Weekly Wire

News & Opinion

E verybody agrees that freedom is a good thing, but rarely can we agree on exactly what the word means. Thanks to Independence Day, three writers were inspired to explore the dimensions of freedom from entirely different angles, with results almost as colorful as that fireworks display I watched from my rooftop. As Free As We Want To Be? surveys several recent First Amendment conflicts, demonstrating how arbitrary our freedom of speech tends to be. A hilarious column by Captain Opinion gave me a view of freedom I'd never before considered -- one in which we can freely hate bald people, pee our pants in public, and shop all day. And this week's aptly titled Letters at 3 A.M. column takes a historical/psychological approach to freedom so trippy, I thought I saw those fireworks again.

F reedom becomes very conditional when it comes to what we do with the environment, which you'll see when you read this article about the clear-cutting of Tennessee forests. That goes for city planning, too, as shown in two stories about New Orleans and Toronto's efforts to combat urban sprawl (see last week's issue of Weekly Wire for two similar pieces about Tucson and Chattanooga).

N ow I'm going to demonstrate my own freedom and spotlight a few columns not often given attention in this space. A terrifically tongue-in-cheek editorial called White Hope fights for the rights of extremely pale people, while Very Personal, a brief column that accompanies the Weekly Alibi's (in Albuquerque) personals section, reprints some affecting words of wisdom from a piece of email junk mail. Home Brood, always a good read even if you're not a parent, entertainingly addresses the "Should parents let their wee ones sleep with them?" question. And Brave New World, an internet column, recommends an oddball selection of web sites, one of which celebrates the properties of decomposing Spam. Only in the land of freedom.


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July 8 - July 14, 1997

As Free As We Want To Be?
The price and responsibility of living in a truly free society. [2]
Angie Drobnic

Captain Opinion
Is it goofy, insane or dumb? Go for it! [3]
Cap'n O

Letters at 3AM
The most and least drastic space. [4]
Michael Ventura

Shout Spamalama!
The fight against unsolicited e-mail could be headed to court. [5]
Jon Lebkowsky

Not So Clear-Cut
Bane or boon? Glynn Wilson chips away at the facts and fallacies surrounding chip mills, particularly those operated by Champion Paper in North Carolina. Are they destroying or helping Tennessee forests? [6]
Glynn Wilson

Downtown Rebound
Canal Street and the rest of the New Orleans Central Business District are buzzing with activity. [7]
Mike Stagg

Unforced Integration
The planning of Toronto's thriving inner city should be an example for Nashville. [8]
Christine Kreyling

White Hope
A pale person contemplates tanning for summer. [9]
Beverly Keel

Bedtime Story
No matter how much advice people give you, there just aren't any simple answers when it comes to raising a child. [10]
Margaret Renkl

Brave New World
World Wide Web links from a fevered mind. [11]
David O. Dabney

Odds & Ends
Around the news in seven days. [12]
Devin D. O'Leary

Very Personal
The wisdom of junk mail. [13]
Norma Jean

Desperately Seeking the News
Alternative newsweeklies rule at the AAN convention; Nashville's daily drools over an accused mass murderer. [14]
Henry Walker

Now What?
A Web link page chock full of resources, recommendations, and staff picks pertaining to the subject of this section. [15]

From The Vaults

Weird Science
From the ultra-close scrutiny of the female breast to racking micro-meteorites on the dark side of the moon, the amusing mind of physicist Peter Franken is always on the move. [06-20-97]
Mari Wadsworth




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