Essays

Caller I.D. vs. caller id
Published on Nov 21st, 2002
0 comments Caller I.D has revolutionized telephone etiquette. A helpful (though guilt-laded innovation) for the callee, the invention is potentially devastating for the caller. And not just tele-marketers. We'...
Guilt tip: Voters gave DNA a boost
Published on Nov 14th, 2002
0 comments The guilt or innocence of a man executed for murder is less important than adhering to legal niceties, the Virginia Supreme Court declared recently. Roger Keith Coleman was executed in 1992 by the...
Gush of guilt: Holiday cheer brings water fear
Published on Nov 7th, 2002
0 comments It dawned on me that I've become a bit too obsessive about water usage at home when we hosted out-of-town guests recently. I found myself cringing each time our friends needlessly flushed the toilet...
B-sides: Why I hate my records
Published on Oct 31st, 2002
0 comments Rolling Stone recently published a list of the "100 greatest records of all time," as voted by their readers. "All time" is stretching it. In reality, it's the 100 greatest records the mostly white,...
Celeb unions: Much more fun than the movies
Published on Oct 24th, 2002
0 comments Here's a news flash: Another celebrity love match for the ages has gone south. This time it's Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie. Last time, the pair going splitsville was gonzo comedian Tom Green...
Emily Couric: One year later
Published on Oct 17th, 2002
0 comments Nestled within the Woolen Mills village, Riverview Cemetery is set on a hill overlooking a ribbon of the Rivanna River winding behind Pantops Shopping Center. Walking here, one can hear the traffic...
Pinto to Protege: My life as told in cars
Published on Oct 10th, 2002
0 comments Everyone has a life story that can be told in cars. My first car, a 1967 Pontiac Catalina, was roughly the size of the battleship Potemkin. My father wanted me to have a comfortable ride for my...
Drug czar must abdicate
Published on Oct 3rd, 2002
0 comments According to survey data released this month, past-month use of illegal drugs increased from 6.3 percent in 2001 to 7.1 percent last year. These numbers can mean only one thing: It's payback time. "...
Guilty: Why I shop at Wal-Mart
Published on Sep 26th, 2002
0 comments The guilt hits me as soon as I pull into the parking lot. I know this is wrong. But I don't let it get to me. I try to think of other things like how do they stack those red and blue coolers so high...
Born to be bad? My genes made me do it
Published on Sep 19th, 2002
0 comments Are criminals born or made? A study published recently in Science suggests they're made, but some people provide better raw material than others. The study involved the gene that encodes the brain...
Word to Congress: Before attacking Iraq, declare war
Published on Sep 12th, 2002
0 comments The talk in Congress this fall will all be about a potential war between the United States and Iraq. There will be the elevated discussions: Should the United States undertake this endeavor? When...
Out of Africa: When you're traveling on 9/11
Published on Sep 5th, 2002
0 comments "Is a good time not to be in America, yes?" said the taxi driver. We were speeding through the streets of Cape Coast, Ghana, where the residents' command of English is often as potholed as the...
Deadly mix: Hate and religion an unlikely marriage
Published on Aug 29th, 2002
0 comments The most startling event of our lifetime still partly baffles most Americans. Nearly a year later, we know thousands of details about 9/11, but few can answer the deep questions at the heart of the...
Blame Bogey and Joe: Do movie stars make people smoke?
Published on Aug 22nd, 2002
0 comments It goes without saying that cancer isn't funny. Which should make us appreciate all the more the latest literary achievement of Joe Eszterhas, the notorious screenwriter of such enjoyably trashy...
Protected "porn": Supreme Court saves Romeo & Juliet again
Published on Aug 8th, 2002
0 comments By Michael W. Lynch "What the Supreme Court has said here is that 'child pornography' has to involve children,'" Mark Kernes, a senior editor at Adult Video News, told The New York Times. "And what a...
See ya greater: Why quitting is back in style
Published on Aug 1st, 2002
0 comments   By Rob Walker Even with all the grim business news around us, The Wall Street Journal noted not long ago that employee disloyalty had made a comeback or that it never went away. Workers are...
Charlottesville music: The next Seattle that never was
Published on Jul 25th, 2002
0 comments   By Cripsy Duck Remember the early '90s, when rock aficionados grew suddenly preoccupied with the burgeoning Seattle music scene? As Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam were sweeping...
Raw ambition: Get an Ivy League paycheck without the ivy
Published on Jul 18th, 2002
0 comments By Penelope Trunk I recently read in the New York Times about a study that found that the best indicator of how much money you will make is not where you went to college but where you applied. The...
Underage and under siege: Kids' sexuality finds a champion
Published on Jul 11th, 2002
0 comments By Sharon Lerner Ask Judith Levine when a kid ought to start having sex, and she'll respond like the levelheaded, Brooklyn- and Vermont-based liberal she is: "There are some 16-year-olds who can...
"Advice Columnist Landers dies..." A Remembrance
Published on Jul 4th, 2002
0 comments By Kay Slaughter Ann Landers crosses the city newsroom– in high heels, no less– like she owns the place; I am surprised at how small she is physically. She's perfectly coiffed and made up...
Jumbo jetting
Published on Jun 27th, 2002
0 comments By Michael W. Lynch Southwest Airlines recently limned why it's one of the few profitable airlines: it puts its customers first. That's the motivation– and the effect– of Southwest's...
Breast revenge
Published on Jun 20th, 2002
0 comments By Gersh Kuntzman Where’s our apology, Bob? That’s what Miami lawyer Reed Somberg wants to know.He filed a class-action suit against Penthouse Magazine owner Bob Guccione on the grounds that Guccione...
No comment
Published on Jun 13th, 2002
0 comments By Neil Steinberg One of the most vexing aspects of being fat– besides physical discomfort, medical woes, and looking bad– is that others feel compelled to inform you that you are fat, as...
Ozz fest
Published on Jun 6th, 2002
0 comments By Paul A. Cantor MTV's hit show, The Osbournes, recently completed its first season as a huge success, and I'm left wondering why.After 9/11, the conventional wisdom was that television programming...
Rebuild it big
Published on May 30th, 2002
0 comments I was never among the detractors of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s I lived in the East Village and loved seeing them daily as I walked to work. I’d take...
Kindred crazies
Published on May 23rd, 2002
0 comments The internet is outing me. What was once my deepest, darkest secret– that I fantasize about television actors– is a cottage industry on the internet. Forget the summer smash that the...
"I Hate Hella, All Montagues, and Thee"
Published on May 16th, 2002
0 comments By David Gentry San Francisco– If I were to write a haiku about goatees, it would end with the five-syllable line, "laughable face-hair."My friends and I have a little ongoing understanding...
Paper or plastic?
Published on May 9th, 2002
0 comments By Sheila Pell “Paper or plastic?”When you hear those musical words, you know you’ve reached the end of the line. That loaded question seems to carry more weight than all the polyethylene, paperboard...
Duped!
Published on May 2nd, 2002
0 comments By James A. Haught WELL, the recent Mothman movie stirred thoughts about the eagerness of some people to believe nutty things. Back in the 1960s, I wrote newspaper reports on the original Mothman...
Five dogs old: saying goodbye to April
Published on Apr 25th, 2002
0 comments I measure my life by dog lives. I am four dogs old. April is my fifth. Lately, April has developed a new habit: puking on rugs. She never pukes on the indestructible vinyl floor, only on the rug. My...