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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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?
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 19
October 13 - October 20, 1997
Want to know what all these checkboxes are for?
Click here to find out, or just ignore them.
The Smoldering Fire
The slow-burning history of the anti-smoking crusade. 
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. 
The colorful history of mom-and-pop motels in Tucson. 
Crossing The Line
The U.S. government is busy making life miserable for Native Americans on the Mexican border. 
Squeezing The Poor
What's with Uncle Sam's latest plan to shakedown poor Mexican nationals? 
Men who hit women are not cute, and women who get hit are not to blame. 
Democracy for Sale
Utah Senator Bob Bennett's criticism of President Clinton is hysterical and hypocritical. 
City Weekly staff
Dress for Success?
Hot-headed young man or cranky old guy? 
Who Heals the Healer?
Advice on stones and glass houses for the Nashville Scene's media critic. 
Letters @ 3AM
Marilyn's torturous contradictions defined her even more than her beauty. 
Kate X Messer
For sheer torture, there's nothing like traveling cross-country with a screaming infant. 
Walter Jowers tackles the horror of...umbrella poisoning? 
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. 
Build your own custom paper. To find out more
about this feature, click here.
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]
Is Elvis Cool?
Two Flyer columnists debate the essence of the E-Factor. [08-11-97]
Susan Ellis and Jim Hanas
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]