Newswire

Newswire

  • The Three Faces Of Freedom

    All but unanimously, the collapse of communism is being hailed as the triumph of democracy-what NEWSWEEK has already proclaimed "the greatest expansion of freedom in human history." But is it really? Comes now Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson to warn that the basic concept of freedom is still alien to most of the world's cultures. It's "simply nonsense," he says, to assume that people will automatically embrace democracy when dictators topple. ...
  • The Highway To The Future

    With a modem, a telephone line and a bit of a tail wind, the text of this story traveled from Galveston, Texas, to New York City in just over two minutes. It's an amazing feat made prosaic only by its regularity. But it's also yesterday's technology. The future apparently will be measured in gigabits--1 billion bits of data, roughly a 20-volume encyclopedia-which can move across the land in barely a second. With that speed and accompanying power, scientists and schools, homes and hospitals could all be connected in one massive computer network. Then Everyman, and his sister, the physicist, will be able to dip into anything from the stacks of Harvard Yard to the video archives of the Home Shopping Network. All of that will be possible when the United States builds what has come to be known as a data highway, a fiber-optic spinal cord its proponents promise will do for the nation's economy and lifestyle what the interstate highway system did for America in the 1950s. ...
  • The Nra Woos The Cops

    As part of a bold new strategy, the gun lobby has the nation's police in its sights. In the past decade, many cops have squared off against the National Rifle Association over gun control. Top cops around the country demanded strict legislation to outlaw assault weapons and control the sale of handguns. The pressure from the police helped pass limited gun-control bills last summer. Hoping to win their old allies back, the NRA has launched an ad campaign in Texas. "These ads are appealing to Americans to show that the NRA is a law-and-order organization that also enjoys guns," says Ron DeLord, a state lobbyist for police issues in Austin. ...
  • The Art Market: Back To Reality

    During two record-smashing spring auctions in 1990, a Japanese industrialist forked over $160 million for two prize paintings by van Gogh and Renoir. In stark contrast, the highest price at auction in 1991 was a mere $13.5 million for a sumptuous old master painting"Venus and Adonis" by Titian. If this sounds like the art market took a nose dive last year, it did. The top auction houses are hurting bad, but several in the art world aren't entirely unhappy with the situation. ...
  • Little Gloria, Happy At Last

    So I reverted to a primordial skill that I hadn't used since feminism had helped me to make my own life: getting a man to fall in love with me. As many women can testify, this is alarmingly easy, providing you're willing to play down who you are and play up who he wants you to be....The only problem was that, having got this man to fall in love with an inauthentic me, I had to keep on not being myselfFrom 'Revolution from Within'It could have been worse. Gloria Steinem's original title for this book was "Bedside Book of Self-Esteem. " Now it's Revolution from Within (377 pages. Little, Brown. $22.95). But even a title with "revolution" in it can't fully redeem this squishy exercise in feeling better. Steinem's fans, hundreds of thousands of women who have been applauding her speeches and sound bites for years, and who made her "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions" a best seller in 1983, are going to pick up this book and set it down again with a single, agonized cry: "Gloria,...
  • Soviet Souvenir

    For those who missed getting of the Berlin wall, there's still a chance to pick up a piece of cold-war history. In a shameless promotion, the Barq's root-beer company will soon begin peddling "Communist Party Favors." Barq's apparatchiks are busy snapping up Soviet memorabilia such as war medals, model tanks and matchbooks. Starting on May Day, with proof of purchase, Barq's will send an artifact--most of which will carry genuine, if obsolete, Soviet insignia.
  • She's No Ronnie

    The Reagan name is again circulating in California. This time, though, it's getting a mixed reaction. Maureen Reagan, daughter of the ex-president, hopes to run for Congress in the state's newly drawn 36th district. Reagan--the "celebrity candidate" in a tough primary field-should have little trouble raising money or getting exposure. But some GOP leaders worry that Reagan, who lost in the '82 GOP senatorial primary, is too liberal and too shrill for the conservative district. "We love her father, but she's not her father," says one party pro. Reagan, former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, disagrees: "I'm a very good campaigner and I have tremendous support."
  • 'Shock Therapy'--With Emphasis On Shock

    Boris Yeltsin called it "shock therapy." For millions of Russians and their neighbors in other republics of the former Soviet Union, it meant a distinctly unhappy New Year. In Moscow's state stores, the price of bread quadrupled. The free-market price of sausage went up more than sixfold, and pork sold for 465 rubles a pound-more than the average wage for a month's work. Yeltsin's overnight price reform had Russians worrying about runaway inflation. "We used to go shopping with one 10-ruble note," said a worker named Yuri. "Now we need a suitcase full of them." ...
  • Last-Minute Reprieve

    In the beginning (say, 1910-30), abstract painters were utopians--they actually thought the real world could be changed for the better by little colored squares. Bright gridded pictures for new workers' housing and all that. The horrors of the Great Depression and World War II convinced them otherwise, and they switched to existentialism-painting for the sheer, painful freedom of it. For a couple of generations thereafter, abstract painting was either cathartically expressionist or theory-laden minimalist. Then, in the mid-1970s it gave up on trying to be revolutionary, visionary or even sincere. Along with just about everything else in the art world, it turned ironic. The trouble was-and is-that irony is much better accomplished by collage, assemblage, installation art and photography. What abstract painting deals with best is the variety of beauty, a nonstarter these days. Today, when almost every current gallery exhibition in Soho, Santa Monica, Mayfair and the Bastille district...
  • Where The Price Is Always Right

    You can tell just by looking at it that this is not your typical suburban mall. The exterior is covered with a bland brick. There are no windows anywhere, and at both ends of the mall are desolate areas dotted with boarded-up storefronts. The stores that are open for business advertise their wares with handwritten signs, with all the design sense of garage sales. And the store names ... well, this is no Rodeo Drive. There's Cheapo Depot, Buck-A-Book, Take A Walk and the invitingly named Perspirations. ...
  • Revolt Of The Fur Bearers

    At exactly 7:30 on the chilly Friday night before Christmas, a dozen animal-rights activists, wearing fur coats "bloodied" with red paint, walked to the main terminal of Washington National Airport. When they found travelers bundled in fur, they accosted them with pictures of a caged fox, and the legend: "We'd like you to meet someone who used to wear fur." ...
  • A Cheater's Guide To High Marks (And Big $)

    Whoever said cheaters never prosper never met Michael Moore. A junior at New Jersey's Rutgers University, Moore is the author of "Cheating 101: The Benefits and Fundamentals of Earning the Easy "A,'" one of the most talked-about books to hit college campuses this year. An 87-page guide to academic guile, "Cheating" offers the finer points of plagiarizing, swiping exams and passing answers right under the professor's nose. Among its lowlights: "Splitting," where a number of conspirators signal each other during an exam with carefully choreographed foot steps; and "Doctoring," where intricately coded crib notes are inscribed on desks, floors, umbrellas, candy-bar wrappers, eyeglass cases and the bottoms of soda cans. ...
  • Cubism, American Style

    Go to an Ella Fitzgerald concert, and you don't have to sit through a lecture before she sings some tunes. When a philharmonic plays Beethoven, a few brief program notes are the only barrier to esthetic pleasure. So why is modern art in a museum so subject to deadening didactics? Granted, lengthy wall labels and a definitive (as in thick) catalog are welcome in the case of a 17th-century Dutchman or ritual art from Oceania. But Stuart Davis (1892-1964) was a straightforward, doggedly inspired modernist whose best paintings have a bright, crackling proto-pop style. New York's august Metropolitan Museum of Art is giving him his first retrospective in 25 years (through Feb. 16, before traveling to San Francisco), and it should be an exhilarating exhibition. But it isn't. The show (175 works in 10 galleries and a catalog with seven separately authored you-take-a-wing, I'll-have-a-drumstick essays) is a tug of war between the artist's snappy workmanship and the museum's sapping...
  • Making Pcs, Texas Style

    Just 10 years ago, Bill Hayden was selling computer parts out of the back of his battered orange Chevette, cutting deals with customers in parking lots. "We were pretty desperate for sales," he says. "Boy, times have changed since then." ...
  • You Gotta Pay Respect

    There were tears in Abbey Lincoln's eyes a few weeks back as she recited the names from a Brooklyn concert stage: Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, peers no longer around. It was a queer moment, sad but also triumphant. With the passing of so many great jazz musicians and the growth of her own talent, Lincoln, at 61, now occupies a position she has never held before. After 35 years of lustrous life on the margins-as a cover girl, supper-club singer, actress, activist and cultural icon-Lincoln has become a recognized great jazz singer. ...
  • The Newest War

    The American-led battle to oust Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait is an increasingly distant memory. U.S. troops may soon be airlifting food to another crumbling former foe, the Soviet Union. But the U.S. military is still at war-against the drug lords of Latin America. On the waters of the Caribbean Sea, ships and AWACS planes of the Navy's Atlantic Command search for drug planes and boats, while a military radar aerostat balloon hovers above. In the desert Southwest, Marines and Army Special Forces soldiers burrow into "hide sites," peering at drug smugglers through night-vision goggles. Along the GulfCoast, Navy SEALs probe ships for cocaine shipments riveted to their hulls. In South America, American trainers mold Latin armies into narco-fighting form. ...
  • Remodeling The Slopes

    The French Alps offered a holiday weekend from hell just days before Christmas. For 24 miserable hours, cars backed up--and piled up--in sclerotic masses clogging the narrow mountain valleys. Trains, too, failed to move. Avalanches thundered, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others and seriously damaging a small hotel at Val d'Isere. Thousands of hapless merrymakers were forced to sleep on cots far from their pricey, unreachable rooms at some of the Alps' most famous ski resorts. ...
  • A Booming Grass-Roots Business

    It is dusk in Villa 14 de Septiembre, a village at the dark heart of Bolivia's Chapare jungle. As clouds roll in, a Ford Bronco pulls up outside the local market. Within moments, a crowd of cocaine traffickers pounces on the driver, who is wrestling with his load: two 50-pound bags of coca leaves. The buyers grab handfuls of leaves to taste, then stuff the man's pockets with bills in an attempt to preempt the competition. It's a good batch of leaves, and the local narcos know that the coming rainstorm will bump up the price. With the first raindrops, the seller finally accepts a wad of bills: $70 for the two bags, $60 more than the same load would have fetched a year ago. ...
  • Talking To God

    For More And More Americans, Worship Services Are No Longer Enough. They Want The Intimate Contact Of Personal Prayer.