The Ithaca Journal from Ithaca, New York on August 9, 1991 · 20
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The Ithaca Journal from Ithaca, New York · 20

Ithaca, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, August 9, 1991
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IOB The Ithaca Journal Friday, August 9, 1991 faoj J Ll L- Sheen straightens out NEW YORK (AP) Actor Charlie Sheen says he thought he was going to a birthday party at his family's home in Malibu, Calif., but he walked into an ambush intended to make him get treatment for his alcoholism. "There was no party. It was just my family," he says in this week's Parade magazine. "They said, 'Sit down. We're gonna talk.' And we had it out. It was then that I realized I was an alcoholic," Sheen said. Sheen, 25, said his family, including dad Martin Sheen and brother Emilio .Estevez, encouraged him to get treatment last summer. - During the filming of Wall Street in 1987, he said "things got really screwed up ... I'd be drinking away, doing some blow, popping pills and telling myself I wasn't " an addict because there wasn't a needle in 'my arm." f Sheen stars in the current hit comedy "Hot Shots! Lech's letters !, WARSAW, Poland (AP) President L Lech Walesa, who made an election Jpromise to look after everyone in Poland, receives about 5,000 letters a month i many from citizens who took the promise literally, an aide said. ' . Many write asking for apartments, : 'telephones and foreign visas, while others i offer advice on the myriad problems facing post-Communist Poland, Slawomir ; Fal told PAP, the government-run news !. agency. I' Fal heads an 18-member team that ' handles complaints and letters to Walesa, president since December after a decade as t chairman of the Solidarity union: ' , He received 20 letters signed by "the 'mother of the son of God." One letter ; seeks a remedy for "the evil arising" from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in ' the Soviet Union, PAP said. A letter from the "Martian professor" informed Walesa that people less than 5 feet tall were perfect for widely used ; Polish mini-car, the Polski Fiat 126. The incredible bulk ' BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Lou 'Ferrigno, who starred as the green- l skinned hero of TV's The Incredible Hulk, has joined the World Bodybuilding federation's stable to resume his old ; muscle-making career. ; "I have a childhood dream to be the 'greatest in bodybuilding in the world," -Ferrigno, a two-time Mr. Universe, said ; Wednesday. '. The World Bodybuilding Federation is " -a new endeavor by TitanSports Inc., the ; outfit that produces TV wrestling. The ;WBF wants to lift bodybuilding into the : sports mainstream by sponsoring TV competitions. ' Ferrigno, 40, is known in bodybuilding circles as "The Legend." Music: Shockra return to the Haunt tonight at 9:30 with their unique blend of reggae, ska, African and Calypso rhythms. Cover, $5. Features Editor Stephen G. Landesman 272-2322, Ext. 48 Owners of Victor coffee mugs Bv DIANA L. TOMB Gannett News Service The Victor mug is dead. Word has been out in restaurant-china circles for more than one year, but a public wake began in June in a catalog produced by a Martha's Vineyard bakery and restaurant. "Our U.S. manufacturer has stopped producing these hefty 'diner-style' glazed china mugs," reported the mail-order catalog from The Black Dog in Vineyard Haven, Mass. "Don't miss out on the last of the best." In the spring of 1990, Victor Insulators in Ontario County, N.Y., shut down production of its familiar diner mug, a unique cream-colored cylinder with concave sides and a solid handle. Not a particularly large mug its several varieties all held less than 8 ounces its shape lent itself to warming one's hands around its girth. "It's the kind of cup a person thinks of The Associated Press 'NOTORIOUS': An Al Hirschfeld drawing of the 'Round Table' at the Algonquin Hotel, Seated at the table (clockwise from top right) are: Heywood Brown. Marc Connelly, Franklin P. Adams ('FPA Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, Robert E. Sherwood, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and Alexander Woollcott. Standing at right with bottle is Frank Case, owner of the Algonquin. Literary hangout By RICK HAMPSON The Associated Press NEW YORK The new owners of the Algonquin Hotel spent two years and $20 million fixing up the famed literary hangout's bathrooms, bedrooms and lobby. But they neglected to polish some atrocious grammar, spelling and punctuation. The hotel's service directory, which awaits guests in their rooms, contains a virtually unreadable essay on the Algonquin's storied history. Subjects lack predicates, modifiers are misplaced, articles simply disappear. Semicolons impersonate colons; colons materialize inexplicably in mid-clause. "It's an atrocity," says Christopher Hit-chens, a journalist who stayed at the hotel this summer. The profile, he argues, undermines the tradition on which the Algonquin tries to trade. In the 1920s the "Round Table" in the hotel's Rose Room was the site of luncheon gatherings of some of the city's sharpest wits, including Dorothy Parker, Robert Racially segregated ads create many 'invisible people' Pretend we are in the Twilieht Zone. You pick up your favorite magazine and notice Eskimos in all the ads. You flip through another magazine. Again, nothing but Eskimos it's just that your entire race seems to have been wiped out overnight. You ponder: "I buy ice cream and toothpaste too. What happened?" For African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians, this isn't the Twilight Zone but everyday life. According to the results of a massive new study from my office, Invisible People, economic segregation or racial sterotyping dominates magazine and catalog ads. We examined 1 1 ,391 ads in 27 magazines such as Vanity Fair and Time, and 22,685 models in 157 issues of well-known catalogs such as L. L. Bean and Victoria's Secret. Although blacks comprise 1 1 percent of magazine readers, they are only 3 percent of people shown in national magazine advertisemets and 4.6 percent of those in mail-order catalogs. For example, Esquire has 25.2 percent of readers who are black but only 2.4 percent of people in ads are black, and Gentlemen's Quarterly has 24.2 percent black readers but only 2.9 percent black models. 1 when a person comes into a coffee shop,' says Dick Salerno, owner of Dee's Donuts in Canandaigua, N.Y. Coffee comes only in a Victor mug at his shop. Manufactured from the same porcelain that must withstand 765,000 volts on electrical transmission lines, the mug was known for being able to take about a zillion plunges from counter top to linoleum floor. "They stand up to an incredible amount of abuse," says Elaine Sullivan, marketing director for the harborside Black Dog, where the simple mug combines with a big brick fireplace and plank floors to create a rough island ambience for locals and visitors. Victor officials blame the cup's demise on imports. Ultima China, in China, makes a look-alike mug that sells for less than half the price. "That's what finally killed it," says Ira O. Knickerbocker, vice president at Victor. flubs grammar, spelling, punctuation Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman. The group's sparkling and often vicious repartee became legend, and the hotel has been a rendez-: vous for literary and theatrical figures ever since. A Brazilian subsidiary of a Japanese corporation bought the hotel in 1987, the same year in which the Algonquin was declared a city landmark. Good English, however, is harder to preserve than good architecture; the introductory essay sounds more like, something from a pool table than the Round Table. How's this for openers? "The facade and Edwardian interior have changed little; ' including the single manually operated elevator, the television sets that are hidden inside wooden cabinets, and of course, the hotel's famous lobby with it's lovely, dark : oak columns of trim, wing chairs and chinoiseries." The profile calls the Round Table "notorious" when it means "famous" and says the Algonquin originally "was surrounded by stables and the tallest building on the 8 CO a o O O Mark Green Mail-order catalogs L. L. Bean and Laura Ashley had zero number of blacks in their publications. Only a fifth of the 56 catalog companies reviewed had more than 1 percent Asians in their catalogs. And when blacks were shown in ads, they were often sterotyped in the following ways: as athletes, selling everything from CD players to bedshets; as entertainers, like B.B. King selling Commodore comput-' ers; as menial workers, like the Westin Hotel ads that show blacks as porters but not ' t . ', ,!; 1 L A." won't be getting any refills The mug originated during World War II for use on Navy ships and later was picked up by the Army. John M. Saxby, personnel manager for the company, says few orders were needed to keep the company afloat, because a single order from the Navy might be for 1 million. Even with the military orders, the mug was always a tiny portion of the insulator company's business, he says. Plastics took another chunk of. the market share during the 1970s, but the mug held on. Restaurateurs liked it, perhaps in part because it looks like it holds more than it does. It also fails to scald the drinker's hand, as some glass mugs do. Salerno says there is such a strong association between coffee and the Victor mug that he felt he couldn't serve it in any other vessel. The Black Dog has used the mugs for 20 years in its restaurant and sold approximately 10,000 of them, decorated with a block." What the author meant was that the 12-story hotel was the tallest building on that block of West 44th Street. , The names of Alexander Woollcott, Tal-lulah Bankhead and Yves Montand are misspelled. Simone de Beauvoir's name becomes "de Feauvoir". Many sentences read like clumsy translations, as in: "The Algonquin has withstood World War II, the Depression, and even ; during prohibition times, when drinking ' was prohibited, the indulgent frantic behavior of the times flourished." Another sentence notes that the original owner "even gave a house suite for the Round Table to play poker on Saturdays, which became a 'salon' for people in media and arts." Christina Zeniou, the hotel's spokeswoman, conceded this week that the essay is riddled with mistakes, and said it would be changed. "I'm not sure who wrote it or where it came from," she claimed. "It just slipped by." guests; and as objects of philanthropy. This visual belittling is of no small consequence. What we see affects how we think. And if Americans don't see people of color as consumers in the periodicals that surround us, many whites may continue their comfortable ignorance while minorities will be reminded of their status as second-class citizens. This racial neglect is both economically dumb and morally offensive since minorities control $400 billion in consumer spending and since studies show no white backlash when ads are integrated. Perhaps minorites are mere afterthought to companies hoping to reach white readerships in general-interest magazines, Or maybe advertisers believe African-Americans don't fit the right image with ads trying to appeal to the affluent and those who want an "upscale image." Or perhaps old habits die hard. Whatever the reasons, we believe that economic segregation in the marketplace is every bit as divisive as the legal segregation that took our nation two centuries to formally abolish. That's why we are sending this study to major advertisers, ad, agencies, magazines, .1 black dog decal, since its first catalog was issued in 1988. "We have unimprinted ones in the restaurant and we see those walking out the door," Sullivan says. People just seem to like the ubiquitous mug. i "It's the shape. It's the weight. It's the fact that people remember them and associate," Sullivan says. . f The competition similar Chinese made mugs are a slightly different color,' a little more grey than cream. Some imitations don't weigh as much. ; Sullivan and her staff have taken to stopping by restaurant supply stores whenever they visit the mainland to amass an inventory of authentic mugs. Company officials say they were relucr tant to stop making the mug. "It's unfortunate that the line had to meet its demise," Knickerbocker says. Stage Review Cortland Rep's 'Forum' more delight than dullness JUDITH PRATT Special to The Journal As the finale of its 20th season, Cortland Repertory Theatre is offering that vaudevillian romp of a musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Both the script and the CRT production shift from the inspired to the pedestrian and back again. Overall, however, there's more delight than dullness. Larry Gelbart, Burt Shevelove, and Stephen Sondheim wrote Forum and it certainly looks like something put together by a committee. Numbers like Everybody Ought to Have a Maid are almost actor- proof, but there are a bunch of other songs that defy the best performers, like I'm Calm and That Dirty Old Man. Similarly, director Joe Conaway and choreographer Ed Brazo created both great shtick and stuff that fell flat. The opening number, Comedy Tonight, never quite jelled, for example, but Maid had all the right moves. Some of the courtesan . . . Director Joe Conaway and choreographer Ed Brazo created both great shtick and stuff that fell flat. dances were simply dull, while others (notably RoseAnn Chiavetta) woke us right back up again. The plot, stolen from Plautus, begins one spring day in ancient Rome as Hero falls for Philia, although she has been purchased for Miles Gloriosus by the procurer Marcus Lycus. It ends, of course, with half the cast in disguise and the other half chasing them all over the stage. Robert Kale is the slave Pseudolus, who, in exchange for his freedom, agrees to get Philia for his master Hero. On opening night Kale was doing yeoman work against a nasty-sounding cold. Kale and Jack Hrkach, who played Marcus Lycus, shared some particularly well-timed comic moments, and Hrkach also showed himself master of the triple take. - . Then there's poor Hysterium, the head slave who Pseudolus cajoles into deepening trouble. Mark Roth endured indignities with the face of a mournful sheep, and his transformation from schleppy servant to sweet maiden (one of those disguises mentioned above) is something to behold. Michael Jones brought his heroic good looks and a great charm to the role of Hero, while Jennifer Rosin's delicate soprano was fine for Philia. It's important to love these two, because they sure are dumb. But sweet. And both virgins, too; See REVIEW, 9B '- catalogs and their trade assocciations and urging them collectively to agree to a "Visual Integration Pledge" a promise to voluntarily work to increase minority representation in magazines and catalogs to reflect minority readership levels. No, there should not be any quotas in ads, but neither should there be such obvious racial exclusion, especially since there can be nb arguments about "merit" and "qualifications" when it comes to white and black models. Those sensitive about counting-by-race should be concerned not with efforts to integrate ads but with the practices of an advertising and magazine industry that remains color-selective rather than colorblind. ; If TV ads have 7.5 percent blacks, why can't print ads? If The Gap and IBM integrate their ads with non-stereotyped, minority consumers, why can't other advertisers? It's time to take the white-only sign off of ads in general-circulation magazines and catalogs. It's time we stopped selling minorities short in the marketplace. Mark Green is a lecturer, a miter and the consumer affairs commissioner tor New York City. T

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