Devin Gordon

Stories by Devin Gordon

  • Will Pat 'Cross The Rubicon'?

    THE ALREADY CROWDED field of would-be Republican presidential candidates could soon have another contender: Pat Buchanan. The conservative pundit won the '96 New Hampshire primary by appealing to working-class Americans' fears of globalization. He thinks his message of trade protectionism coupled with an isolationist foreign policy will be even stronger in 2000 because of the economic problems in Asia, Russia and Brazil and their ripple effect on U.S. manufacturing and agriculture. Buchanan has promised a decision by next week. ""I haven't crossed the Rubicon yet,'' he says. ""I'm up in the trees looking down at the river.'' But his bosses at CNN think it's so likely he'll run, they're already considering replacements to fill in as co-host of ""Crossfire.'' Among the contenders: Newt Gingrich and Mary Matalin. One possible snag: Buchanan's sister Bay, who ran his two previous campaigns, has decided to stick with her blossoming TV career on MSNBC this time around. Who will replace...
  • Richer Colleges, Higher Bills

    COLLEGES ARE GETTING richer--but tuition still keeps going up. A recent study shows higher-ed endowments grew an average of 18 percent in the year ending last June 30, the fourth straight year of double-digit growth. Harvard, the richest by far, saw a 19.2 percent rise, to $13 billion. Tiny Grinnell College gained a whopping 35 percent. But not everyone did so well: No. 6 Stanford added a mere 1.9 percent, at least above inflation.
  • A Soda For The Perfect Burp

    LIKE FINE WINES, RUDY Begonia's Belcher sodas have a distinctive bouquet. Its marketers say the pop, which contains twice the carbonation of normal soft drinks, lures its target buyers--5- to 17-year-olds--with a soda scent that says, ""Burp spoken here.'' PERI's call? Belcher's Gastro Grape and Loogie Lime beat most colas, but for sheer eructative power, we'll still reach for the root beer.
  • Getting High On Higher Ed

    AS AMERICAN COLLEGES clamp down on alcohol--Dartmouth is the latest to urge reform on its beer-swilling frats--John Moores University in Liverpool, England, is carving out a niche as a paradise for party boys. ""You may be forgiven for thinking that drinking is the city's only pastime,'' reads the school's brochure, Upfront. ""It's not, but there's a lot of opportunity to practise if it's yours.'' Upfront, styled after British ""lager lout'' magazines like Loaded or FHM, goes on to boast that Liverpool's compact city center ""makes staggering from bar to bar a very pleasurable experience.''
  • Friendly Chats At 190 Miles Per Hour

    NASCAR'S NEW SEASON STARTED WITH GUSTO AS FAN FAVES DALE EARNHARDT AND Jeff Gordon dueled down to the wire at the Daytona 500. We're so revved up, we thought we'd get to know better a few of our race-car-driving, death-defying heroes. ...
  • Waiting For Star Wars

    In the annals of "Star Wars" legend, the young rogue Scorpio ranks well below the likes of Yoda, Chewbacca and R2-D2. But he's earned a place in the pantheon. Scorpio is an Earthling--a guy from San Francisco, actually--and it was he who embarked last fall on a vital mission in service of "Star Wars" fans everywhere. With his trusty Handicam, he bootlegged a copy of the limited- release trailer for George Lucas's upcoming "Star Wars" epic, "Episode I: The Phantom Menace." "A lot of fans had no idea how they were going to hold out until the trailer got to their theaters," says Scorpio, who, copyright laws being what they are, is sticking to his alias.He wasn't ready, though, for what happened once his work hit the Internet. Within hours the trailer spread to more than 60 sites, and demand for an early peek at what would be the first new "Star Wars" installment in 16 years crashed servers round the world. Lucasfilm's official Web site scrambled to post the trailer itself and was...
  • 'The '90S': A Frappuccino Of A Mini-Series

    NBC'S MINI-SERIES ""THE '60S'' WAS SO SUCCESSFUL THE NETWORK HAS GREENLIGHTED ""The '70s.'' Can other panoramic retrospectives, which cram the events and trends of an entire decade onto just a few characters, be far behind? Our storyboards for ""The '90s'':Character #1Brandon: Grunger Nirvana groupie drifts to Seattle, where he invents the decaf grande mocha latte. Disillusioned by the death of Kurt Cobain, he starts a software company. Makes millions on the IPO.Character #2Zach: Desert Storm vet thinks Macarena is U.N. plot. Joins right-wing militia. After Al Gore makes dance joke, goes to D.C. to confront him, falls in love with a certain intern, becomes Lucianne Goldberg's bodyguard.Characters #3 and #4Mom and Dad: Downsized by NAFTA, Dad gets idea for Boomer Estates, a gated community, while sandbagging a golf course during Midwest floods. Disillusioned by the O.J. verdict, Mom spends late '90s watching The History Channel.Character #5Tiffany: Trapped with camera in South...
  • At Your Service

    ONCE A SAFETY feature, remote roadside assistance has become the latest in auto-borne luxury. Car-phone concierges not only give directions or call for a tow, but reserve tables, make wake-up calls, even sing opera on request. PERI tested GM's OnStar system's claim to do ""whatever it takes.'' Request: Find car's location.Result: Gave longitude and latitude to six decimal places.Request: Recommend a male strip club.Result: Male ""adviser'' jokingly offers private show; female adviser with apparent deep knowledge of male-strip scene rates top clubs.Request: Give day's horoscope.Result: ""We don't do that.''
  • Too Much Noise

    A NEW TRANSATLANTIC trade war is looming--and its first victim could be the Concorde. The European Commission is in the final stages of passing strict noise-control standards for all civil aircraft. The regs could keep one third of the U.S. fleet, the oldest in the West, out of Europe, and the U.S. aviation industry claims the rules could cost it $1 billion. The Clinton administration is threatening to retaliate. Already two top Democrats have introduced a bill to ban the noisy Concorde, pride of British and French airlines, from U.S. airspace.
  • Paint It Black . . . No, Pink! No, Blue!

    Fashionistas spent the '90s trying in vain to persuade women to wear something other than black. 1999 Designers are painting the town pink. --WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY 1998 Gray is the new black. --HARPER'S BAZAAR 1997 Beige is the opposite of black. --ESQUIRE Forget your basic black. . .blue [is] naughtier. --HARPER'S BAZAAR 1994 White: The New Black --ELLE 1993 Send in the browns! --SEVENTEEN 1992 Red has guts. --VALENTINO 1990 I'm so bored with black! --ANNE KLEIN'S LOUIS DELL'OLIO
  • Oprah-Di, Oprah-Da, Life Goes On

    LAST WEEK OPRAH WINFREY GRIPED OVER LOSING THE BIG LEWINSKY INTERVIEW TO Barbara Walters. Oprah's also getting clubbed in the ratings by Jerry Springer, and now claims she wants out of talk TV when her contract ends. Say it ain't so! The buzz on the big O: 1. Good Riddance. It's Springer Time! Oprah's feel-good blab is passe. What we require now is fights and sluts. Jerry! Jerry!2. She's a Ratings Martyr. She knew she'd lose fans with her self-help focus, and knew 'Beloved' was a tough sell. But she needs to better us!3. 'O' is for Get Over Yourself. Oprah gets preachier every year. She's a cult leader, a self-proclaimed gurur. And besides. . .4. She's Telling Us How to Live? Can't keep the fat off? Can't tie the knot? Girl, your life's a mess.5. Don't You Say That About Oprah! Survived poverty and abuse, saved the book biz, uses TV for good, cares about her fans and looks fly! You go, Oprah!
  • Stand By Your Mom

    THERE'S A BATTLE raging over Tammy Wynette's body. Next week, NEWSWEEK has learned, an attorney for three of Wynette's daughters plans to meet once again with the Nashville medical examiner who denied their initial request to exhume the late country singer's body. According to Wynette's physician, Dr. Wallis Marsh, Wynette died of blood clots in her lungs. But the daughters believe Wynette may have overdosed on prescription narcotics. An autopsy would settle the matter, says the attorney, Dan Warlick. ""It's their mother. They just want to know why she died.''
  • Take This Film And Shelve It

    WHEN THE DIRECTOR of Sundance fave ""Happy, Texas'' sold his film to Miramax last month, he insisted on a contract clause: the studio must actually release the movie. Each year Miramax buys up to 10 films it never releases, or limits to one-week runs. Studio cochairman Harvey Weinstein ""gets distracted,'' says the director of a flick he paid for then forgot about. All studios buy some films that don't cut it, but Miramax alone seems to bank on buying more than it can use. Weinstein grabs promising flicks (1998 Sundance fave ""Jerry and Tom''), but if they test poorly they get shelved or go straight to video. Thus Weinstein backs only hits, crafting the rep of a Midas touch while playing to broad audiences. Miramax guards rights to films it won't release, so filmmakers watch work rot in storage, and you may miss out on some great noncommercial flicks.
  • Post-Trial Makeover Edition

    Like Linda Tripp, the CW is sporting a new look--but it promises never to tape a friend or file an affidavit. The arrows may seem different, but they'll spin just as fast. PLAYERS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM Clinton + Gets off just in time for Valentine's Day! Pizza anyone? Lott = Handles trial process nicely, then blows it with sour grapes postmortem. Daschle + Sen. minority leader does impossible: unifies Dems--and without meanness. Tripp - Blames Lucianne, doesn't even try to apologize to Monica. Time for a new makeover. Hitchens - Blumenthal ""friend'' is the Linda Tripp of the left. He could use a makeover, too. Constitution + Proves able to handle oral sex, Bob Barr. What a bodacious document! + Upside - Downside = Upside/Downside
  • On The Run: Bin Laden

    WHERE IS OSAMA BIN Laden? Just days after U.S. officials delivered the ""blunt-est message yet'' that Washington believed attacks by bin Laden on U.S. citizens could be imminent and that the Clinton administration would hold Afghanistan ""directly responsible'' if they occurred, the Saudi terrorist apparently fled his sanctuary in the Taliban's spiritual capital, Kandahar. ""Our guest has gone missing,'' said a Taliban spokesman. ""We did not order him to leave; we do not know where he has gone.'' U.S. officials did not immediately confirm whether bin Laden had left the country, but said that at a Feb. 3 meeting, they received the most positive response so far to U.S. pressure. Washington has offered a $5 million reward for his capture for masterminding last August's bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. U.S. and Arab intelligence sources said a likely destination was Somalia, where bin Laden has connections to radical fundamentalists.
  • Mark Your Love Calendar For April 9

    SOMETIME THIS SPRING, IN A time zone east of Australia, a human egg will shimmy toward destiny: 266 days later--give or take--it will leave the womb as the first child of the 2000s. The race to bear that baby (or one of its 23 brethren born in successive midnights around the globe) is already at full tilt. A New Zealand radio station is reportedly recruiting 100 ""loving couples'' to ""have a go'' at making Baby Millennia in a hotel on April 9. In China, where Caesarean sections are often scheduled to coincide with ""lucky'' horoscope days, women have aborted existing pregnancies to make way for a ""century baby''--a trend that was heightened by a rumor that the World Health Organization would reward the child with a passport and other perks. And in Britain, ITV television will air conducive (read: sex-ed) programming for those firing up a fetus on what's been termed ""bonk night.'' A film team hopes to track successful couples for a series called ""Birth Race 2000.'' But before you...
  • Going Strong

    The Offspring Punk is all about flipping the bird at people. So with hip-hop winning the suburban turf war, Dexter Holland, lead singer for the California punk outfit the Offspring, did what came naturally. He wrote ""Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),'' a loud anthem that snarls at white-bread mall rats. Now, thanks to Mr. Holland's opus, the Offspring's riding high. ""Americana,'' the band's double-platinum fifth LP, is lodged atop Billboard's album chart--alongside the likes of "N Sync and Britney Spears. ""That's pretty scary,'' says Holland. ""I hope those kids aren't buying our album, too.'' Sorry, pal, but everyone loves it--including those mall rats. (Expect similar props for their next single, ""Why Don't You Get a Job?'') Critics tagged the Offspring as a passing fad when 1994's ""Smash'' sold 5 million copies, but now the band looks like rock's great white hope. ""You can be here today and gone today. So if we're an established band now, that's awesome,'' says Holland. ""I...
  • Waiting For Star Wars

    IN THE ANNALS OF ""STAR WARS'' LEGEND, THE young rogue Scorpio ranks well below the likes of Yoda, Chewbacca and R2-D2. But he's earned a place in the pantheon. Scorpio is an earthling--a guy from San Francisco, actually--and it was he who embarked last fall on a vital mission in service of ""Star Wars'' fans everywhere. With his trusty Handicam, he bootlegged a copy of the limited-release trailer for George Lucas's upcoming ""Star Wars'' epic ""Episode I: The Phantom Menace.'' ""A lot of fans had no idea how they were going to hold out until the trailer got to their theaters,'' says Scorpio, who, copyright laws being what they are, is sticking to his alias. ...
  • Sound Checks

    Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds ""Live at Luther College'' seems like a gimmick baked up by one of Matthews's stoner fans: ditch the band, put Dave on a stool and let him croon. In fact, he and guitarist-chum Reynolds have been doing these gigs for years (they're touring now), and on the bootleg black market the tapes are real treasures. This 23-song set shows why. Reynolds's bluesy riffs fill the void left by the band without Xeroxing old ground. And Matthews's vocals, thrust to the forefront, are vintage Dave: sexy, brave and lulling.
  • Pint-Size Jedi

    JAKE LLOYD TO LOOK AT HIM, YOU'D never guess it--this is the face of evil? In ""Star Wars: Episode I,'' Lloyd, 9, will play Anakin Skywalker, the boy who grows up to be Darth Vader. (The dark side won't beckon until part two.) The prequel is the Los Angeles native's third film. Laying out why he likes his job, Lloyd speaks in giddy italics: ""It's doing the acting, meeting the people, going all over the place . . . and the girls go nuts over me.'' Certain grown-ups go nuts, too, like George Lucas, who's said to adore him. Steven Spielberg calls him ""one of the scrappiest and most determined kids I've seen in a film in recent memory.'' Wait, you mean you've seen the movie? No fair!