Needs More Color
How "alternative" are alternative weeklies, really? If you look at the racial makeup of their staffs, not very. Turns out the press's most left-leaning publications are also the whitest.

Christmas?
Should Christmas be about Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph -- or Christ, the menorah, and the equinox? Various religious leaders duke it out in the battle for holiday meaning.

All Wrapped Up
With new films from Scorsese, Spielberg, Cameron, Levinson, Tarantino, Van Sant, Woody Allen, and even Bond (James Bond), it's beginning to look a lot like the Christmas movie season.

50 Years and Counting
Has the last half-century of television resulted in cultural richness, or a "vast wasteland"? You be the judge when you read this rundown of the programs that made TV what it is today.

Within Him, Without Him
Friends, family and fellow musicians pay tribute to the late Rainer Ptácek, whose crafty, finger-picking blues guitarwork was but one of his many charms.

What's New?
The odds don't look good for Bruce Babbitt's "Department of Ulterior." Read this special Weekly Wire / Phoenix NewTimes Xtra to see what we mean.

Spotlight: Friday Edition
Slammers
Slap me some poetry

Introduction: Smells Like Team Spirit
What will happen when hundreds of poets descend upon Austin in the middle of August?
Spike Gillespie

Gin and Condoms Everywhere
The memoirs of veteran Slammer and Spanker Wammo.
Wammo

Handicapper's Guide
Picking out the favorites of the more than 40 teams going head to head to head in this year's Nationals.
Michael Bertin


Film Vault
One of the all-time best film-review resources on the Web. Sort alphabetically or by publication, genre, director, or date. Check it out!


Red Meat
The most tasteless and twisted comic strip in the world. Featuring the Red Meat Archive, Reader Favorite Archive, and the Meat Conference Forum!


Weekly Wire Xtra
An investigative report unearths shady dealings at Bruce Babbitt's "Department of Ulterior"; a tribute page says goodbye to well-loved blues guitarist Rainer Ptacek; a Comics page features first-rate artwork from several underrated national cartoonists; National Public Radio chickens out by refusing to air a poem; and the Weekly Wire staff selects favorite articles from the first 10 issues.


Talk Back
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Additional Vaults
Besides the Film Vault, we carry multitudinous archives that include various cities' Best Of editions, local music registers, album reviews, book reviews, and plenty more.


Info Booth
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Weekly Wire... alternative abundance in a pithy package





News & Opinion
What's white and white and white all over? The press -- alternative and otherwise. For such an equality-conscious profession, where are the minorities? Plus: Students learn to ace the SAT; a "nurse" experiments with St. John's Wort; upset family members fight against mandatory drug-abuse sentencing; religious leaders duke it out over the meaning of Christmas; and an editorialist vents about automated speeding tickets. [13 articles]





Film & TV
Just because it's a vast wasteland doesn't mean it isn't fun. That's the consensus among journalists who summarize their favorite TV programs, characters, and theme songs from the medium's past 50 years. They also say bye-bye to "Beavis and Butt-head," hello to interactive TV news, and get lost to "The Real World." Plus: reviews of "Alien Resurrection," "Flubber," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," and more! [25 articles]





Music
Rainer Ptácek and Robert Palmer: They may be dead, but their music and inspiration live on. The same is true of Miles Davis, who has finally acquired the recognition he deserves. Other artists seeking recognition include New Age runaway Eliza Gilkyson, Lambchop, OR, Atari Teenage Riot, Dusty Springfield, Ann Tiley, and Salt-n-Pepa. Plus: What crawled up Garth Brooks' butt and died? [16 articles]




Arts & Leisure
It was inevitable: now there are whole stores devoted to Christmas theme products. Why not skip 'em and consider purchasing stuff like Douglas Adams's new CD-ROM game instead? Or how about a nice pair of snowshoes? Just whatever you do, don't read these horoscopes; don't go to Delhi; and don't, repeat, don't try to order caviar on Death Row. Plus: theatre and arts reviews! [11 articles]





Books
Will the real journalism please stand up? John McPhee's essays put the "new" back into New Journalism; Danny Schecter rails against suck-up reporting on TV and elsewhere; Dan Eldon packs a life's worth of art and travel journalism into 22 years; Dominick Dunne turns journalistic memoir writing into a form of novel; Stephen Duncombe examines the meaning of 'zines; and much more... [13 articles]




Comics
Come down from your Staggering Heights and get to the Red Meat of the matter with this swell set of cartoons that also includes Mueller, Eye of the Beholder, K. Rat, Random Shots, and La Cucaracha. [7 comics]



Newsstand
All the contributors to Weekly Wire, along with other AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) publications, can be read from this one easily accessible spot. Strongly recommended for bookmarking. [107 newspapers]

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  • Gambit Weekly
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  • Metro Pulse
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  • Tucson Weekly
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