Best Traditional Haiku:
—Philip Askenazy, 1994
• NuCity goes weekly on Jan. 11. The paper reprints a column from young Seattle writer Dan Savage on the CDC’s new AIDS-prevention marketing campaign. Eventual Web Monkey-in-Chief Kyle Silfer pens a column with the opening line, “There is this thing called the Internet, and it is swallowing up the universe.” Staffer Alma García goes to Ciudad Juárez to write about the Mexican presidential elections. Best of Burque is born. From the introduction: “51 weeks a year we snivel, revile, quibble and criticize this city that we live in, all under our very own directive of cynicism, humor, sarcasm and hope. But the simple facts remain: Many of us came here (on purpose!) to experience life in this town ... .”
• Mayor Chavez issues a teen curfew ordinance for anyone under age 17.
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• A self-made millionaire and exercise fiend with no political experience, Republican Gary Johnson beats out Gov. Bruce King for the state’s highest executive office.
• Sheryl Williams Stapleton, a Democrat from Albuquerque, becomes the first African-American woman elected to the state Legislature.
• Grunge rock poster child Kurt Cobain commits suicide on April 5. (Bandmate Dave Grohl goes on to form the Foo Fighters. Wife Courtney Love gets a Golden Globe nomination for her work in 1996’s The People vs. Larry Flynt. Daughter Francis Bean turns 20 in 2012.)
• Mazzy Star plays El Rey. Hope Sandoval is depressing to watch in person.
• NAFTA is enacted.
• Genocidal slaughter on a massive scale sweeps Rwanda; the world does little to nothing in response.
• Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as president of South Africa.
• Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction starts to hit theaters in October, courtesy of Miramax films. Shortly thereafter, Kevin Smith’s Clerks is released by Miramax. The Weinstein brothers are suddenly the coolest kids in Hollywood.
The Don’s First Letter
Nov. 15-21, 1994
Responding to your focus on cars and Sun Tran in NuCity, Nov. 8-14.
I would not own a car if you gave me one free—as long as I can walk well and take the city bus.
By not having a car, I save money, I save resources, I reduce pollution. I avoid all parking and traffic tickets. I do not have to hassle with repairs, flat tires, insurance, depreciation, monthly payments, vandalism and finding a parking space.
I hate air pollution. I hate seeing the good soil swallowed up with concrete highways, parking lots and garages. I hate accidents paralyzing and killing multitudes. I hate the stupid waste of natural resources. I hate how people are isolated from each other—caged in their boxes on wheels. I hate wars over oil—robbing, torturing and murdering millions.
Less than 10 percent of the world's people can afford cars. Imagine how much sicker our planet would be if all people drove cars like most Americans.
Albuquerque motorists travel 10.3 million miles around town every day (according to the Albuquerque Journal—that is 21 round trips from Earth to moon daily).
For over 6 years I have had no car in Albuquerque, and in most ways I enjoy this freedom. I meet people on the street and on the bus. I get more exercise. On the bus I can read, write, rest converse or meditate.
We each can wise up and change our stupid ways. What good is wisdom unless we decide to live it?
A former car owner,
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