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Withering Glances

A 1987 Column of Jaundiced Estimations (under Eleanor Plantagenet)

Probably due to the fact that skateboarders have worn down the best straight-aways, the PEARL ST. MALL'S brick surface now has the smooth of an unevenly filled ice tray. One must wait until the first tourist trips and sues before the Red Brick Road is uniformly safe. Periodically, individual bricks around the Crystal Center have been pried up and left unreplaced. Cute.

It is hoped that the engineer who worked out the drainage for the parking lot next to the children's Fishing Pond is not the brain behind our flood control. Last Sunday, the lot had more water than the pond itself.

SOUTHLAND CORPORATION, the giant operation that spawned 7-11, thrilled censorship-prone religious groups when it banned the sale of "Playboy" and "Penthouse" from its stores. A somewhat cursory look at a 7-11 magazine rack reveals the emergence of new periodicals, called swimwear fashion that could make even the most lascivious fan of men's magazines sigh in happiness. With nipples and genitalia of amply endowed, beautiful young women clearly visible beneath forgettable swimming suits, the distinction between these entries - clearly designed to appeal to, er, prurient interests - and their forebears on the racks is vague. The new magazines come complete with pictorial 'storylines' to explain why the women have their hands all over each other. A triumph of hypocrisy.

Naval buffs will appreciate this comment on Lt. Colonel Oliver "Throat Frog" North's performance. North denied that he was a "loose cannon on the gun deck of state." True, observed one. "He was loose cannon on the quarter-deck of state."

It is hard to understand the ballyhoo from the nation's artistes about the computer colorization of old, black and white movies. For decades, old Cinemascope films - including "Gone With the Wind" - have been shown on television with either 1) a third of the picture missing, usually the character to whom dialogue is being addressed, or 2) the picture is compressed horizontally, which makes all the characters appear vertical spermatozoa. After years of watching mutilated movies spliced back together with tape and staples, the horror of having to stand up and adjust the set to black and white seems, somehow, weird.

The always amusing BOULDER DAILY CAMERA is rumored to be planning its next white water adventure. Merely a year after Sue Deans fell in, Kathryn Bernheimer took the plunge, both writers allowing the tabloid to share their innermost thoughts. Meanwhile, over in editorial, the surprising amount of space devoted to inflating the business community continues full force. This may be due to increasingly tough times for advertisers or merely an intent to position the Camera with its older and more conservative readers. Caution remains the by-word, however. No in-depth feature can appear in the Camera unless at least four national magazines have covered it, or "Nightline" has done it, or its importance is over. Recall the Great Boulder Cocaine Expose and its remora, the Task Force. The Camera discovered Boulder's Cocaine Problem in 1983, four years after "Newsweek", ten years after Boulder. Best example of the trailblazing mentalities that propel the Camera is the Best of Boulder series. This innovative and fascinating listing of winners in utterly pointless categories might be described as the most shameless suck-up to potential advertisers ever launched within Boulder. Painfully appearing less than a month after "Westword" came out with its own "Best of..' the Camera's offering underlines its rather pathetic status as the Number One Trend follower in Colorado journalism.

Boulder is often described as the most self-absorbed town on the horizon. Should a coin ever be minted to celebrate that status, on one side should go that nerd on roller skates with the ski poles. Not content to display himself on campus, this attention-starved dweeb can be found gliding on streets, pedestrian malls, and bicycle paths: wherever an audience for his virile chest might be supposed to exist.

On the other hand, Boulder's Bike community finally got its comeuppance last week. After a year or so of running a race twice a week - one that arbitrarily shut down roads and gave the bird to motorists - police finally slammed the lid down, at least temporarily. The obnoxious public posture of the "We can do anything" bikers has done nothing to assuage the simmering and dangerous anger between motorists and bicyclists in Boulder.

Of course, the DAILY CAMERA has never stooped to the embarrassing nepotistic celebration of itself that the Longmont paper has. The LONGM0NT DAILY TIMES-CALL (rolls off the tongue, eh?) recently devoted the major part of its front page to management changes: all seemingly involving members of the Lehman family, who own it.

Everybody made fun of PRESIDENT REAGAN when David Stockman revealed that successful presentations to our chief executive often involved cartoons. Nobody, however, has noted that the television ads for the new MacIntosh computers celebrate that item's ability to provide 'visual graphics' - cartoons - and so impress both client and competition. Perhaps if American Business spent more time on facts and less on presentation, we might get out of our mess.

How can you tell an American car commercial from an advertisement for a Japanese automobile? Simple. If the ad is clever, self-deprecating, and emphasizing quality and price, it's made in Japan. If the ad is all pouty faced young women and 'mood', it is made here. Foreign industrialists are more in tune with ye average American than Detroit. That's frightening.

Since virtually no breakfast cereal is edible without milk, why is there all this concern about whether or not certain of those products contain calcium? If you're worried about it, just take a TUMS, which brags of its calcium content, with each bowl. Could not taste worse than some of these thinly disguised horse foods.

"To Know No Boundaries" - like statute and ethics - is a slogan that may come back to haunt Merrill Lynch and its Wall St. compatriots.

The ideal female news anchor for local television has been described as a nun with wet lipstick: untouchable integrity with a hint of seething passion beneath. Recently, new enticements have become de rigueur, all involving the voice. The Pauley Pout, popularized by the co-host of the "Today Show", has trickled down to Denver. The "Pout" is the finishing of a sentence in the breathy register and low range that normally precedes a tongue in the ear. It requires the microphone to be turned way up, allowing the audience to enjoy each lip-smacking consonant. Local practitioners include Lindas Benzel and Farrel on Channel's 9 and 4, respectively. Madeline McFadden, Channel 4's week-end anchor, may be the only television personality to use more make-up than Channel 7's Bruce Burkhart, who looks like a geisha on occasion. McFadden always looks as if her eyes are at half-mast, denoting either a long night or the onset of narcolepsy. If she isn't the Tammy Faye Cosmetic Franchise holder for the Rocky Mountains, she should be.

High points of Boulder's year ahead must include the election, one involving - again - a vote on equal rights for gays and lesbians. Plus, we have the Library Bond Issue, in which the same people who wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of city money for an ill-planned, unwanted Cultural Center, continue to hand out thousands of dollars for questionable 'art,' have the nerve to blame City Council for their woes. The Cultural Center, you recall, would have been part of the Library's fiefdom. The library would have plenty of money if it got out of the culture and television business. On the other hand, the Boulder Library is a jewel. It is a shame so much political capital - and cash - was wasted two years ago.