Pop Culture
Pop Culture: Articles for the Scripps Howard News Service & "Seen, Heard, Said"

Why the top-365-songs list isn't a stupid idea

Actors sink their teeth into vampire roles

Gregory Corso: My encounter with a Beat legend

Golden Globes: Sleazy and proud of it

In the offing, Clinton continent looms

"NYPD Blue" opener: The misery continues

 New movie genre: Reclusive authors anonymous

"West Wing," "Ally," et al.: Words, words, words

When TV shows outstay their welcome

Film critics dig their own graves with "Angels" review

Great Robert Altman films you never
heard of

Famous folk, next week in the arts, show business briefs

"Time regained": Proust in the multiplex

Glitterati is dead, long live Popfocus

Carl Barks: The man who put the ducks in Duckburg

"Almost Famous": Lester Bangs rises from the dead

Liz Hurley wins in war of words with Jane mag

Douglas poses with Zeta-Jones, and baby-makes three

Weddings that aren't: Douglas, Zeta-Jones, Madonna, Ritchie

The Emmy War: A half-century of coast-to-coast feuding

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the Iglesias odds

It's raining books by and about Trumps

What's in a mane? Blond woman in the news

Liz Hurley denies dissing ex-beau

Rock Hall of Infamy: Anti-heroes from Elvis to Eminem

Barbra tix bankrupt fans

Laurels for Kathie Lee to rest on

Hillary "In bed" with De Niro, Cruise, Kidman

How "Sopranos," "West Wing" will divvy up awards

This just in: Donald Trump is not a dope

Walter Matthau: A rumpled old dog in the heart of the city

Sampras to take a stroke at wedding bells

Who wants to host "Monday Night Football"?

Queen rewards Tina Brown for demoralizing American readers

How the Korean War cane to TV land 20 years late

Ivanka Trump: From catwalk to commencement line

Lester Bangs: The troublesome punk who wouldn't die

Rags clash over Ted Turner "romance"

With straight face, Trump deems Marla's move "tacky"

"Friends" re-up for another season of top ratings, top money

Madonna in denial, and rightly so

"Suburbia": The continental subdivide

Howard Stern, Sly Stallone in bizarre, apocryphal triangle

Easter video viewing: "Spartacus" to "Harvey"

Billy’s in the news: Bob, Joel in love but not with other

"Charles's Angels" movie: Dispiriting news for old-time fans

Innovative career move for 'NYPD Blue' co-star

Top model: Why I gave oldish rocker husband the heave-ho

Unpleasantville: The awful truth about old-time TV families

Tina Brown held captive in desert by demanding children

Anybody's Oscar: Unusually suspenseful awards show looms

Oscar telecast: Looking for a few good hosts

"Lambs," "Beauty": Oscar's love affair with unacceptable behavior

Brad Pitt, Oscar to be in same room at same time

Letterman bites guest-host bullet: Andrew "Dice" Clay, call your agent

Seinfeld eyes East Hampton manse: Where's the welcome wagon?

"Mod Squad" Immortal dishes couple du jour

Brad Pitt's second thoughts about Oscar

Mike McCurry praises "West Wing": It's not entirely demeaning,,,"

Memo to "Hannibal" producers: Get Najimy while the getting's good

Don't Invite Gwyneth and Oscar to the same party

True or false: Douglas, Zeta-Jones don't even know each other

Ex-Clinton honcho linked to ex-"Cheers" costar

Third party cited in Trump-Knauss breakup

 Gossip queen goes to bat for Talk mag

20th century's No. 1 hit: "Satisfaction" hits the spot

Statement: Spice girl's marital problems insoluble

Charlie Brown, Pogo and me

From Howdy to Charlie Brown, we hate to say goodbye

The Beatle George: While his guitar gently weeps

Jodie Foster's people in mild tiff with CBS

A Peanuts trivia Q&A

Publicist: Boyle still joined at hip

There's video in your future and future in your video

"The future is now": Hit rewind

Whitney Houston presides over confluence of talent

Jim Carrey's flack earns A "D," Cher's A "B-minus"

Geraldo: bye-bye, doghouse

Michael Douglas does nothing much, reporters go wild

Ricky Martin on Menudo: Look back in anger

How to outsmart Halloween crowds at the video store

Tom Cruise puts himself in harm's way, only not really

1800-1900: Steaming towards revolution

1700-1800: Liberty, equality and bloodshed

1600-1700: The earth moves; North America is settled

Trump mulls travel plans, from altar to White House

"Faces of Impressionism" Time machine made of canvas, paint

Major quakes aren't personal unless they happen to you

Brad Pitt gracious about character assassination

Director insists Harrison Ford is not a brainless hulk

Costner, Willis, Douglas. Branagh, Sting_ in that order

Streisand: Color her ready to plug her new album

Julia and Benjamin's rings devoid of significance, flack says

Literary mud wrestling, featuring Geri and The Spice Girls

Urgent news: Ford to replace Gibson on "GMA" eventually

She married a monster from outer space

Never mind Godzilla VS. Mothra, Here's Trump VS. Cronkite

Spurned by Pitt, Redford pays court to Damon

Celebrity coyness is bustin' out all over

"Detroit Rock City": Kiss of death

Talk is cheap? Not with Tina Brown at the helm

The Beats: Remembered, Lionized and Unread

Real estate beat, starring Woody Allen and Donald Trump

Mood Music, or how we learned to stop worrying

Sex in the cinema: From "Last Tango" to "Eyes Wide Shut"

Two easy steps to looking exactly like Ricky Martin

Close encounters of the Muppet kind

Upcoming Brad Pitt movie not garbage, insiders say

Kathie Lee's eyewear excites Islanders' ire

Back to the future, continued

"Wild Wild West": Buck Rogers in the 19th century

Sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein: Fun, Fun, Fun

An expert's verdict:" Austin Powers" is pretty neat

Click here for pointless celebrity gossip

P. Dempsey Tabler of the jungle: The many faces of Tarzan

Kirk Douglas' Ex tells all about Errol Flynn fling

New twist in TV programming: Ax profitable shows

Private jet fees spell the end for another celebrity union

Killer serials: "Flash," "Buck" and a boy named George Lucas

Top nonfiction books: A message from two old men

Celebrity Dream dreams: Monica, Donald, Barbara, Georgette

Two divas, publicist form bizarre show-biz triangle

Johnny Cash tribute: Ring of fire, ring of friends

Streisand employee really upset about rumors

Grande Dame Eyes MGM Grand Gig

Secretive celebs? Not by a long shot

NBC honcho bristles at notion that Brokaw is not a saint

Barbara Walters not keen on daily dose of Monica

"Seen, Heard, Said"

David Letterman, Donald Trump, Eddie Murphy, Elton John

Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Prince Charles, Maj, Ronald Ferguson, Fergie, Miranda Richardson, Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Axl Rose, Stephanie Seymour

October 21, 1999


By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service

Napoleon Bonaparte closed out the 18th century as the military champion of human rights and continued that role as the 19th century got started, but before long he became something else - a charismatic, absolute ruler wreaking havoc across the face of Europe and setting the stage in the next century for the rise of tyrants like Hitler and Stalin, also men who rose to power on populist principles before turning to oppression and butchery.

Unlike them, however, Bonaparte also left a positive legacy of law (the Napoleonic Code is still used in many parts of the world today) and constructive internationalism.

Such unalloyed heroes also existed as Simon Bolivar, the Latin American colossus who liberated vast tracts of South and Central America from European rule in a series of arduous wars.

In North America, at the time of Napoleon - and partly because of his shocking rise - "democracy" was a pejorative term. Painfully, events would move toward liberalization culminating in the end of slavery, but not without much bloodshed.

In the meantime the United States swelled in its physical proportions, first with the Louisiana Purchase from France (so Bonaparte could finance his European depradations), then with the forcible annexation from Mexico of Texas, then California (not coincidentally, shortly after gold was discovered there), and in 1867 with the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

While the United States grew, the whole world shrank. In America, the Erie Canal and, in North Africa, the Suez Canal drastically foreshortened the length of time and travel required for trade and communication.

Bringing steam locomotive technology up out of the mines, engineers produced the first surface railroad in 1828 - the beginning of a gargantuan public-works process that climaxed with the completion of the American transcontinental railroad in 1869. By the end of the century, much of the planet was intricately fitted with railroad lines carrying millions of people and goods to and fro 24 hours a day.

By mid-century, steam travel also took to the seas, making the unpredictable, fate-driven, tempest-tossed voyages of the age of sail a thing of the past. Admiral Perry of the United States sailed a fleet of ships uninvited into Japanese waters, putting the Japanese on notice that superior firepower would be brought to bear if they continued to resist commerce with the West. Japan got the message, and its gates were opened.

The world got smaller in other ways. In plenty of time for the War Between the States, Samuel Morse hit on the idea of conveying information over vast distances by means of electronic impulses - the birth of binary cyber-technology. In the '70s Alexander Graham Bell went him one better with the invention of the telephone, and by the beginning of our century parents were already telling their teenage girls to get off the phone.

Something that had begun 10,000 years ago - the Neolithic Revolution, or the birth of agriculture - began to ebb for the first time. Steam-driven means of harvesting cotton and of processing it into textiles evolved and grew, quickly emerging from the factories of Manchester, England, and the fields of the American South to create jobs and money in regions all over Europe and Asia. For the first time large masses of working people had something to do besides till the soil - work in factories, sometimes for 12 or more hours a day.

Also for the first time, men and women developed a coherent and comprehensive picture of the Earth's past. Charles Darwin shocked the world in 1859 with the idea that humans had painstakingly evolved - over millions of years' time - from lower animals, and the discovery of the remains of anatomically different early humans in the Neander Valley in Germany around the same time drove the point home.

If any evidence were needed of humanity's savage origins, the American Civil War supplied it. Fully half a million men died on domestic battlefields and the forces of reaction represented by John Wilkes Booth turned Abraham Lincoln into a martyr.

The vast nation of Russia experienced some of the same violent pangs: Czar Nicholas freed the serfs in 1861, just as our armed strife over slavery was beginning, and Russia's body politic was wracked by riots, bombings, assassinations, conspiracies, hangings, and mass imprisonment from about 1850 on, culminating finally in 1917 with the murder of the Russian royal family.

Happily, a couple of wizards were at work during the last stages of the century, named Louis Pasteur and Thomas Edison. Pasteur opened the world's eyes to the existence of germs, little invisible creatures that spread disease but were vulnerable to medicine and hygiene. Edison, by dint of endless laboratory hours, threw a saddle on Ben Franklin's electricity, lighting homes and cities and creating such indispensable adjuncts of our time as the phonograph and the cinema.

In 1897, the Lumiere brothers opened the first movie theater in Paris. The movie of the modern age was ready to begin.

Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News Service.

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