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Unlikely Hero: Supermayor of Bogota

What would you expect from a mayor who once dressed in red and blue tights and strutted around his city (Bogota, Colombia, population 7 million) as "Super Citizen?" Probably not the "Night Without Men" scheduled for Friday, March 9th. Mayor Antanas Mockus cooked up the idea to impose a voluntary curfew on the men of the city, encouraging them to stay home with the kids from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., while their wives go out and party. He hoped to give the sexes each a chance to "walk a night in one another's shoes." A telephone poll of 600 men and women found 47% of the men supported the plan, but of course many are against it. Columnist Roberto Pombo of the weekly magazine Cambio, in response to the mayor's proposal which he claims "prohibits men from going out for a night," wrote: "I propose the following: for one night we don't obey." In a city with rampant street crime and domestic abuse, it would appear that on most nights, men don't obey. Mockus expects a notable reduction in these crimes on the night of March 9th. It will be interesting to see those numbers.

--Sue Scharff

Girl Murdered, Musicians Sued

In the tepid afterglow of this year's Grammy awards, where Elton John and Eminem embraced in some pathetic attempt to convince us that the latter doesn't really think we should kill all the fags, a California family is suing a heavy metal band and its record company. The Pahler family is claiming that Slayer and its record company, American Recordings, which is financed by Sony, bear some responsibility for 15-year old Elyse Pahler's murder and rape.

The three teenage boys who killed Elyse were big fans of the band Slayer, whose songs include hymns of praise for murder and necrophilia. The boys often stayed up all night listening to the band and taking drugs. One of the boys, Joseph Fiorella, even confessed, "It's almost embarrassing that I was so influenced by the music." Fiorella's embarrassment pales beside the suffering of Elyse and her family, as does the band and record company's argument that they are protected under the First Amendment.

The misogynistic record industry continues to pretend that their products have no power over anyone, that the hate and violence preached by so-called artists like Slayer and Eminem are just jokes and that the kids who listen to them "get it." Yet one 15-year old girl is dead, three teenage boys are in jail for a minimum of 25 years each, and these children's' families are left to contemplate how absolutely un-funny the joke is.


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