- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Headed for the pound
"Fox is developing a trio of out-there reality specials including a doggie beauty pageant.
"All three shows are scheduled as one-time specials, but could become series if they prove popular.
"'Man vs. Beast' will feature humans and animals going head-to-head in a series of competitions.
"A team of midgets, for instance, competes against elephants to see who can pull a DC-10 across a desert field fastest.
"'Of all the things we've worked on, this has huge potential,' says the show's producer, Eric Schotz.
"The doggie beauty pageant officially known as the 'Miss American Dog Pageant' will essentially be 'Best in Show' meets Miss America, Schotz says.
"'For all the world, it'll look like Miss America, but it's going to be dogs,' says Fox reality-TV chief Mike Darnell.
"'101 Things Removed from the Human Body' features amazing-but-true tales of people who have either ingested or been impaled by foreign objects and survived."
From yesterday's New York Post

Clutter, etc.
"Many companies these days run 'clean desk' policies, requiring employees to remove all evidence of work from their desks by the end of the day. The reason given is usually security that burglars will be less likely to find anything interesting if it is put away but that is a poor excuse. Any self-respecting burglar can pick the lock of a filing cabinet, and will be far more likely to find what he is looking for in a methodical office than in one whose logic is comprehensible only to its creator.
"The real reason is more likely to be the common hostility to 'clutter,' which managers tend to regard as an obstacle, rather than an aid, to work. Although office clutter is usually almost entirely work-related, it tends nevertheless to be treated as though it consisted of the dirty socks and crisp packets of an adolescent. Workers are confused. They know that creating clutter is an essential part of the way they work, but they are made to feel guilty about it.
"People spread stuff over their desks not because they are too lazy to file it, but because the paper serves as a physical representation of what is going on in their heads. The clutter cannot be filed because it has not been categorized. By the time the worker's ideas have taken form, and the clutter could be categorized, it has served its purpose and can therefore be [thrown away]. Filing it is a waste of time."
from "In praise of clutter," in the Dec. 19 Economist

Imperial symbols
"Ever since George Washington warned his countrymen against foreign entanglements, empire abroad has been seen as the republic's permanent temptation and its potential nemesis. Yet what word but 'empire' describes the awesome thing that America is becoming?
"A historian once remarked that Britain acquired its empire in 'fit of absence of mind.' If Americans have an empire, they have acquired it in a state of deep denial. But September 11 was an awakening, a moment of reckoning with the extent of American power and the avenging hatreds it arouses. Americans may not have thought of the World Trade Center or the Pentagon as the symbolic headquarter of a world empire, but the men with the box cutters certainly did, and so do numberless millions who cheered their terrifying exercise in the propaganda of the deed."
Michael Ignatieff, writing on "The Burden," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

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