efore discussing the contents of this issue of Weekly Wire,
I have something I need to get off my chest: the Promise Keepers
are a bunch of weasels. Sorry, guys, but your Washington D.C.
march, a thinly veiled excuse for the religious right to flex
its political muscle, had very little to do with reaffirming marriage
vows. And it doesn't take much digging to unearth the anti-feminist
and anti-gay attitudes beneath your shpiel. Yeah, you kept your
promise -- now keep your distance.
s long as we're on the subject of religious agendas, let me
tell you about one of this week's cover stories, a nicely balanced
piece about debate among Latter Day Saints trying to find archaeological
evidence for the Book of Mormon. One faction claims that the ancient
tribes described in the books lived in North America, near the
Great Lakes; another faction says the tribes (who were allegedly
visited by Jesus) lived in Central America. As you read the article,
it becomes painfully apparent that neither side has much
evidence to support their theories. Catholics and fundamentalist
Baptists better look out when it comes to maintaining their status
as the World's Nuttiest Religions; Mormons are right on their
lsewhere in Weekly Wire, a Tennessee reporter examines
the political atmosphere surrounding capital punishment in his
state, discovering that judges and other officials who don't support
the death penalty are under constant and insidious pressure to
change their tunes. Will civil rights continue to erode, or will
the pendulum swing the other way?
o balance out that story about hopeless criminals being put
to death, here's one about hopeful children gaining new lives.
Families Without Borders profiles several would-be parents who
chose to adopt children from other countries, especially (in the
majority of the story's examples) Eastern Europe. Though the reasons for
adopting from outside of the United States are never addressed,
the article's descriptions of parents choosing and heading overseas
to meet their new family members are both strange and touching.
ack on home turf, this article summarizes the Bill Clinton fund-raising
mess then pointedly asks, "What's the big deal?" The author wonders, even if Clinton did make some technically inappropriate phone calls
from the White House, it's not exactly Watergate, is it?
nd speaking of politicians in the hotseat: Last week in this space,
the Memphis Flyer reported on a hemp-based hullabaloo that
happened over at the Nashville Scene (which also contributes
to Weekly Wire). Seems a state senator toked up at a party
thrown by the latter paper, and one of the staff writers saw fit
to include that detail in a profile about the man.
That's when the pot really hit the fan. In response, this Scene writer, who
almost got fired over the incident, weighed in with opinions about
friendship, journalism, and the tricky line that separates them.
ut that's life at an alternative newsweekly: There's always
some little scandal or mix-up to keep the long hours and low pay
from becoming tiresome. Utah's Salt Lake City Weekly has one of their
own: apparently local cops, aggravated by the paper's reporting,
are taking to burning and/or stealing copies of the paper when
it comes out. Since the publication is free, they contend, what
they're doing isn't really wrong. Suuuure.
n the opinions departmnet, a columnist sings the praises of
flunking school; another one lashes out against rednecks who insist
on waving Confederate flags; still another yearns for a world
without color newspaper photography; and a doting mother explains
what she finds so fascinating about her baby's feet. Meanwhile,
Mr. Smarty Pants explains why Joanie Loves Chachi is Korea's
top-rated American television show, and Odds & Ends demonstrates
that breath mints do not make you jump higher. You absolutely,
positively, indubitably won't be bored by these last two items.
Volume I, Issue 18
October 6 - October 13, 1997
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Families Without Borders
The stories of three Memphis couples who crossed cultures and continents to adopt their children. 
Death and Politics
Mention the death penalty, and most Tennesseans would say they're for it. But what has our intense focus on the execution of that penalty done to the justice system? 
Jesse Fox Mayshark
Burden of Proof
Does a new look at the Book of Mormon prove or debunk it as an historical document? A group called the Book of Mormon Students Foundation says that the American Midwest is where it all took place. 
Desperately Seeking the News
The Scene's media critic 'fesses up. 
Lose the Flag
An Ole Miss football fan considers the school's oldest and most controversial symbol. 
A Teapot Tempest
Trying to turn the fund-raising flap into a crime is absurd. 
Just a Little Pregnant
Three unwise men have given Gunnarson clearance to trash our property and first amendment rights. 
City Weekly staff
Failing to Fail
Angry young man or grumpy old guy? You decide. 
John Bridges finds the NYTimes' color wheel square. 
Playing footsie with Margaret Renkl. 
Washington bureaucrats have gone mythological on us. 
Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. 
Devin D. O'Leary
Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. 
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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The Right To Life
By resorting to the death penalty, the U.S. falls short on the most basic human right. [08-25-97]
Gerald LeMelle & Lurma Rackley
Brave New World
Search engines and subject indexes of the Internet. [07-14-97]
David O. Dabney
Brave New World
Ticketmaster and Microsoft squabble about the right to link. [06-20-97]
David O. Dabney