These are what we call the Dog Days of summer. Why this hot, languid time of year is called the Dog Days, of course, is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Is it because we’re hotter than dogs seeking shade? Is it because we’re going around bare-footed and our feet are hot? Or is it because this is the time of year when a lot of people cook frankfurters in the backyard over charcoal?
Those familiar with folklore and know the answer—or think they can make something up that we will believe—send your answers to SmartBomb, C/O City Weekly, 60 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. The winners will receive a free movie pass for two (on the level). Deadline is Aug. 10.
• Among the problems with the Dog Days of summer is that people are so busy sucking on Popsicles and other cold, wet things that nobody is creating a lot of news. Fortunately for us, federal Judge David Sam is here. As you may know by now, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just overturned the judge on Utah’s insistence that liquor advertising doesn’t fall under the protections of the First Amendment (see Advice and Dissent, p. 10). Just prior to that ruling, Judge Sam threw out four indictments against Olympic fall guys Tom Welch and Dave Johnson. Not only that, but the judge did not reschedule the trial, perhaps hinting to federal prosecutors to leave town while they still can.
• Our good friends over at KTVX Channel 4—who, by the way, really love us here at SmartBomb—commissioned a poll recently to ask John Q. and Sarah Q. Utahn what they thought of the judge’s ruling.
According to the poll conducted by David Spatafore, when asked whether political pressure was applied in an effort to keep the case from going to trial, 54 percent answered ‘yes,’ while only 29 percent said political pressure wasn’t being applied.
When Channel 4 asked each of 600 respondents whether they thought a trial should take place, 50 percent answered ‘yes,’ and 34 percent said ‘no.’
Perhaps equally interesting were the answers to the question of whether Salt Lake City could have won the 2002 Olympic bid without providing gifts to IOC members. Some 42 percent said ‘yes,’ but 40 percent said we couldn’t have won the bid without bribes.
• Speaking of political pressure, Judge Sam’s old friend Orrin Hatch is in the news again. But this time, it’s in a good way. Utah’s senior senator is one of the featured artists on the sound track of the soon-to-be-released movie Rat Race. (As Dave Barry might say, we are not making this up!)
Other artists on the sound track include Baha Men, Better Than Ezra, Smash Mouth, The Four Tops and Aretha Franklin. For his cut, Orrin performs a number called “America Rocks.” And although we haven’t heard it yet, we know it’s going to be catchy, possibly a crossover hit. Look out Gladys Knight and Donny Osmond.