Canned Goods
The return of the color blue, high-fashion tongue splitting, the new beetle cars, drug-resistant bacteria, Spice Girls galore, ethnic areobics, and baked-bean pizza...could these be the hot trends for 1998?

Hard Time
You've murdered two people, spent over 20 years in jail, and now you're out on the street just trying to survive. Nobody will hire you, nobody wants to know you...what do you do?

Independents' Daze
Gus Van Sant and Quentin Tarantino are both independent, auteurist directors who have been slowly but surely moving into the mainstream. An interview grills them about this uneasy transition.

Something Great for '98
Trying to put away some money for the future? Forget savings accounts and 401K plans. What you really need is a box in the corner of your closet.

Year Here!
It was a time of scandal, indigestion, and very weird web sites. Throughout this issue, the staff of Weekly Wire commemorate the year with a look back at some of 1997's best and most unusual articles and columns.

Volume I, Issue 31
January 5 - January 12, 1998

What's New
Check the contents pages throughout this issue for links to the Best of Everything in '97.

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
Stand-alone sites for your browsing pleasure: Behind the scenes at Bruce Babbitt's "Department of Ulterior"; A tribute to blues guitarist Rainer Ptácek; Comics from some great unknown cartoonists; Why National Public Radio and political poetry don't mix; and Weekly Wire staff picks from the first 10 issues.


Talk Back
Got the newsgroup blues? Get away from the spammers, scammers, and rapid scrolling of Usenet groups and try our cozy, easy-to-use BBS instead.


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
If experts' predictions are any indication, 1998 will be remembered as the year of baked-bean pizzas, forked tongues, and the return of the color blue. Huh? Meanwhile, there's no telling what lies in the future for this guy -- other than many cold nights in a station wagon. Also: A mall Santa finally comes of age, penis pumps throb to the rescue, and Russian filmmakers nervously prepare to shoot a motion picture aboard Mir. By the way, don't miss our lists of staff picks and the screwiest scandals of '97!





Film & TV
It's a transitional period for the careers of directors Quentin Tarantino and Gus Van Sant, and what better way to celebrate than by doing a dual interview! Plus: Now that the big holiday pictures are cooling down, it's time for a peek at all the hot stuff comin' down the pike in '98. And the film section wouldn't be complete without reviews of "The Postman," "The Sweet Hereafter," "Deconstructing Harry," "An American Werewolf in Paris," and two happy looks at "Wag the Dog." Also: The best and worst films of '97!





Music
What kinds of New Year's resolutions do rock-n-rollers make? A writer weighs in with his imagined answer. Meanwhile, back at the rumor mill, another writer tells us what kinds of musical releases to expect in 1998. Hole? Pearl Jam? Wu-Tang Clan? We'll see. Elsewhere, the 80-year-old John Lee Hooker reflects on a lifetime of playing the blues, and reviewers nosh on Coldcut, sound the nose flute at Rahsaan Roland Kirk, raise eyebrows at David Arnold's tribute to 007, and smile over a new Ray Charles release. Plus: A recap of the Year in Music!




Arts & Leisure
A new way to save money eschews savings accounts, 401-K plans and other tiresome methods in favor of cardboard boxes in the corner of the closet. Say what? A couple of new web pages celebrate your imminent death and the breast-flashing beauties of Splash Mountain. Say what again? Plus we take a look back at '97's oddest articles (there's a lot of 'em) and even odder columns -- like Lost in Cyberspace and Speed Eater. That last one's solely about reviews of fast-food restaurants. Say what again, again?!





Books
Nadine Gordimer, whose previous fiction penetrated South African politics, aims her skills at domestic violence in "The House Gun." A review/excerpt/interview provides details. Plus: Readers review "Police Pictures: The Photograph as Evidence" not once but twice, as well as George Plimpton's biography of Truman Capote, the annual "Best American Poetry" volume, a biography of Nashville country-music shark Jimmy Bowen, and a rough guide to reggae. And don't miss our exhaustive lists of the best books in 1997!




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.



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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