbeat." As of May 11, 27 member states had forfeited their votes.
Pre-Independence Day Extra: Augmented Anglophobia (final sentence added by "News Quiz")
"We're just so colonized in our minds. Why do we have to follow the West like bloody morons? I'll tell you why: because of those British bastards!"--Darshana Bogilal Gupta, attorney, encouraging the preservation of certain Indian customs
"It's Harry's job, and it's Harry's responsibility, and it's Harry's authority. He's the little rat causing all this trouble; let's get him!"--Mort Zuckerman, publisher, explaining that it was his deputy, Englishman Harry Evans, who fired James Fallows, former editor of U.S. News & World Report
"Behind our easy snobbery is a sense that Americans spend their lives slobbed out either behind a wheel or in front of a television. As if a monkey could drive a car."--Simon Hoggart, English critic, defending American culture in London's Guardian
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