An Inclusive Litany
"Why are our sisters making less when they're busting their butts to the max?" Jones asks. "I'm speaking of pro women athletes. Are they playing any less hard than the fellas? Is their blood any less red? Whether it's tennis, track, or hoops, their sacrifice is the same. Yet women receive less. They deserve more. The more, the better.... Can you dig it?"
Yet Nike itself reportedly paid Michael Jordan $20 million per year for his endorsement deal, while it paid basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw a mere $1 million over five years, the most lucrative ever for a female athlete. A Nike executive explained that the Jones ads are not meant to represent Nike's own policy on equal pay, but to open discussion on the issue.
It does seem that Juan Miguel Gonzalez is going to be granted the right to raise his son where and how he likes, and those who are troubled by the prospect of Elian returning to a country ruled by an unsavory head of state would do well to remember that the official observance of Father's Day was inaugurated by Richard Nixon.
Also, Britain's National Employment Service instituted a ban on the words "hard-working," "enthusiastic," "smart," and "reliable" from a newspaper ad, claiming they violated the 1999 Disability Discrimination Act. The ban, which also covered the phrase, "commitment and a desire to succeed are vital," was later rescinded amid a hail of ridicule.
Jerry Harvey, a business professor, adopts an uncommon definition of cheating in his classes.
"Cheating is the failure to assist others on an exam if they request it," he tells his students....
Harvey says his policy brings out the best in his students because they are able to think creatively without the stress of working on their own....
Students think it is wrong to ask other students for help on tests and assignments because they are never presented with a different perspective on cheating, Harvey says.
This may end the longest-running and most ambitious experiment in American public education, and puts into question the relationship between the quality of a school and its level of funding. Following a late-1970s desegregation suit, federal judge Russell Clark took the extraordinary step of taking the district under his direct control in 1985. Rather than instituting the sort of unpopular busing regimen that led to massive problems in cities like Boston, he ordered the district and state to raise taxes to fund a series of magnet schools that would be so well staffed and funded that they would attract large numbers of non-minority students.
The state poured $2 billion into building new educational infrastructure, including schools with lavish computer facilities, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation facilities, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a robotics lab. The district offered taxi service to make transportation easier for suburban kids who didn't live near a bus route. The district regularly spent more per pupil than any other urban district in America, and also had the lowest student-teacher ratio, under 13 to 1.
Still, suburban students stayed away. More importantly, test scores remained well below the national average. Only 5 percent of targeted black eleventh-graders scored at a "proficient" level in reading and writing. Nearly half either didn't finish the test or failed to show up at all.
In an effort to address this poor performance, a 1994 state law raised taxes dramatically, stiffened requirements for teachers and curriculum, and included a program to objectively evaluate school performance. This led some rural school districts to lose state accreditation, either because they weren't spending enough or because their teachers lacked the proper requirements. Still, the state Department of Education was much less likely to penalize schools for poor student performance.
Since the loss of accreditation occurred, some observers noticed impressive changes, in which school administrators—faced with competition from charter schools, private schools, and neighboring districts—focused more on increasing outputs than inputs. But the Eighth District Appeals Court later overturned the state's accreditation ruling and ordered a reinstatement of federal control.
Blake Hurst, former president of Westboro School District in the northwest part of the state, reports that once that happened, "the actors in this never-ending drama began to return to type. The teacher's union is complaining about a merit pay plan. The opponents of charter schools are arguing for a five-year delay in the opening of any new ones."
The appeals court decision is now itself under appeal.
WASHINGTON—The United States will train high-resolution day and night cameras on its border with Canada following the foiling of a terrorist plot to detonate bombs in the United States on New Year's Eve, Bill Clinton said yesterday.
The U.S. President announced a package of high-technology security measures yesterday while providing new details on the charges against Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian native who worked in a convenience store in Montreal.
The Algerian native was part of a terrorist conspiracy organized by Osama bin Laden to detonate the bombs in the United States, Mr. Clinton told Coast Guard graduates in New London, Conn....
Canada's newest border guards will not mind a bit if you call them chicken—because that is what they are.
Hundreds of common hens are being enlisted by the federal government to carry out sentry duty on the border with the United States.
Matthew Barney is the Michelangelo of genital art, the supreme master of the genre, whose work so transcends the run-of-the-mill video artist masturbating in his studio that he may also be said to bring his tradition to its unsurpassable realization.... The great challenge facing each genital artist is one of visual discrimination.... After viewing a few thousand photographs or videos featuring genitalia (and their excrementa) in various poses and states of mutilation... it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish among the works of different artists.... Barney's work, as it sets about redeeming genital art, also moves beyond it, revealing it to be a style of world-historical significance....
His first major piece, Field Dressing, revealed the naked young Yale graduate sliding up and down a metal pole, carefully and repeatedly applying cooled Vaseline to all his orifices....
[In] his next major work, Blind Perineum... the artist used mountain-climbing gear to clamber about naked on the walls and ceiling of the Barbara Gladstone Gallery. Still, the public and critical establishment seemed resistant to the power of the work.... Barney replied with Radical Drill, in which he performed football blocking exercises wearing a black evening gown and high-heeled shoes.... Drawing Restraint 7, which appeared a few years later in the 1993 Whitney Biennial, featured Barney costumed as a goat-boy named Kid, along with a couple of satyrs who spend much of the video wrestling in the back of a limo, repeatedly penetrating Manhattan via the island's tunnels and bridges....
[Barney] is not burdened with a fashionable concern for "the other." What distinguishes Barney's Onanism from other varieties of genital art is its persistent self-regard; Onanism is all about the self, Barney's self....
[Ed.: Barney has been called "the most crucial artist of his generation" by the New York Times and was awarded the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize of the Guggenheim Museum.]