Sunday, February 15, 2004

Darrah Johnson Interview ("Survivor" Contestant)

Darrah was Mississippi's first entry into the world of Survivor - and was fondly remembered as 'the girl that took the shower.' She was very pretty, genuinely very sweet, and - trust me - a lot smarter than you thought she was. When I did this short interview, she was already becoming a canny interviewee.

This year’s Grand Marshal of Mal’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Darrah Johnson, the first and so far only Mississippi contestant on “Survivor,” the current reigning champion of the reality TV sweepstakes.

On the show, Johnson played her game quietly, allowing others to take the spotlight – and promptly be shot down – time and again. She kept somewhat to herself, allowing others to come to her and propose alliances and deals. In her Delta-infused accent, she made nice with almost everyone else, at least until it was time not to.

Late in the game, she rose to the occasion, winning three immunity challenges in a row and taking control of the game while simultaneously scaring the hell out of her opponents. She made the final four, lost the next challenge, and was immediately voted out by the others.

Sunday, February 1, 2004

"Head vs. Heart" (Column)

This one is serious, and I won't make any comment, except to say that it cost us readers and advertisers. About a month after it ran, we actually gained half a dozen advertisers who wanted to come aboard, but were afraid to do so after I had written this. In the end, we took a bit of a loss, but not too much.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was unconstitutional, declaring that the act interfered with a woman’s right to choose. The decision was made in San Francisco, well known for its political leftness. It can be seen as the first blow to the Act, another stride toward a place where conservative, male-dominated minds can no longer tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body. I suppose this is true.

The ruling does apply only to Planned Parenthood clinics and doctors, and is only one of three lawsuits brought against the Bush-supported legislation signed into law in 2003. New York and Nebraska federal judges have not yet ruled, but their outcomes might be divined by the fact that all three judges – Hamilton included – initially blocked the act from being enforced, though to be truthful, geography will almost certainly play a role in the decisions. Regardless, any decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.