his week's News & Opinion section proves that every city
has its guilty pleasures. I live in Tucson, Arizona, so I'm well
acquainted with those. Not long ago our local Indian reservations
erected casinos to build up revenue. Did it work? Are aces high?
People go crazy over gambling. Even on weekdays not a single slot
machine isn't occupied by some zombie-like senior citizen, compulsively
depositing coins like a lab rat that won't stop pushing its morphine
self-injection button till it's dead.
pparently, Utah has its own bizarre version of this phenomenon.
Instead of sneaking away to an Indian reservation, repressed Mormons
and other Salt Lake City adventurers drive two hours 'cross the
border into a small Nevada town named Wendover. Or, as some refer
to it, "Bend Over." The writer of this amusing feature
wanted to observe the ritual first-hand; he went on a whiskey-soaked
magical mystery tour and found that no matter where it happens,
gambling has a bittersweetly warped effect on people.
hen cities don't have gambling, lemming-like behavior manifests
itself elsewhere. An article about Nike, for instance, reveals
that the Oregon-based company breeds workers so obsessively loyal
they chant "Just Do It!" at rallies and tattoo themselves
with swooshes. Though you may be less scared by the employees'
cult-like dedication than I was, you have to admit there's something
wrong when people rationalize Nike's exploitation of foreign workers
by saying, "We're helping their culture evolve." Talk
ot that the media has never been guilty of denial. This article
points out how readily newspapers forfeit their editorial opinions
when it comes to accepting advertising money, and this article
demonstrates the subjectivity of local news organizations when
it comes to deciding what's a "riot" and what's not.
(Hint: if it's in your own town, it's a "disturbance";
everywhere else, it's a riot.) That same article points out a
few other local-media denials: one involving sex on a balcony,
the other involving a fire-department captain who was fined for
shooting a bottle-rocket into the station bathroom. Now that's
he rest of this Weekly Wire section is devoted to our
regular snappy columns. Margaret Renkl's "Home Brood"
offers yet another touching insight into parenthood as she describes
her five-year-old's first day of school, while "Odds &
Ends" provides its usual sampling of the world's insanity.
Cranky columnist Jeff Smith weighs in with his feelings about
illegal aliens, while Captain Opinion worries over the effects
of new "bowel-loosening" high-tech weaponry. He can
be a bit juvenile, that Cap'n O, but like I said, we all have
our guilty pleasures.
Our online BBS is an open forum where you can say anything you
like about current events, controversies, or anything else that
might be stuck in your craw.
Volume I, Issue 12
August 25 - September 2, 1997
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The Sin Bus
"And there sits Wendover, in the heart of hell's furnace, looking cool and calm, bank machines cashing and Black Jack tables beckoning..." 
Nike has made its employees feel like their work has more in common with Mother Teresa than Henry Ford. Josh Feit explains how they did it, while Tanuja Surpuriya looks at Nike's growth in Memphis. 
Josh Feit and Tanuja Surpuriya
Objections to a controversial newspaper ad raise questions about ethics and freedom of the press. 
Desperately Seeking the News
The AP helps Nashville define the word "riot." 
Agony at the classroom door. 
Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. 
Devin D. O'Leary
The Right To Life
By resorting to the death penalty, the U.S. falls short on the most basic human right. 
Gerald LeMelle & Lurma Rackley
New Military Technology a Step Backwards. 
Kick A Canuk
Why bother messing with Mexicans on the U.S. border when there are so many Canadians to abuse? 
Can't get enough news? You're in luck -- more news is created every day. Our Now What? page offers a plethora of recommended links to help keep you living in the present. 
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about this feature, click here.
Will Downtown's proposed Holocaust Memorial rob us of a prime loitering spot? [07-28-97]
What's all the fuss about Disney World? At least they keep things running smoothly. [07-02-97]