Smells like Victory
What do Albert Einstein, Jesse Owens, and the freedom fighters of Tiananmen Square have in common?

Beats us. Maybe they all liked to shop at the Gap, which, Buzz suspects, one day will be one of the many stores at Hillwood Development Corp.'s arena-retail-office-entertainment complex.

Al, Jesse, and courageous Chinese students were featured--along with moon landings and a back-lighted shot of the Iwo Jima monument--in the film montage that opened Hillwood's unveiling last week of its plans for the arena project, which is modestly named Victory. (Victory's logo is the left stroke of a V next to a lone star. It vaguely resembles a Chinese flag.)

As propaganda flicks go, it wasn't exactly Triumph of the Will, but it was slickly done. What all those heroes had in common, according to the film, is "they take the status quo and bounce it on its ear."

Now, we aren't exactly sure how a real estate developer promising to spin a sports arena and a chunk of tax money into the New Dallas challenges the status quo. (Anyone remember Reunion Arena and Ray Hunt?) And we're really not sure how Tiananmen Square qualifies as a victory. Nevertheless, being much politer in person than we are in print, Buzz didn't point that out to the people at the party.

Neither did Buzz make rude lip noises at the sight of all the nifty maps, aerial photos, and the model that had a DART rail station west of the arena, well away from the competing retail-office-entertainment complex known as the West End. (The symbol for Victory is two upraised fingers, except when discussing light rail. Then, one of those fingers is lowered and the other is waved toward the West End.)

Yet Buzz was gracious. It may have been a dog-and-pony show, but it was a happy dog-and-pony show, with Ross Perot Jr. as the guest of honor. There are times--weddings and funerals, for example--when it's best not to be too critical in one's appraisals.

Besides, there was an open bar, and after a gin and tonic, we really needed to visit the little Buzz's room. So it came down to a choice--drink more of Ross' liquor, pee, or do our Buzzlike duty and be a party pooper.

Did we mention it was an open bar?
Thanks for the nosh and drinks, Ross. It was swell. And thanks for the little five-in-one tool--pliers, knives, screwdriver, etc.--that you passed out to media. Buzz always welcomes graft, though we notice somewhat suspiciously that it was made in China.

Another one bites the dust
Publisher Rand Stagen won't return our calls--Who will?--but apparently his Texas Business magazine has joined the choir invisible.

That means it's dead, for you non-literary types and regular Buzz readers.
The mag, which Stagen resurrected this spring after it was shut down by its previous publisher in fall 1997, closed two weeks ago after publishing just four issues, two now-jobless employees say.

That makes Stagen's record 0-4-1 on magazine startups. FM, MetLiving, Spirits & Cocktails, and Texas Business are no more.

Then there's his other magazine, The Met. Or, as the The Dallas Morning News would say, another local alternative weekly newspaper.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams