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W hat ever happened to the good old days of long train trips? When East-coast bluebloods toting parasols and bronze-tipped canes would board smoke-spewing steel snakes for elegent tours of the unknown West? When Cary Grant could safely hide from authorities by prancing into Eva Marie Saint's cabin and stuffing himself into her sleeping compartment? Nowadays it's all cars, cars, cars...or should I say minivans, minivans, minivans. And we all know what that means: clogged freeways, worsened pollution, wasted gasoline and the increasingly isolated and superficial mentality of our don't-bug-me-I'm-trying-to-drive culture.

Yeah, you heard me right -- the decline of the train is responsible for widespread social collapse. Sure, it's just a theory, but I'm convinced that if more people took trains, we'd be better off. That's why you should read this article about one of the last bastions of accessible rail transportation in America, Amtrak, whose business has come increasingly closer to derailing of late. (Mitigating factor: This means the rates are going down, as a piece in this week's Arts section shows.)

Heading along a different track, let's talk New Year's Resolutions. In protest, I avoided making any, but this article has me rethinking that plan. It offers a weekly schedule guaranteed to improve your health, your mind, and your overall well-being. Its modus operandi is baby steps, since the author, Nurse Ratchett, figures you can only master your behavior one day at a time. Makes sense to me, though I'm not ready to start counting calories or anything (as a related article in Arts suggests). Deepak Chopra, eat your holistic heart out.

Tired of reading about Paula Jones's hairdo? Then check out what else we've got in this week's Weekly Wire: articles about female "holy men," a learned politician's travels throughout Eastern Europe, and the true identity of the legendary Tokyo Rose.

In the arena of opinions, find out why a Republican thinks African Americans should join the flock; Mormons continue to clash with gays; celebrity skiing casualties have noone to blame but themselves; papal knighthoods ought to include Hitler; and that ooky, overused word "closure" just doesn't apply to the Oklahoma bombings.

Choo choo,

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. [14]

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Volume I, Issue 33
January 20 - January 26, 1998

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You Say You Want a Resolution
Would you believe you're only a week away from better health? [2]
Mike Ratchett, Staff Nurse

Rounding a Bend
It dodged a strike. It got a massive bailout. It lost its president and board. Now Amtrak looks to the future. [3]
Paul Gerald

Women of the Cloth
A pastor, a minister, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar...and they're all women. [4]
Cristina Smith

They Call Her Tokyo Rose
A wartime legend struggles to find peace in Chicago. [5]
Keith O'Brien

Travelin' Man
Former Tucson Mayor Tom Volgy spends his spare time bringing the joys of liberal democracy to eastern Europe. [6]
Emil Franzi

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Morality Plays
The repealing Salt Lake City's gay-protection ordinance is an outcome of Mormon politics. [7]
John Harrington

A "Redneck" Solicits
A Republican activist details why African Americans should join the Republican cause. [8]
Arnold Weiner

The Blame Game
The Alibi staff sounds off on skiing accidents. [9]
Michael Henningsen

Knighthoods for the Dreadful
Angry young man or cranky old fart? You decide! [10]
Cap'n O

Desperately Seeking Closure
If you really want to know what's going on in America, watch The Today Show. [11]
Jeff Smith

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Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [12]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [13]
R.U. Steinberg

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