The world’s powerful show us they still have heart. After getting all sweaty and nervous about the state of the U.S. economy, disagreements over Iraq and the sad state of Japanese banks, economic masterminds and political honchos gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. There, they also heard a conference on trust in governance hosted by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad and homeboy Sen. Orrin Hatch. From the account of a Newsweek web exclusive, however, it’s apparent that the Malaysian Prime Minister beat Hatch to the media quote spotlight, placating a young woman who asked whether trust could ever be resuscitated in our rough-and-tumble world.
• Afterward, a whole bevy of French, British and Indian figures migrated to the Hotel Belvedere for free-form debate over the nature of love. French philosopher Theodore Zeldin waxed philosophical—natch!—about how greater equality between the sexes will blossom into a greater number of platonic relationships between men and women. British neurochemist Susan Greenfield expounded on love’s chemical nature. An Indian foundation head compared love to gravity.
Where was “Borin’ Orrin”? Did he not want to be among the imbibers at the hotel bar? Was he phoning his wife long-distance to prove that love is all about action? Or did our man simply have nothing to say? Such a complaint may be nitpicking in the extreme. But unless an official excuse is forthcoming, it reveals a couple of traits about our senior senator. One: If Orrin can’t connect the dots between trust and love, and join others in a bar to discuss the matter, he’s not just boring, but downright flat. Two: If he doesn’t have the energy to stay up an hour past bedtime and join others in a bar to connect the dots between trust and love, then he’s too old to be our senator. Utah is not South Carolina, is it?
• And isn’t it time we demand that our local politicians show a bit of flair on the world stage? Why not send a letter to our senator’s Salt Lake City address at 125 S. State (ZIP 84138) posing these vital questions: “Did Sen. Hatch discuss love and trust with world luminaries at Davos’ Hotel Belvedere? If not, why not? If he did, why couldn’t he deliver repartee witty enough to score a quote with Newsweek? As a registered voter in the state of Utah, I demand that our senior senator show a bit of flair on the world stage.”
• The capital of California is a tad agog over alt weekly Sacramento News & Review’s recent story about the hand signs of Kings center Vlade Divac. Those three-finger salutes flashed by Divac, a native of Serbia, were also used by Chetnick marauders to intimidate and harass Bosnian Muslims during Yugoslavia’s worst ethnic conflicts. Divac said he uses the hand sign to celebrate three-pointers, and in greeting fellow Serbs, but that he hates no one.
• Frequently named “The Greatest Film of All Time,” Citizen Kane was nearly held back by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, on whom it was partially based, and booed at the Oscars. It’s back in the news now that Beatrice Welles, Orson’s daughter, is battling Turner Entertainment and RKO Pictures for rights. And even if she doesn’t prevail, the woman still wants a percentage of profits. Turner’s rich enough, so let’s hope she wins. What the world really needs, though, is a DVD release of Welles’ hens’-tooth rare 1966 masterpiece, Chimes at Midnight.