Newswire

Newswire

  • It's Brown's Brown's Brown's World

    There's an argument to be made that James Brown is the most important musical force of our time. "Star Time," his new four-volume, 71-song boxed set, makes it. Spanning 28 years, with a few rarities, and a lot of classics reconstructed from master tapes, this is as good as pop music gets. ...
  • There's No Joy At Mudville's Newsstand

    By the end of the fifth quarter, the home team was down by $100 million, with no time left on the clock. As the players themselves put it in their own obituary, they had been eliminated. The defeat last week of The National, this country's only sports daily, by the forces of the marketplace ended a noble experiment in newspapering. Founded just 16 months ago, the paper was provocative and literate, but never found the audience it needed. ...
  • On The Road Again

    Though his access to military planes has been restricted, White House chief of staff John Sununu continues to use government transportation for personal business. Just a month after the "Air Sununu" controversy, NEWSWEEK has learned that Sununu last Wednesday took a White House car and driver on a five-hour trip from Washington to New York to attend a rare-stamp auction at Christie's. An avid philatelist, Sununu bought some stamps. Then, White House sources say, he used the car to ferry him around town for other personal errands; at the end of the day Sununu sent the empty car and driver back to Washington while he attended a GOP fund-raiser. He flew home on a corporate jet. ...
  • 'Like A Dam Wall Bursting'

    Black Africa's efforts to isolate South Africa never amounted to much more than rhetoric. The supposed pariah remained a commercial hub; while Nelson Mandela languished in prison, trains from Cape Town brought everything from combs to chemicals into neighboring Zimbabwe, one of apartheid's harshest critics. But now that President F. W. de Klerk has begun to dismantle official racism, even the posturing is falling away. Last week de Klerk became the first South African leader to ever visit Kenya. Earlier this month a South African airliner was allowed to overfly West Africa for the first time in 28 years. And the 51-member Organization of African Unity said it would consider readmitting Pretoria. "It's like a dam wall bursting," said de Klerk. "We are a part of Africa, and most countries in Africa would like us to play [our] role." ...
  • Have Floppy Disk, Will Travel

    During last year's much-publicized busts of alleged criminal computer hackers, law-enforcement officials targeted a now defunct group called the Legion of Doom. Members denied they had done anything more serious than poking around computer systems, and the raids have produced few convictions. Now several former Doomers have formed a business: computer security. Houston-based Comsex Data Security will perform audits - including break-in attempts to show executives their systems' weak points.
  • Columbus, Stay Home!

    The executive director of the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission is picking his words carefully. "We don't call it a celebration," says James Kuhn. "We call it a commemoration." Of what? "Specifically the 500th anniversary of the voyages to the New World," he explains. Oh, Columbus's great discovery? No, says Kuhn, "I refer to it as an 'encounter.' I may have even said discovery in the past but now I refer to it as an encounter." ...
  • Bush's No-Risk Policy

    There was the Good George. Standing on the South Lawn of the White House at twilight last week, he called on Americans to become "points of light," to reach out and help the less fortunate. But then suddenly, a few moments into his high-minded speech, a sly grin crept across his face. The charitable tone gave way to a nastier side. Critics said his administration had no domestic policy. Well, it was all Congress's fault, the president insisted. He'd sent an anticrime bill and a highway bill to Capitol Hill at the end of the gulf war and asked lawmakers to approve them within 100 days. "I wasn't asking Congress to deliver a piece of hot pizza in 30 minutes," Bush said sarcastically. "I'm disappointed but frankly I'm not surprised." ...
  • Getting Rolled In 'Rollups'

    Rose Freiler, 77, was looking for a safe haven for $125,000 she planned to leave her sons. She knew little about finance, so when a broker offered what he called a reliable venture with a modest return, she put the sum into two limited partnerships that invested primarily in real estate. After she died in 1990, the company that manages the investment notified Freiler's sons that it was lumping their partnerships with others into a single entity - a "rollup." The result? The Freilers fear their inheritance could drop by 80 percent. (The manager maintains the deal was done to offer liquidity and says the value won't fall anywhere near that amount.) ...
  • Heeding The Call Of The Drums

    It's Wednesday evening, and Bruce Silverman is calling the Sons of Orpheus men's group and drumming troupe to their sacred space, a whitewashed loft alongside an expressway in Emeryville, Calif. He sets up a steady thump on one of the six large congas at the far end of the room, and men begin to appear, as if the drum itself and not the clock had summoned them from offices, campuses and construction sites all over the San Francisco area. Other drums join in. The beat grows louder; it picks up speed, turns into a rushing river of sound that divides into streams and strands into which men toss the bright plinks of bells and chimes. Thirty or 40 men line the room now; they dance, they chant, they invoke the Spirit of Deep Masculinity, the West African god they call Hepwa. The six mighty congas fill the air with their rhythmic thunderclaps of percussion, demonstrating at least one elemental truth about men: they like to make noise. ...
  • Every Picture Tells

    Stepping from the transavantgardian mess of the contemporary art world into the Ad Reinhardt retrospective is like going from the streets of Hell's Kitchen in a hundred-degree August during a garbage strike, directly into a Sedona flotation tank. The pupils dilate, the mind clears, the spirit lifts, peace comes. This exhibition (at New York's Museum of Modern Art through Sept. 2, then traveling to its co-organizer, Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art) ought to be stored intact and brought out every 10 or 15 years, so we can see how far art has gone wrong again. OK, maybe that's a little heavy. But only a little. ...
  • Rocky For President?

    With health care one of the nation's top pocketbook issues, Democrats want a candidate with a good bedside manner. West Virginia Sen. John H. (Jay) Rockefeller may be just what the spin doctor ordered. Rockefeller has name recognition, a towering physical presence, and the respect that comes from being one of the Senate's leading health-care advocates. "We have to act now to make sure you don't have to be a Rockefeller to afford decent health care in this country," he says. Rockefeller is among the latest undeclared candidates to be talked up as the Democratic standard-bearer in '92. Because of his expertise, he is better positioned than other presidential hopefuls to use health care as a metaphor for Bush's failure to address domestic problems. But Rockefeller has trouble translating his good intentions into crisp campaign speeches. He is a candidate in search of a sound bite. ...
  • Buzzwords

    People develop more than muscles at the health club. A sampler of gym-speak: Someone who's got low body fat and is very muscular.Beyond yoked - all muscle. Also, "roped," "cut," "peeled" and "inside out."A beginner at the health club.A regular.Overweight.Someone bloated, usually with steroids. Also, "roid," "blowfish" and "musclehead."Suggested wear for women who are too large for the customary G-string leotard.Someone with a big, muscular back that whittles down to a narrow waist.
  • Out Of Bounds

    Random House editorial director Jason Epstein - usually a champion of free expression - for contemplating suing The New Republic for printing an article that dared to be critical of the publishing industry. The article, by TNR senior editor Jacob Weisberg, said talented editors such as Epstein don't do enough hands-on editing and spend their time chasing blockbusters. The tough but hardly libelous piece offended Epstein and his publishing allies, already fighting a sales slump. Epstein could not be reached.
  • At Play In The Fields Of Love

    Even in these soulless times, when gassy Michael Bolton can pass for Otis Redding reincarnate, there are still a few real lights shining down on us. Two of them, Luther Vandross and Aaron Neville, have fairly wonderful new albums out. ...
  • Great Moments In Advertising

    Bikinis and beer have long been a popular marketing mix. But after a recent period of relative enlightenment, brewers have sunk to new lows, jigglewise. No stars awarded: Man corrals sultry babe on desert isle. What a ground-breaking concept! But it does have a plot.Most T & A. Gets credit, though, for pairing bimbettes with equally luscious hunkolas.Wouldn't it be great if this brand could think up a better conceit than Chicks on Your Lap?The Swedish Bikini Team to the rescue. Millie took Keystone's nonidea and made it even more offensive.
  • Awake After 600 Years

    Church bells pealed an alarm, but the villagers hardly needed it. "I saw mud flying above me, so I ran for my life," said farmer Miguel de Vera, who had kept planting crops on the slopes of Mount Pinatubo in spite of warnings to leave. A gray-green mushroom cloud of ash and smoke rose 10 miles in the sky; as it settled, the debris blotted out the sun and coated hundreds of square miles of the Philippine island of Luzon with what looked like snow. And that was only the beginning. Another big explosion threw fist-size lumps of pumice as far as 25 miles. By the weekend, the volcano had erupted 26 times. At least 18 people were killed; more than 50 were hurt and 84,000 fled. ...
  • Audubon's Empty Nest

    What comes to mind when you think of the National Audubon Society: spotted owls endangered by logging in ancient forests? Migratory birds whose flyways are being turned into shopping malls? The society would prefer you drop such associations and think instead of a little blue rectangle. That's the logo it recently chose to replace the airborne egret that had become an albatross to a group now marketing itself as "more than just birds." The society wants "Audubon" to evoke images of its planned $24 million, environmentally sound headquarters in New York (not to be confused with the Natural Resources Defense Council's environmentally correct office). Or its campaign to stem population growth (not to be confused with Planned Parenthood's). Or its fight to keep oil drillers out of ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (not to be confused with Sierra Club's, National Wildlife Federation's and everyone else's identical battle). ...
  • No Kick From Champagne

    I received a wedding invitation from a friend the other day. After the initial touch of anger at having been invited as a single (no guest, please) I began experiencing some old unsettled feelings about being a divorced male in a married world. It's not that I didn't realize long ago that hosting these lavish catered affairs is a game invented by Mr. & Mrs. America to perpetuate, symbolize and elevate a chosen lifestyle. What has continued to trouble me since that first invitation as a single nearly 15 years ago isn't the game itself, but the way the game treats unmarrieds as outcasts. ...
  • Money Talks

    Will President Bush step up the pressure on Israel to negotiate the status of the occupied Palestinian territories rather than continue de facto annexation? In a June 7 letter to his board, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations president Sheldon Rudoff said Bush told him in a recent meeting that if Israel continues to build settlements in the territories, he can't promise to support an upcoming Israeli request for $10 billion in loan guarantees for housing Soviet immigrants. White House officials have publicly downplayed the letter, which reflects Bush's long-standing unhappiness with the settlements. But some Bush officials think the president might indeed risk a fight with Congress to oppose the aid request, Israel's biggest ever. "I think we should fight it," said one top administration official. "To support it would amount to endorsing the settlement activity."
  • A Rich Legacy Of Preference

    Who are we? Colleges encourage us to apply. Our grades scores have to be good but not great. Our applications are personally reviewed by deans of admissions. We're wanted so much that the dean will look beyond our scores for the promise we carry to campus. Are we star athletes who can fill stadiums? Or minority students who can bring "diversity" to classrooms? No. We're the children of alumni - "legacies" to the cognoscente - and, on campuses where anything that smacks of quotas can spark a bitter controversy, we have a special niche of our own. ...