Weekly Wire

News & Opinion

B efore writing about this week's News & Opinion articles, I want to share some good news about the expansion of Weekly Wire. After months of haggling over contractual details and trapping publishers in full nelson headlocks, The Boston Phoenix and Chicago NewCity finally cried "Uncle!" and signed on as members of our aspiring little web magazine. What that means for you, fair reader, is even more dynamic, high-caliber writing from the very journalists who put the word "alternative" on the map.

S peaking of maps, I'm happy to mention that these two additions give Weekly Wire a much better geographical diversity. Because our original eight members all hail from Southern or Southwestern states, our coverage has been somewhat lopsided. With those yankees from Chicago and Boston aboard, Weekly Wire now reflects a significantly wider stratum of American culture, values, and egomaniacal column-writing techniques. Even more newspapers are likely to sign on in upcoming weeks, so watch out; we're determined to earn a permanent spot among your bookmarks.

B ut enough of that -- on with the stories. First up is a tale of smokers, reformers, and history repeating itself. During the last few years cigarette smoking has become a hot issue as legislators, lawyers, and even former tobacco-company executives compete to do the most damage against the addictive product. In my state, an expensive advertising campaign has burned the phrase "Tobacco: tumor-causing, teeth-staining, smelly puking habit" into the minds of everyone within ten miles of a radio transmitter. But is this a remarkable social upheaval, or is it just deja vu? Read this article for a big puff of perspective on the matter.

R emember how I was just saying that our new member papers expose us to a vastly wider cultural variety? Well, I wasn't kidding -- an article from The Boston Phoenix takes us all the way to Ireland to inspect an unusual immigration trend: whereas the "huddled masses" of Irish folk used to come to America in droves, now they're leaving for the homeland in even larger droves. What's this exodus all about, boyo? Read here to find out.

H istory, travel and immigration seem to be predominant themes in this week's Weekly Wire. This article, for example, reports on the difficulty indigenous people are having crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, despite the fact that they belong to tribes who live on reservations in both countries. Also touching on the border issue, an editorial -- well, okay, a rant -- argues in favor of rights for Mexican immigrants, illegal and otherwise. And this story reflects on the rise and fall of motel culture, using Arizona's No-Tel Motel (you gotta love that name) as its point of departure.

E lsewhere, we've got an uncompromising commentary about abusive boyfriends; a bitter attack on the hypocrisy of politicians drooling over the White House contribution imbroglio; an intense examination of Marilyn Monroe's psyche. We've also got the final word (or at least, we think it's final) on the brouhaha that resulted when the Nashville Scene, one of our member papers, reported about a Senator "toking up" at a party thrown by its staff. (See articles from last week and the week before that.)

O f course, don't forget to read our usual assortment of witty, sometimes twisted columns and mini-features, sadly relegated to the bottom of this contents page. That, too, will change, as we redesign Weekly Wire to accommodate the huge increase in material from all our new papers. See? Isn't your "bookmark" finger getting itchy?

Talk Back
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Volume I, Issue 19
October 13 - October 20, 1997

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The Smoldering Fire
The slow-burning history of the anti-smoking crusade. [2]
Michael Sims

Go East, Young Man
Young Irish immigrants have been trying their luck in America for centuries. But these days in Boston, and other cities shaped by the Irish diaspora, they are hearing the siren song of a new land: Ireland. [3]
Ellen Barry

Motel Memories
The colorful history of mom-and-pop motels in Tucson. [4]
Dave Devine

Crossing The Line
The U.S. government is busy making life miserable for Native Americans on the Mexican border. [5]
Tim Vanderpool

Squeezing The Poor
What's with Uncle Sam's latest plan to shakedown poor Mexican nationals? [6]
Jeff Smith

Men who hit women are not cute, and women who get hit are not to blame. [7]
Spike Gillespie

Democracy for Sale
Utah Senator Bob Bennett's criticism of President Clinton is hysterical and hypocritical. [8]
City Weekly staff

Dress for Success?
Hot-headed young man or cranky old guy? [9]
Cap'n O

Who Heals the Healer?
Advice on stones and glass houses for the Nashville Scene's media critic. [10]
Jackson Baker

Letters @ 3AM
Marilyn's torturous contradictions defined her even more than her beauty. [11]
Kate X Messer

Tripped Out
For sheer torture, there's nothing like traveling cross-country with a screaming infant. [12]
Margaret Renkl

Deadly Umbrellas
Walter Jowers tackles the horror of...umbrella poisoning? [13]
Walter Jowers

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [14]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [15]
R.U. Steinberg

Now What?
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. [16]

Build your own custom paper. To find out more about this feature, click here.

From The Vaults

Sheathing Solomon's Sword
An experimental law in Tennessee seeks to make divorce less painful for Knox County children. But can legislation heal what families put asunder? [08-04-97]
Val Pendergrast

Is Elvis Cool?
Two Flyer columnists debate the essence of the E-Factor. [08-11-97]
Susan Ellis and Jim Hanas

TV Terrorist
Gabe Caggiano was either Austin television's biggest jerk or one of its most aggressive reporters -- but now, the former KTBC reporter is out of a job. [08-11-97]
Lee Nichols

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