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Roses Are Read
ur nation's media dubbed last
week's snowstorm on the East
Coast the "Blizzard of '96."
Besides revealing our nation's media
to be remarkably uncreative, it pre-
*ts a problem: What will we do if
iere is another blizzard this year?
What will we call it? "The Second
Blizzard of '96?" "The Blizzard of
96, The Sequel?" "Not The Blizzard
of '96, But A Blizzard of '96?"
I had time to think over this and other
quandaries while stranded in New York
for an extra three days over winterbreak.
Do you know what I did for three days?
If not, don't worry: I probably don't
know what you did either. But feel free
let me know when you write your
Anyway: There are plenty of better
naimes for the Blizzard of '96 than the
"Blizzard of '96." The Blizzard of Oz,
We don't seem to have a problem
naming other natural disasters. Like
congressmen. Also, hurricanes. It
seems every hurricane comes by with
Ne readily available name, cour-
yof some gnome at the National
It is a sad time in our nation's his-
tory when paid government officials
can name storms and call themselves
the National Weather Service. They
should be doing something more pro-
ductive, like improving our national
weather. I mean, if you took your car
to be serviced, would you be happy if
all they did was name it Stan?
4!hich brings up another point: Where
do they get these names? Some of the
most menacing storms of our lifetime
have been given names like "Hugo" or
"Andrew." This is probably why people
don't evacuate their homes in time to
"Hugo is coming," they are warned.
"Ooh. Can't wait to steal his lunch
money," they think,
Guarantee: If they name the next
0 rm "Hurricane Genghis," nobody
stays within three states of that bad
Trying to survive a hurricane can
be an embarrassing experience, al-
most as embarrassing as using the
words "bad boy" in a column. Every
hurricane, we see some poor guy on
TV saying that he "didn't think it
would .hit us," and "Man, was this
some storm," even though the hurri-
oe was announced in the news for a
od three days before it hit.
The same can't be said for earth-
quakes, which are about as easy to fore-
cast as Liz Taylor marriages. They are
alsonearly impossible to deal with. The
only advice I've ever heard for avoid-
ing earthquakes is 1) Never leave the
state of Nebraska and 2) Stand in a
But that advice doesn't cut it. First of
nobody actually lives in Nebraska,
you' ddbe bored staying there for very
long. Second of all, what good is stay-
ing in a doorway going to do you? I've
seen lots ofpicturesofearthquake rubble
in my day, and never once have I seen
one where all the doorways remained
intact. The truth is, they only tell you to
stay in doorways because it sounds bet-
ter than, "Give it up; it's hopeless."
Ideally, I suppose, the most earth-
*ake-wary among us would stand in
orways in Nebraska.
Nebraska does have tornadoes,
however. Tornadoes are never given
nicknames, probably because even the
National Weather Service weasels are
smart enough to realize that "tornado"
is a harsh name, and it would be idi-
otic to call one, say, "Tornado
Perhaps the most unusual of natural
Vasters is the volcano. Volcanoes have
nicknames, although the mountains
themselves do. They also don't come
with the strongest warnings, because if
you live next to a volcano you are 1) in
serious need of some psychiatric help
and 2) incapable of receiving any major
newspaper or television signal.
Oasis ... because after all, you're their "Wonderwall."
1. Smashing Pumpkins,
"Mellon Collie and the Infi-
nite Sadness" (Virgin)
2. Matthew Sweet, "100
% Fun" (Zoo)
3. Oasis, "(What's the
Story) Morning Glory?"
4. PJ Harvey, "To Bring
You My Love" (Island)
5. Bjork, "Post" (Elektra)
6. The Jayhawks, "Tomor-
row the Green Grass"
7. Foo Fighters, (Capitol)/
Rancid, ...And Out Come
the Wolves" (Epitaph)
9. Elastica, (DGC)
10. Supergrass, "I Should
By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Music Editor
1995 will be remembered as the year rock'n'roll hit rock bottom.
Generic rock and grunge dominated the charts, and there are few
albums even worth mentioning. Music was trapped in a creative rut
that has gotten deeper and deeper over the past few years, and it
finally dug a hole all the way through to China.
The one good thing about music in 1995 - Jerry Garcia finally
died. People cared fora few days, and then realized they didn't need
buy a $40 concert ticket to get high. They realized the Grateful
Dead's music wasn't all that impressive, and they realized any
other second-rate pot-heads like Phish would be sufficient to satisfy
all their burnt-out hippie rock needs. Maybe 1996 will be the year
Deadheads get lives.
The Dave Matthews Band and Blues Traveler finally got the
shots they deserved in 1995, and everyday-Joes Hootie and the
Blowfish became bigger-than-life rock stars.
But others, like Bush, Live, Silverchair, Sponge, Alanis Morisette,
Candlebox and Collective Soul, made radio's airwaves just about
impassable. "Everything Crashes Tomorrow in Molly's Pocket"
was a great big mass of dung that has permanently scarred me for
life. In fact, Silverbush Soulette even made me happy to see bands
like Ace of Base and Meat Loaf on MTV.
And MTV got even worse (except "120 Minutes" host Matt
Pinfield, a.k.a. George "The Animal" Steele from the WWF. He's
fucking cool). More shows and less music. Yeah. Good formula for
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally opened in September,
but with a disappointing all-star concert, and mannequins that look
nothing like the rock 'n'rollers they allegedly represent.
R.E.M. proved to the world that they belong in a museum or a rest
home and not on stage after three out of the four members were
hospitalized for serious ailments, including a brain aneurysm and
1995 saw another British invasion with Elastica and Oasis
pushing their packages across the Atlantic. Country rock also hit
big on college audiences with Son Volt, Wilco and the Jayhawks.
Alanis Morissette introduced feminism to a bunch of 14-year-old
girls, and Foo Fighters proved that if you played drums in a
pioneering grunge band, you still have a chance to succeed on your
own, even if you can't sing. Bush and Silverchair proved that no,
Candlebox isn't the most generic band in the music business. Page
and Plant needed money for more plastic surgery and took their old
saggy asses out on the road to rake in more cash in the spirit of the
Eagles and Pink Floyd. The Beatles cleaned the trash out of their
vaults and sold it like pet rocks.
Rappers Tupac and Dr. Dre spent a good part of the year in jail,
while Coolio charmed the world with his funky rhymes and even
funkier hair. Snoop Doggy Dogg's murder trial began. And oh
yeah, trials ... I'm still waiting for the "CNN O.J. Simpson Trial
Garcia wasn't the only one whose long strange trip ended in
1995. Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon died of a cocaine over-
dose. Rap pioneer Easy-E died of AIDS, while Velvet Under-
ground guitarist Sterling Morrison died of non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma. Latina pop star Selena was allegedly murdered by the
former president of her fan club, and Bob Stinson, guitarist and
founding member of the Replacements, died in February of prob-
lems arising from his "rock 'n'roll lifestyle." Some other 1995
deaths included avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, C + C
Music Factory founder and producer David Cole, Temptations
singer Melvin Franklin, and radio personality Wolfman Jack.
The Ramones decided to call it quits, along with Ned's Atomic
Dustbin, Ride and the Jayhawks. And dear Courtney Love-Cobain
got her name in the news one or two times.
What's in store for 1996? I can't wait.
By Jennifer Petiinski
Daily Film Editor
The films of 1995 had a tough act to follow. In 1994, most
Americans either fell in love with the slow learning, chocolate-
loving "Forrest Gump" or with the blood, lingo and originality
of "Pulp Fiction."
So who cared if this year had nothing to offer? Instead of
settling for mediocrity, Americans could sit back and watch
their $14.99-on-sale-at-K-Mart-copy of their all-time favorite.
There are no two films of 1995 that will automatically make
every critic's top 10 list. Instead, this has been the year of
independent filmmakers and their portrayals of reality. Some of
this year's best include Mike Figgis' "Leaving Las Vegas,"
which captures a tale of struggling love between an alcoholic
and a prostitute and Larry Clark's "Kids," which provides a
realistic glimpse of the drug- and sex-crazed lives of teenagers
in New York City.
Other successful independent films include "Safe," "Crumb,"
"Carrington," "Georgia," and "The Brothers McMullen." All
follow a similar pattern; with these films, audiences can con-
centrate on the people and not the plot. "People profiles" seem
to be the safe route in '95: After all, haven't most plots been
done before ?
Someone should've asked this question to many writers of
'95 films. Sure, we can cope with an independent film trend.
Asking us to do the same for sequels is stretching the request too
"Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," Die Hard with a Ven-
geance," "Batman Forever," "Father of the Bride 2," "Free
Willy 2," "Halloween 6" and "Children of the Corn 3" all
contributed to this growing trend of failures. The moral: Don't
make a sequel - unless you plan on paying Jim Carrey 20
million to pick his butt in it.
Many novels also made it to the big screen this year. Jane
Austen's were the only ones that worked -- the romantic and
refreshing 'Persuasion," "Sense and Sensibility," and "Clueless"
(based on Austen's "Emma") were received warmly by the
public. It was a different story for Nathaniel Hawthorne. Writ-
ers of "The Scarlet Letter" realized soon enough that they could
not get away with transforming a classic into a trashy sex story.
Nice try, though.
Also this year, Disney's "Toy Story" impressively took com-
puter animation one step further in cinema. At the same time,
the kids got their Happy Meals and everyone seemed content.
Still, audiences did pay attention to more than just Jane
Austen novels, Disney and independent films. "Nixon," "Apollo
1 3," "Heat" and "Casino" did manage to attract crowds of
filmgoers. Masterful directing and fine performances by Sir
Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hanks remind us that there is more
to anticipate than "Dumb and Dumber 2."
Unfortunately '95 was not the year for strong female charac-
ters. Elizabeth Berkley bared it all in "Showgirls," destroying
our image of the Slater-loving Jessie Spano. Adding to the chick
flick scene were "French Kiss." "How to Make an American
Quilt," and Boys on the Side." Enough already: This sad crap
with Meg Ryan and Whoopi Goldberg just isn't working any-
Looking back, we can see that many films of '95 had this
similar problem. Hopefully, an even more influential, indepen-
dent film scene can save 1996 from more Jim Carrey sequels,
schmaltzy tear-jerkers and the Quentin Tarentino wanna-be of
See FILM, Page 6B
Rock's diva of the year, PJ Harvey
1. "Leaving Las Vegas"
4. "Apollo 13"
5. "Sense and Sensibility"
(tie) "While You Were
7. "Crimson Tide"
(tie) "Crumb," "The
Postman (II Postino),"
"The Usual Suspects"
See MUSIC, Page 3B
Sir Anthony Hopkins contmplates the life and times of Tricky Dick in "Nixon."
By Dean Bakopoulos
Daily Books Editor
January is a bad month to be a books editor. Invariably, you will
be required to write a year-in-review piece and to choose your
favorite books. No task is more daunting than this one for a literary
zealot. There are just too many books written every year to be fair,
too many noteworthy books that youjust never could find the time
to read, too many hours spent rereading Dostoevsky to crack all the
new books out there. Indeed, 1995 had a lot to offer every
bibliophile. These are just a few of the highlights from the fiction
A good nlace to turn for the year's best literary efforts are the