Jewish World Review May 2, 2002 / 20 Iyar, 5762
But then it's hard to know what anything means these days, much less April. April is certainly the interface between winter and spring. Warm life emerges from the frozen dead. The old melts, the new grows. Things go and things come.
The Wall Street Journal got an April makeover, although botox was not involved. Wired Magazine is also revamping its look, perhaps even one in which you can actually read the articles amid the incoherence of its graphic design. April! The dull roots of text once again sprout, stirred by the spring rain of an economic downturn.
The New York Sun resumed publication after being off the stands since 1950. The New York Sun is best known for first publishing the essay, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." And yes Virginia, it looks like Penthouse Magazine is folding up its centerfold and sashaying gently into the good night.
In a related item, perhaps, ships will no longer be called "she." They will just be more "its."
And the single, once the mainstay of the music industry, is being phased out. There will be no more one hit wonders like Dexy's Midnight Runners or Question Mark and the Mysterians. Gone with the snows of yesteryear.
But beleaguered Napster, where singles poured down on music lovers like gentle rains, is still in business. The German conglomerate, Bertelsman is seeking to buy Napster, to turn it into a for-pay service. Strangely, BMP Records, a division of Bertelsman, is suing Napster for copyright infringement. So if the deal goes through, Bertelsman could be suing itself. Sounds like a Penthouse pictorial to me!
Too late. Like Penthouse, Kenny is dead, and will remain so. Bryant Gumbel is leaving the Early Show, but Phil Donahue is returning to television. The X Files, Allie McBeal, and Felicity will soon frolic together on the ash heap of history. Yet Ozzy Osbourne emerged from fading reality of reality-based television to become teevee's favorite Dad. Go figure, or as Eliot put it, talking about a different wasteland: "What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?"
The Oprah Book Club folded, botox was approved by the FDA for the removal of frown lines, too late to save Penthouse, and Christina Ricci admitted that she learned to become anorexic by watching movies on Lifetime.
The Pope called sex abuse by priests a crime, showing us all what infallibility is all about. And it is no longer sad when cousins marry. Comedians everywhere are weeping as they cross that line off their list of put downs.
Finally, in April, when a "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire" contestant declined to appear on a San Francisco morning radio show, the jocks called her a "skank," among other things, on the air. She sued, and lost. The California Court of Appeals declared that the word is "a derogatory slang term of recent vintage that has no generally recognized meaning." Kind of like April. Only Penthouse knew the true meaning of "skank," and Penthouse is as mum as T.S. Eliot.
Still, as Paul Simon said, "April, come she will." Or it will, I suppose.
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker