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					MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010

                                                                                                                                                  The United States Army
                                                                                                                                                  is eager to add more
                                                                                                                                                  robots to its fighting
                                                                                                                                                  ranks. An armed
                                                                                                                                                  robot, called Maars,
                                                                                                                                                  maneuvering at a
                                                                                                                                                  training site. Most armed
                                                                                                                                                  robots are operated
                                                                                                                                                  with video-game-style
                                                                                                                                                  consoles, above, helping
                                                                                                                                                  to keep humans away
                                                                                                                                                  from danger.

                                                                                       PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID WALTER BANKS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

                   Martial Robots on the March
                               FORT BENNING, Georgia   Nations in a Race to Develop
                                                        Efficient Killing Machines

            In Japan, mob
            influence wanes.   VI                          A new Cher, master
                                                           of transformation.   VIII
             Embracing the ‘Tears of the Sun’


                                                                                                            Repubblica NewYork
                                                                                              MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010

Greece, Ireland, and Then?

                                                                                               ENDA DORAN/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

                                                      Ireland’s economy shrank by 15 percent in the last two years.
                                                      A protester demonstrates against the country’s bailout.

                                                                                       HELENA MULKERNS

                                                                    A Different Side
                                                                      Of the Irish

    Description Is Prescription

                                                                                          With Ireland’s fall from
                                                                                          grace, reality intrudes
                                                                                          on a state of denial.

                          Tolstoy’s life, 100 years
                          after, reveals a gifted
                          yet unfulfilled man.

                                                                       Repubblica NewYork

In Myanmar, Plan for Industry May Mar a Pristine Coastline

                                                                                                                                                          THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

                                             The Dawei Development Project would create the largest industrial area in Myanmar. The site is now used mostly by fishermen.

                                                                 THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

Farmers living on the site of a planned Dawei project have been told they have to
relocate to other land. The project’s impact on the environment is also a concern.

                                                                                                                              Repubblica NewYork
IV                                                                                                                                                                                      MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010

                                                                                                 WORLD TRENDS

South Korea,                                  40 KMS.
                                             NORTH KOREA                                   Martial Robots: Nations Develop
All to Battle
                                                           Mapo District
                                                                                           More Efficient Killing Machines

                                                                                                                                                                                    following a soldier. The four-legged
                                                                                                   Continued from Page I

                                                                                                                                         ONLINE: SMARTER THAN YOU THINK             modules have an extraordinary sense
                                                                 SOUTH KOREA               can fire second,” said Joseph W. Dyer,        Articles in this series are examining      of balance, can climb steep grades and
                                                                                           a former vice admiral and the chief op-       the recent advances in artificial intel-   even move on icy surfaces. The robot’s
           By PAM BELLUCK                                                                  erating officer of iRobot, which makes        ligence and robotics and their potential   “head” has an array of sensors that
   SEONGNAM, South Korea —
                                                                                           robots that clear explosives as well as       impact on society. A video of the ma-      give it the odd appearance of a cross
                                                                          N. KOREA
South Korea is at the forefront of a                                                       the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. Yet          chines in action at the Robotics Rodeo:    between a bug and a dog. Indeed, an
worldwide eruption of dementia.                                                            the idea that robots might someday re-                        earlier experimental version of the ro-
The disease is exploding globally,                                           Area of       place or supplement soldiers is still a                                                  bot was known as Big Dog.
from about 30 million estimated                                              detail        source of controversy. Because robots                                                       In November the Army and the
                                            Yellow Sea
cases now to an estimated 100 mil-                                                         can stage attacks with little risk to the     well as to disarm one of the enemies’      Australian military held a contest for
lion in 2050. South Korea’s approach                                                       people who operate them, opponents            most effective weapons: the I.E.D., or     teams designing mobile micro-robots
to its Alzheimers’ problem is unusu-                                          JAPAN        say that robots lower the barriers to         improvised explosive device.               — some no larger than model cars —
ally extensive. As one of the world’s                              THE NEW YORK TIMES      warfare.                                         Mr. Arkin, the Georgia Institute of     that, operating in swarms, can map
fastest-aging countries, with nearly        South Korea is one of the                         “Wars will be started very easily          Technology roboticist, has argued          a potentially hostile area, accurately
9 percent of its population over 65         world’s fastest-aging nations.                 and with minimal costs,” said Wendell         that it is possible to design “ethical”    detecting a variety of threats.
already afflicted, the country has                                                         Wallach, a scholar at the Yale Inter-         robots that conform to the laws of war        Military technologists assert that
opened a “War on Dementia,” spend-                                                         disciplinary Center for Bioethics and         and the military rules of escalation.      tele-operated, semi-autonomous and
ing money and shining light on a dis-       ence Hall” outside Seoul encour-               chairman of its technology and ethics            But the ethical issues are far from     autonomous robots are the best way to
ease that is, here as in many places,       ages businesses to produce items for           study group.                                  simple. In October in Germany, an in-      protect the lives of American troops.
riddled with shame and fear.                feeble elderly people.                            Civilians will be at greater risk, crit-   ternational group including artificial        Army Special Forces units have
   South Korea is training thousands           Throughout South Korea, Mrs.                ics argue, because of the difficulties of     intelligence researchers, arms control     bought six lawn-mower-size robots
of people, including children, as “de-      Lee leads “dementia supporter”                 distinguishing between fighters and           specialists, human rights advocates        — the type showcased in the Robotics
mentia supporters,” to recognize            training, advocating for preserving            bystanders. This problem has already          and government officials called for        Rodeo — for classified missions, and
symptoms and care for patients.             patients’ skills and self-esteem.              arisen with Predator aircraft, which          agreements to limit the development        the National Guard has asked for doz-
   And in another striking move,               If patients say, “ ‘I’m good at mak-        find their targets with the aid of sol-       and use of tele-operated and autono-       ens more to serve as sentries on bases
it is also pushing to make diagno-          ing soy soup,’ but forget ingredients,”        diers on the ground but are operated          mous weapons.                              in Iraq and Afghanistan. These units
ses early, despite there being scant        guide them step by step, she advised.          from the United States. Civilians in             The group, known as the Interna-        are known as the Modular Advanced
treatment.                                  Otherwise, “They may make it into              Iraq and Afghanistan have died as a           tional Committee for Robot Arms            Armed Robotic System, or Maars, and
   “This used to be hidden” and             salt soup, and everyone will say, ‘Oh,         result of collateral damage or mistak-        Control, said warfare was accelerated      they are made by a company called
“there is still stigma,” said Kim Hye-      this is terrible, you stop doing it.’ ”        en identities.                                by automated systems, undermining          QinetiQ North America.
jin, director of senior policy for the         Even the youngest are enlisted.                But among the supporters of robot          the capacity of human beings to make          The Maars robots first attracted the
Health and Welfare Ministry. But            Dr. Yang Dong-won, who directs a               combatants are even some human                responsible decisions. For example,        military’s interest in 2008. Used as a
“we want to get them out of their           government-run diagnostic centers              rights advocates.                             a gun that was designed to function        nighttime sentry against infiltrators
shells, out of their homes and diag-        in Seoul, has visited kindergartens,              “A lot of people fear artificial intel-    without humans could shoot an attack-      equipped with thermal imaging vision
nosed” to help families adjust and          bringing tofu. “This is very soft, like        ligence,” said John Arquilla, executive       er more quickly and without a soldier’s    systems, the battery-powered Maars
give patients “a higher chance of be-       the brain,” he said, letting it crash          director of the Information Operations        consideration of subtle factors on the     unit remained invisible — it did not
ing taken care of at home.”                 down. Now, “the brain is destroyed.”           Center at the Naval Postgraduate              battlefield.                               have the heat signature of a human be-
   Hundreds of neighborhood de-                He tells the children: “Protect your        School. “I will stand my artificial intel-       “The short-term benefits being          ing — and could “shoot” intruders with
mentia diagnostic centers have been         brain, with exercise, “not drinking            ligence against your human any day            derived from roboticizing aspects of       a laser tag gun without being detected
created. Nursing homes have nearly          too much sugar” and saying, “ ‘Dad-            of the week and tell you that my A.I.         warfare are likely to be far outweighed    itself, said Bob Quinn, a vice president
tripled since 2008. Programs provid-        dy, don’t drink so much because it’s           will pay more attention to the rules of       by the long-term consequences,” said       at QinetiQ.
ing day care and home care have in-         not good for dementia.’ ”                      engagement and create fewer ethical           Mr. Wallach, the Yale scholar, suggest-       To follow military rules of engage-
creased fivefold since 2008, to nearly         Cha Jeong-eun’s family got her fa-          lapses than a human force.”                   ing that wars would occur more read-       ment, Maars has more recently been
20,000. Care is heavily subsidized.         ther, Cha Kyong-ho, tested after Mr.              Dr. Arquilla argues that weapons           ily and that a technological arms race     equipped with a loudspeaker as well
And a government database allows            Cha, 74, could not find his way home           systems controlled by software will           would develop.                             as a launcher so it can issue warnings
families to register relatives and re-      one day. “I was like, ‘Where the hell          not act out of anger and malice and, in          As the debate continues, so do the      and fire tear gas grenades before fir-
ceive iron-on identification numbers.       am I?’ ” he said.                              certain cases, can already make bet-          Army’s automation efforts. In 2001         ing its machine gun.
Citizens encountering wanderers                “I can see it with my eyes and my           ter decisions on the battlefield than         Congress gave the Pentagon the goal           Remotely controlled systems like
with dementia report their numbers          brain is processing it, but I cannot           humans.                                       of making one-third of the ground          the Predator aircraft and Maars
to officials, who contact families.         say it out loud,” he said about the               “Some of us think that the right or-       combat vehicles remotely operated          move a step closer to concerns about
   To finance this, South Korea cre-        questions he was given at the Mapo             ganizational structure for the future is      by 2015. That seems unlikely, but there    the automation of warfare. What hap-
ated a long-term-care insurance             Center for Dementia. “Jeez, it’s so            one that skillfully blends humans and         have been significant steps in that di-    pens, ask skeptics, when humans are
system, paid for with 6.6 percent in-       headachy.”                                     intelligent machines,” Dr. Arquilla           rection.                                   taken out of decision making on firing
creases in people’s national health            Dr. Yang found that Mr. Cha was in          said. “We think that that’s the key to           For example, a wagonlike Lockheed       weapons?
insurance premiums. In 2009, about          the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.           the mastery of 21st-century military          Martin device that can carry more             “If the decisions are being made by a
$1 billion of government and pub-           He recommended drug treatment                  affairs.”                                     than 450 kilograms of gear and auto-       human being who has eyes on the tar-
lic insurance money was spent on            and Mapo’s free programs “to stim-                Automation has proved vital in the         matically follow a platoon at up to 27     get, whether he is sitting in a tank or
dementia patients. Still, with the          ulate what brain cells he has.”                wars America is fighting. In the air          kilometers per hour is scheduled to be     miles away, the main safeguard is still
over-65 population jumping from 7              Schools offer community service             in Iraq and Afghanistan, unmanned             tested in Afghanistan early next year.     there,” said Tom Malinowski, Wash-
percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2018       credit for working with dementia               aircraft with names like Predator,               For rougher terrain away from           ington director for Human Rights
to 20 percent in 2026, dementia is          patients. Teenage girls do foot mas-           Reaper, and Raven have kept count-            roads, engineers at Boston Dynam-          Watch, which tracks war crimes.
straining the country,.                     sage at the Cheongam nursing home,             less soldiers from flying sorties. More-      ics are designing a walking robot to       “What happens when you automate
   “At least one family member has          for women without sons to care for             over, the military now routinely uses         carry gear. Scheduled to be complet-       the decision? Proponents are saying
to give up work” to provide care,           them. (In South Korea, sons’ families          more than 6,000 tele-operated robots          ed in 2012, it will carry 180 kilograms    that their systems are win-win, but
said Kwak Young-soon, social wel-           traditionally shoulder caregiving re-          to search vehicles at checkpoints as          as far as 32 kilometers, automatically     that doesn’t reassure me.”
fare director for Mapo District, one        sponsibilities.) Oh Yu-mi, 16, said, “It
of Seoul’s 25 geographic districts.         will help them excrete better.”
Families may also lose dementia suf-           Park Min-jung, 17, was shaken
ferers’ incomes.                            to realize that dementia could ex-
   Most families no longer have gen-
erations living together to help with
caregiving, and some facilities have
                                            plain why her grandfather recently
                                            grabbed a taxi, seeking his no-
                                            longer-existent house. “He used to
                                                                                                               Embracing the ‘Tears of the Sun’
long waiting lists, but “we can’t keep      be very scary to me,’’ she said, but
building nursing homes,” Mr. Kwak           training made her feel that “I can do                  Continued from Page I
said. “We call it a ghost. It’s basically   things for him.”
eating up the whole house.”                    A boys’ high school selects top             serve who are currently responsible
   The country’s leaders worry that         students to help at Seobu Nursing              for setting monetary policy.
dementia, previously stigmatized            Center. For Kim Han-bit, 16, the pro-             As Floyd Norris, a Times finance
as “ghost-seeing” or “one’s second          gram is intensely personal. Han-bit            columnist, wrote, the soaring price of
childhood” could “dilute respect for        was 13 when his grandmother, who               gold reflects “first and foremost a dis-
elders,” Mr. Kwak said.                     practically raised him, got Alzheim-           may at the current state of the world
   So the authorities promote the no-       er’s, and “I would just feel it was an-        economy, and a conclusion that the
tion that filial piety implies doing        noying and walk out of the room,” he           elites who are running it do not know
everything possible for elders with         said. “She would ask to do an activ-           what they are doing.”
dementia. But South Korea’s low             ity, and I would say, ‘What business              There may be unseen dangers in
birth rate will make family caregiv-        do you have doing that?’ It was my             faceless bureaucrats who make deci-
ing tougher.                                responsibility to feed her, give her           sions that influence how the economy
   “I feel as if a tsunami’s coming,”       drinks, wash her face. But I even              is managed, but those perils pale in
said Lee Sung-hee, the South Ko-            resisted and fought back,” he said.            comparison to the gold dealers in Iraq
rean Alzheimer’s Association presi-         When she died, he added, “I couldn’t           who are on the front lines in a sectar-
dent, who trains nursing home staff         let out tears.”                                ian struggle. More than 40 people have
members, and also thousands who                The program has made him re-                been killed in jewelry store robberies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        JONATHAN EVANS/REUTERS
regularly interact with the elderly.        flect on his own experience. “I think          in Iraq this year, and in late October,
“Sometimes I think I want to run            I should do better in the future to            men armed with rocket-propelled gre-          Gold, so coveted throughout the centuries and around the world that
away,” she said.                            compensate for all my wrongdoing,”             nades attacked the largest gold mar-          people hoard it, build economies around it, and even kill for it.
   South Korea is even trying to turn       he said.                                       ket in Kirkuk, killing 10 people and in-
a crisis into a business opportunity.          Recently, he worked to engage Lee           juring 10 others, The Times reported.
The government-financed “Aging-             Jeong-hee, a patient half his height           Some gold dealers are closing shops           in case they are being watched. Some       father began selling gold in Karbala
Friendly Comprehensive Experi-              with missing teeth who laughed, but            early or operating on varying hours           cannot imagine leaving the business        and whose father moved the business
                                            spoke incoherently.                                                                          and are resigned to their fates.           to Baghdad. “We don’t know any-
Su-Hyun Lee contributed reporting              “When I come next time,” he said            For comments, write to                          “What will we do if we sell out?”        thing else. Now, we await our death.”
from Seoul, South Korea.                    tenderly, “please remember me.”                              asked Fahd al-Taie, 22, whose grand-                                TOM BRADY

                                                                                                                                                              Repubblica NewYork
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                   V

                                                                                                  WORLD TRENDS

Poland, Lacking Enemies,
Is Turning on Itself
       By MICHAEL SLACKMAN                 financial crisis. But Poles are feeling
  WARSAW — It was 9:30 at night,           insecure, pessimistic and uncertain
under a chilly, steady rain. The Presi-    about the future, and they have turned
dential Palace glowed brightly in the      on one another.
background as a cluster of men and            “We have a beautiful face in tough
women huddled under umbrellas,             times and during difficult moments,
saying prayers, holding small wooden       but in normal times, we are lost,” said
crosses against their bodies, facing       Jan Oldakowski, an opposition mem-
a large picture of Jesus Christ on the     ber of the Parliament who was one of
cross and a lighted statue of the Virgin   several members of the opposition
Mary.                                      Law and Justice Party to recently quit
  They had come to protest against         the party to form a more centrist coali-
the president, Bronislaw Komorowski,       tion. “With freedom, Poles do not know
and the prime minister, Donald Tusk,       how to cooperate with each other.”
in a vigil that began in the early days       The political leadership is at war
after a plane crash in Russia in April     with itself. Personal attacks and in-
                                           sults are flying. The former prime
                                           minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who
                                           lost a bid to become president after
The economy remains                        his twin brother died in the crash, has
                                           refused to shake hands with Mr. Tusk,
strong, but Poles are                      refused to attend the main memorial

                                           service for the crash this year and has
                                           turned against some of his closest al-
                                           lies, prompting them to quit the Law
                                                                                                                                                                                          PIOTR MALECKI FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
                                           and Justice Party, which the Kaczyn-
                                           ski brothers founded in 2001.                  Protesters have gathered in Warsaw since a plane crash killed the president, sparking a cultural clash.
that killed Lech Kaczynski, then the          “Poles always feel they need to have
president, and his wife and dozens of      an enemy,” Urszula Slawinska, 38,
the nation’s top political and military    said as she walked in Warsaw. She              tional debt limit. That will require cut-   ber of Parliament who started his own      more focused on Europe, on adopting
leaders.                                   is uninvolved in politics, yet keenly          ting spending, raising taxes or raiding     political party. “There are two visions    the euro, on ending Poland’s military
  Over the months, as their demands        aware of what was happening around             the retirement system.                      of Poland struggling to co-exist.”         presence in Afghanistan and on a
have shifted from keeping a cross out-     her. “Because of our history we define            “In two or three years, we could face       A large cross placed outside the        state in which religion would be more
side the Presidential Palace to build-     ourselves, to be Polish meant to pro-          a disaster, truly a disaster,” said an      palace became a political statement,       personal and less institutional. The
ing a permanent monument to replac-        tect our country. So now that we don’t         economist, Krzystof Rybinski. “Our          a show of support for a vision of a more   church leadership remained silent
ing the president, their nightly vigil     have to protect ourselves, we still need       society does not understand the chal-       conservative, more religious, more na-     on the issue, which only angered both
has come to represent the deep social      to find an enemy.”                             lenges it faces.”                           tionalistic Poland, a Poland run by the    sides.
and political cleavages threatening to        Some economists are warning that               A clash that developed over whether      Kaczynski brothers, many political           “The church was not guilty. It was a
derail one of the great success stories    unless serious issues are addressed,           to keep the cross was not just a clash      scientists, religious leaders and dem-     conflict between the two parties,” said
of the former Soviet bloc, a number of     Poland is headed for trouble. Econo-           over religious values and symbols.          onstrators said.                           the Reverend Maciej Zieba, a popular
people here said.                          mists said that once development mon-          “The people at the Presidential Palace         The other vision for Poland, cham-      priest here. “But the winners are the
  Poland is the only country in Europe     ey from the European Union slowed in           were not fighting for the cross or the      pioned by the governing party of Mr.       politicians. Who was the loser? The
to have avoided a recession during the     2012, the country would hit its constitu-      church,” said Janusz Palikot, a mem-        Tusk and President Komorowski, was         church.”

Harvest of Golden
Tresses in a Poor
Russian Region
            By ANDREW E. KRAMER
   MOSALSK, Russia — The road into town is a
potholed track, passing villages of log cabins and
fallow fields that speak to the poverty that has
gripped this part of central Russia for as long as
anyone can remember.
   But on a lane where geese waddle through
muddy puddles, a brick building holds crate up-
on crate of this region’s one precious harvestable
commodity: human hair, much of it naturally
   For the global beauty industry, this is golden
treasure. “Nobody else has this, nobody in the
world,” said Aleksei N. Kuznetsov, the building’s
owner. “Russian hair is the best in the world.”
   Buyers of hair, most of them small-scale Rus-
sian and Ukrainian itinerant operators who sell
to hair processors like Mr. Kuznetsov, flock to
poor regions. They pay small sums for a head’s
worth of tresses sheared from women who often
                                                                         VALERI NISTRATOV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
have few economic alternatives. Mr. Kuznetsov’s
company, Belli Capelli, has annual revenue of         Blond locks harvested for export from
about $16 million.                                    Russia are prized for their relative
   Long sought for wigs, human hair is now in         scarcity. They become wigs or extensions.
particularly high demand for hair extension
procedures in more affluent countries. Dark hair
from India and China is more plentiful, but blond    ten than people in Sweden,” David Elman, a co-
and other light shades are valued for their rela-    owner of Raw Virgin Hair Company, an importer
tive scarcity and because they are easier to dye     based in Kiev, Ukraine, said in a telephone inter-
to match almost any woman’s natural color.           view. “They are not doing it for fun. Usually, only
   The largest market is the United States, where    people who have temporary financial difficulties
tens of thousands of beauty salons offer hair        in depressed regions sell their hair.”
extensions. The average price for extensions is        Here in Mosalsk, a 40-centimeter braid, the
$439, according to a 2009 survey by American         shortest length a buyer will consider, fetches
Salon Magazine, although the procedure can           about $50.
cost several thousand dollars at elite salons.         Natalya N. Vinokurova, 26, grew up in Yukh-
   An estimated 20 percent of Russian hair is used   nov, a town where half the homes lack indoor
domestically, by the well coiffed of Moscow and      plumbing and the average monthly wage is about
St. Petersburg.                                      $300. What little cash-crop agriculture there
   The blond harvest has followed an economic        once was collapsed with the Soviet Union.
development path in recent decades, moving             But Ms. Vinokurova cultivated something with
from Western Europe in the 1960s and ’70s,           market value: strawberry blond hair that hung
through Poland in the ’80s and to Ukraine and        to her waist before she sold it.
Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union in        “I wore it in a braid, a ponytail, different ways,”
1991.                                                she said. “But I got sick of it, and all the other girls
   “It’s not hard to understand why people in        have short hair, so I cut it,” and then sold it, she
Ukraine sell their hair a hundred times more of-     said with a shrug.

                                                                                                                                                           Repubblica NewYork
VI                                                                                                                                                                                  MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010

                                                                                          MONEY & BUSINESS

                                            Japan Working to Sever
                                            Business From Mob Ties
                                                     By HIROKO TABUCHI
                                               TOKYO — When the world’s tallest
                                            communications tower opens here             Crime syndicates akin
                                            next year, yakuza gangsters will not
                                            be celebrating.
                                                                                        to ‘Goldman Sachs
                                               The yakuza, as members of Japan’s
                                            criminal underworld are known, are
                                                                                        with guns.’
                                            banned from the construction of the
                                            634-meter tower, developers say.
                                                                                                                                                                                             KO SASAKI FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
                                               The ban is part of a nationwide ef-      that Jake Adelstein, who has written
                                            fort by the Japanese government and         extensively about Japanese organized       Japan banned organized crime from the construction of the Tokyo
         JUAN FACH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES   the business community to sever the         crime, calls the yakuza “Goldman           Sky Tree, a communications tower that will open next year. The
Players as young as 13 leave
                                            deep-rooted ties between organized          Sachs with guns.”                          construction industry started its anti-mob effort in 2008.
                                            crime and corporate Japan.                    Across Japan, almost 83,000 gang-
home to train at Dominican                     As part of the national crackdown,       sters operate in 22 crime syndicates,
baseball academies, including               Kiyoshi Takayama, 63, a top crime           according to police data, that con-        have links with the yakuza.                 anti-yakuza advice center in Tokyo
one with a barbed-wire fence.               boss of Japan’s largest crime syndi-        tribute to a mob-controlled economy          The new tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, has        and runs seminars for companies on
                                            cate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, was ar-           worth an estimated 20 trillion yen         become a prominent symbol of the            dealing with the yakuza, says inqui-

                                            rested on charges of extorting 40 mil-      ($242 billion) a year.                     crackdown.                                  ries are rising as more companies
                                            lion yen ($480,000) from a construction       Yakuza bosses pressure developers          In late 2008, the companies working       try to sever ties with the mob. “I tell
                                            company in the western city of Kyoto,       to pay “protection money” to cover         on the Sky Tree teamed up with local        them that they should not be afraid,

In Dominican
                                            police officials said.                      construction projects or use front         businesses to form an anti-yakuza           that they should go to the police even if
                                               “Organized crime is threatening          companies to win lucrative contracts,      committee. It is one of more than 100       they are warned not to,” said Mr. Um-
                                            Japan’s entire economy,” Kohei Kishi,       police say.                                similar committees that have been           eda, a former anti-yakuza officer with

                                            director of the organized crime divi-         Sometimes it is the developers that      formed here in the past few years.          the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. But
                                            sion of Japan’s National Police Agen-       reach out to the yakuza — to bully re-       Toru Hironaka, the tower’s anti-mob       the mob is threatening to fight back.
                                            cy, said. “And they have deep roots in      luctant owners into selling their land,    lawyer, says movement to and from the       In October, police say, a gunshot was
                                            construction.”                              for example. In 2008, the president of     construction site is closely monitored      fired into the wall of a construction
     By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT                     The country’s finance ministry has       a big real estate company, Suruga, re-     by guards and closed-circuit video.         site linked to Takenaka Corporation,
   SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican                 directed banks to step up safeguards        signed after police arrested members       Contracts are scrutinized to make sure      one of Japan’s biggest contractors, the
Republic — Investors from the               to prevent money laundering, cut off        of a front company that Suruga had         that no equipment or materials come         fourth shooting at construction sites in
United States believe they have             loans to mob-related companies and          hired to evict occupants from a Tokyo      from companies with mob ties.               Tokyo this year. No one has been hurt,
found an exotic new prospect:               deny bank accounts to individuals           building.                                    “The site is water-tight,” Mr. Hiron-     but the shootings resonated in a coun-
Latin American baseball players,            with known gangster ties.                     The industry’s anti-yakuza effort,       aka said. “It will take a lot to get past   try where guns are almost unobtain-
some as young as 13 and many                   The big target is Japan’s 30 trillion    which began in 2008, has shifted away      all that.”                                  able for everyone except gangsters.
from impoverished families.                 yen ($362 billion) construction indus-      from the past focus on going after the       Local governments, whose projects            Those close to the yakuza call the at-
   Recognizing that Major League            try. In the 1990s, at the peak of yakuza    gangs. Now the emphasis is on impos-       account for the bulk of construction        tacks a sign of desperation.
Baseball teams are offering mul-            involvement with construction, police       ing tougher penalties on companies         spending in Japan, have also joined the        “It’s the ice age” for organized crime,
timillion-dollar contracts to some          estimate that gangs claimed at least 2      that do business with the mob.             campaign to extract the yakuza from         said Yukio Yamanouchi, a former legal
teenage prospects, the investors            to 3 percent of all construction spend-       In April, the nationwide Federation      the building business. In December,         adviser to the Yamaguchi-gumi.
are either financing Dominican              ing.                                        of Construction Contractors, a trade       Tokyo is set to ban any company or             “They looked for new earnings in
trainers, known as buscones, or                Many experts say the crackdown is        group, advised members to adapt a          individual affiliated with the yakuza       the mainstream economy, but that’s
building their own academies.               long overdue. The crime syndicates          clause in all contracts that would void    from city contracts.                        triggered a backlash,” Mr. Yaman-
In exchange, the investors are              now operate with such sophistication        obligations if a contractor was found to     Morio Umeda, who runs a public            ouchi said.
guaranteed significant returns —
sometimes as much as 50 percent
of their players’ bonuses — if they

                                            On Wall Street,
sign with major league teams.
Agents in the United States typi-
cally receive 5 percent.

   Critics question why the inves-
tors contribute to taking teenagers
out of school.

                                            Flows Again
   “If the investment is benefit-
ing the player in some way and
improving his circumstances,
providing, as I said, educational
opportunities, etcetera, then it can
be a good thing,” said Sandy Alder-                   By SUSANNE CRAIG
son, who oversaw Major League                          and KEVIN ROOSE
Baseball’s operations in the Do-               Two years after the onset of the fi-
minican Republic and is now the             nancial crisis, the stock market is
New York Mets’ general manager.             recovering and its moneyed elite are
“But there is no assurance that is          spending again — at times cautiously,
happening.”                                 but sometimes with a familiar swag-
   Gary Goodman, a real estate              ger.
lawyer from Cranford, New Jer-                 It’s true that firms scaled back the
sey, opened his academy in 2009.            corporate excesses for which they
   “Are we there to make a profit?          were vilified as a brutal recession
Absolutely,” said Mr. Goodman,              gripped America and much of the
who, like many investors, wires             world. Many of those constraints re-
thousands of dollars a month to             main in place.
feed, clothe, house and train the              But when it comes to personal in-
prospects, many who cannot read             dulgences, the wallets are beginning
and do not attend school.                   to open up. Traders and executives                                                                                                          MICHAEL NAGLE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

   Mr. Goodman and several other            say that jobs seem much more secure.        Conspicuous consumption is back among New York’s financial elite. A Whitney Museum gala in October.
investors said their money helped           Businesses whose fortunes ebb and
to improve the lives of prospects           flow with the financial markets are
and their families.                         thriving again.                             bid more than $400,000 for a summer        the third quarter, there was chatter        crisis some executives became famous
   Some of these investors lend                “Wall Street is back spending as         rental in Southampton.                     about layoffs and most of that didn’t       for their expenditures, like L. Den-
money directly to prospects’ fami-          much if not more than before,” said Dr.        Compensation on Wall Street this        come to fruition because firms seems        nis Kozlowski, the ex-chief executive
lies, who agree to repay the loans          Francesca J. Fusco, a New York der-         year will not be much higher than 2009,    more optimistic about 2011 than the         of Tyco International whose $6,000
and give the investors a significant        matologist whose business is boom-          and may even be lower. So the change       past two years,” he said.                   shower curtain became a symbol of
portion of the prospects’ signing           ing.                                        in attitude appears more a matter of          Yet bonuses on Wall Street are not       unnecessary extravagance.
bonuses typically worth hundreds               Christie’s auction house says inves-     confidence and security than income.       likely to be up much from last year.           Some of that excess remains. A Mor-
of thousand of dollars.                     tors from the financial world who fell         “The mood is absolutely better,         Over all, Goldman Sachs, Morgan             gan Stanley trader recently tried to
   David P. Fidler, a professor of          out of the bidding market during the        much better than even a year ago,”         Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America         hire a dwarf for a bachelor party in Mi-
international law at Indiana Uni-           2008 credit crisis are “pouring” back       says David M. Gildea, a health care        and JPMorgan Chase have set aside           ami, according to e-mail exchanges.
versity, said, “It’s very disturbing        in.                                         trader at the Wall Street firm Cowen       $89.54 billion this year to pay employ-     The trader, who wanted to handcuff
that American investors would                  Marc B. Porter, a senior executive at    & Company. In 2008, he said, he and        ees, 2.8 percent less than a year ago,      the dwarf to the bachelor, was recently
come in to profit from a system that        Christie’s, said this resurgence has fol-   other traders were reluctant to even       according to data from Nomura.              fired.
exploits and discriminates against          lowed the recovery of different econo-      go out for a drink after work, uncertain      Total revenue for the five firms,           Most expenditures, however, are for
young children.”                            mies, be it Hong Kong or the United         if they would keep their jobs.             meanwhile, has fallen about 4 percent       more mainstream indulgences. Debo-
   Mr. Alderson said he hoped the           States.                                        Now, Mr. Gildea said, “there is a       this year. A study by the compensation      rah Killoran, a client of Dr. Fusco’s, is
investors realized that many of                Expensive restaurants report a           definite buzz on the Street that hasn’t    expert Alan Johnson says that bonus-        scheduled for an ulthera, a nonsurgical
the teenagers will never reach the          pickup in bookings, and real estate         been there in some time.”                  es will be up 5 percent this year across    face-lift that costs $3,000 and upward.
major leagues. “These are people            agents say Wall Street executives              J. T. Cacciabaudo, head of equity       all financial services companies, with         Ms. Killoran, who runs a Brooklyn-
who have given up other possibili-          have already begun lining up summer         trading and sales trading at the re-       employees in some businesses like as-       based insurance company, says that
ties, forgone other opportunities,          rentals in the Hamptons, an exclusive       gional brokerage firm Sterne Agee,         set management getting increases of         over the last two years she cut her an-
have not gone to school,” Mr. Al-           seaside resort east of New York.            agrees, saying while there is some         15 percent.                                 nual spending on cosmetic surgery in
derson said. “It’s not just mailing            Dolly Lenz of Prudential Douglas         concern in the market about the fourth        This is a big change from 2007, when     half, to about $3,000. She is now spend-
in a check to some mutual fund              Elliman said the bidding was “hotter        quarter, optimism about the longer         some firms on Wall Street set records       ing at pre-2008 levels. “I have to meet a
and hoping that you’re going to get         and heavier” than previous years.           term “has come back” and firms like        for compensation payouts.                   lot of people, and this is part of invest-
a return.”                                  Just recently, she said, three people       his are in growth mode. “Going into           In the years leading up to the credit    ing in myself,” she said.

                                                                                                                                                         Repubblica NewYork
MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                        VII


Tax Agency Shields Abductor Data
                                                                                                                                                                                        The U.S. Internal Revenue
                                                                                                                                                                                        Service will not release data that
                                                                                                                                                                                        could help investigators find
                                                                                                                                                                                        missing children. At the National
       By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI                                                                                                                                                            Center for Missing and Exploited
                                               About 200,000 family abductions             are investigated by state and local
  For parents of missing children, any       are reported each year in the United          prosecutors, not as federal crimes.                                                          Children, Colin McNally ages an
scrap of information that could lead         States, most of which stem from cus-          Even when the Federal Bureau of In-                                                          image of a girl taken by a relative
to an abductor is precious. And often        tody disputes. About 12,000 involve           vestigation does intercede in parental                                                       at 4. She would now be 17.
the chief suspect is a relative who, in a    parental abductors who assume false           abduction cases, requests for I.R.S.
surprising number of cases, files a tax      identities and travel the country to es-      data are rarely granted.
return containing the data investiga-        cape detection, according to Justice             When the Treasury Department                                                              and Tammy Flores were just 2 and 3
tors need.                                   Department statistics.                        study identified hundreds of suspected                                                       years old when their father took them
  But the tax agency in United States,         A significant number file one of            abductors who had filed tax returns, a                                                       from their home in Victorville, Cali-
the Internal Revenue Service, says           bureaucracy’s most invasive docu-             federal judge refused to issue an or-                                                        fornia, for a weeklong visit and never
that privacy laws severely restrict the      ments, a federal tax return. A study          der authorizing the I.R.S. to turn over                                                      returned. It gnaws at her that some
release of that information.                 released by the Treasury Depart-              their addresses to investigators.                                                            federal laws seemed more concerned
  The laws have specific exceptions          ment in 2007 examined the Social                 Advocates for missing children say                                                        with the privacy of a fugitive than the
allowing the I.R.S. to turn over data        Security numbers of 1,700 missing             that federal judges often argue that                                                         safety of children.
in child support cases and to help fed-      children and the relatives suspected          parental abductions are better suited              DANIEL ROSENBAUM FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES      “When your kids are taken from
eral agencies determine whether an           of abducting them, and found that             to family court than criminal court.                                                         you, the hardest part is at night, think-
applicant qualifies for income-based         more than a third had been used in               “There’s this sense that because         advocates have wrestled with in pro-             ing about them going to sleep,” she
federal benefits.                            tax returns filed after the abductions        the child is with at least one of their     posing legislation is determining how            said. “You wonder who’s tucking them
  But because of guidelines in the           took place.                                   parents, it’s not really a problem,”        much information the I.R.S. should               in, who will hug them if they have a bad
handling of criminal cases, there are          Criminologists say it is unclear what       said Abby Potash, director of Team          be asked to release from a suspected             dream or taking them to the bathroom
several obstacles for parents and in-        motivates a child abductor to file a tax      Hope, which counsels parents who are        abductor’s tax return. Should disclo-            if they wake up. And you ask yourself
vestigators pursuing a child abduc-          return: confusion, desperation for            searching for a missing child.              sure be required only if a child’s Social        whether you’ve done everything pos-
tor.                                         a refund or an attempt to avoid com-             I.R.S. officials point out that they     Security number is listed on a return?           sible to find them.”
  “It’s one of those areas where you         pounding their problems by failing to         have worked closely with missing chil-      Should child abduction investigators                Missing children’s advocates see
would hope that common sense would           pay taxes. Whatever the reason, the           dren’s advocates. The I.R.S.’s “Picture     be given only the address where a tax            the I.R.S. data as a potentially power-
prevail,” said Ernie Allen, president        details in a return can be crucial to de-     Them Home” program has included             return was mailed? Or the location of            ful resource.
and chief executive of the National          tectives searching for a missing child.       photos of thousands of missing chil-        an employer who has withheld taxes                  “There are hundreds of cases this
Center for Missing and Exploited Chil-         The law forbids the I.R.S. from turn-       dren with forms mailed to millions of       on a suspected abductor?                         could help solve,” said Cindy Ru-
dren. “We are talking about people           ing over data from tax returns unless         taxpayers since 2001. More than 80            Griselda Gonzalez, who has not seen            dometkin of the Polly Klaas Founda-
who are fugitives, who have criminal         a parental abduction is being investi-        children were recovered with the help       her children since 2007, holds fleet-            tion. “And even if it helped solve one
warrants against them. And children          gated as a federal crime. But the vast        of that program.                            ing hope that some type of informa-              case — imagine if that child returned
who are at risk.”                            majority of parental abduction cases             One problem missing children’s           tion might reunite her family. Diego             home was yours.”

                                                                                                                                       Among the Faithful,
                                                                                                                                       Casting Out Demons
                                                                                                                                               By LAURIE GOODSTEIN                      the hierarchy and the priests who can
                                                                                                                                          The rite of exorcism, more popular in         be given the faculties of exorcism.
                                                                                                                                       Europe, Africa and Latin America, has                “It’s a strategy for saying: ‘We are
                                                                                                                                       largely fallen out of favor in the Roman         not the Federal Reserve, and we are
                                                                                                                                       Catholic Church in the United States.            not the World Council of Churches. We
                                                                                                                                          But the few priests in the country            deal with angels and demons.’ ”
                                                                                                                                                            trained as exorcists            Pope Benedict XVI has emphasized
                                                                                                                                                            say they have been          a return to traditional rituals and prac-
                                                                                                                                                            overwhelmed with            tices, and some observers said the bish-
                                                                                                                                                            requests from peo-          ops’ interest in exorcism was consistent
                                                                                                                                                            ple who fear they           with the direction set by the pope. The
                                                                                                                                                            are possessed by            Vatican has authorized the revival of
                                                                                                                                                            the Devil.                  the Latin Mass, and now a revised Eng-
                                                                                                                                                               The demand was           lish translation of the liturgy, is to be put
                                                                                                                                                            so great that Ameri-        in use in American parishes next year.
                                                                                                                                       can bishops held a conference to help                The ritual of exorcism is based on a
                                                                                                                                       clergy members learn how to distin-              prayer in which the priest invokes the
                                                                                                                                       guish who really needs an exorcism               name of Jesus. The priest uses holy
                                                                                                MAX WHITTAKER FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
                                                                                                                                       from who really needs a psychiatrist.            water and a cross, and can alter the
                                                                                                                                          “Not everyone who thinks they need            prayer depending on the reaction of
Visitors to America’s national parks are predominantly white. Shelton Johnson is a ranger in California.                               an exorcism actually does,” said Bish-           the possessed person, said Matt Ba-
                                                                                                                                       op Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield,            glio, a journalist in Rome who wrote

Parks Trying to Attract African-Americans                                                                                              Illinois, who organized the conference.
                                                                                                                                       “It’s only used in those cases where
                                                                                                                                       the Devil is involved in an extraordi-
                                                                                                                                                                                        the book “The Rite: The Making of a
                                                                                                                                                                                        Modern Exorcist.”
                                                                                                                                                                                            “The prayer comes from the power
                                                                                                                                       nary sort of way in terms of actually            of Jesus’ name and the church. It
        By MIREYA NAVARRO                   agency prepares to celebrate its cen-        persisted.                                    being in possession of the person.               doesn’t come from the power of the
   When Shelton Johnson was 5, his          tennial in 2016.                                “The demographic face of America              “But it’s rare, it’s extraordinary, so        exorcist. The priest doesn’t have the
family took him to Berchtesgaden              S urveys show that visitors to             is not reflected in national park visi-       the use of exorcism is also rare and ex-         magic power,” said Mr. Baglio, whose
National Park in the Bavarian Alps.         America’s 393 national parks — there         tation, with a few exceptions,” Mr.           traordinary,” he said. “But we have to           book is being made into a movie.
Now 52, he still remembers his sense        were 285.5 million of them in 2009 —         Gramann said.                                 be prepared.”                                        There is plenty of cynicism about ex-
of awe.                                     are mainly non-Hispanic whites,                 But some officials acknowledge                Exorcism is as old as Christianity it-        orcism. Mr. Baglio noted that hucksters
                         “The mountains,    with blacks the least likely to visit.       that the parks may not seem wel-              self. The New Testament has accounts             prey on vulnerable believers, causing
                      the sky being so        The Park Service now says the              coming to specific ethnic groups.             of Jesus casting out demons.                     them physical or spiritual harm. With
                      close — it affected   problem is linked to the parks’ very         They cited rules that limit the num-             The Reverend Richard Vega, presi-             so few priests who perform exorcisms,
                      me profoundly,”       survival.                                    ber of people in picnic areas or the          dent of the National Federation of               and the stigma around it, exorcists are
                      said Mr. Johnson,       “If the American public doesn’t            number of tents that can be pitched           Priests’ Councils, said that there               not eager to be identified. Efforts to in-
                      who now works as      know that we exist or doesn’t care,          at specific sites, which can clash with       eventually could be a rising demand              terview them were unsuccessful.
                      a ranger at Yosem-                                                 the vacation style of extended Latino         for exorcism because of the influx of                Some of the classic signs of posses-
                      ite National Park                                                  families.                                     Hispanic and African Catholics to the            sion by a demon, Bishop Paprocki said,
                      in California.                                                        No group avoids national parks             United States. People from those cul-            include speaking in a language the
   In 23 years on the job, Mr. Johnson
has been equally struck by how few of
                                            Finns and Israelis                           as much as African-Americans. The
                                                                                         2000 survey found that blacks were
                                                                                                                                       tures, he said, are more attuned to the
                                                                                                                                                                                        person has never learned; extraor-
                                                                                                                                                                                        dinary shows of strength; a sudden
his fellow African-Americans visit the      seem to outnumber                            three times as likely as whites to be-           The closed-door conference was                aversion to spiritual things like holy

                                            blacks in U.S. parks.
national parks. So a few years ago, he                                                   lieve that park employees gave them           held in Baltimore, Maryland, before              water or the name of God; and severe
decided to write Oprah Winfrey, the                                                      poor service and that parks were              the annual fall meeting of the nation’s          sleeplessness, lack of appetite and cut-
American entertainment icon.                                                             “uncomfortable places.”                       bishops. Some Catholic commentators              ting, scratching and biting the skin.
   “Every year, America is becom-                                                           Attendance tends to be more ho-            said they were puzzled why the bishops               A person who claims to be possessed
ing increasingly diverse, but that                                                       mogenously white at wilderness                would bother with exorcismswhen they             must be evaluated by doctors to rule
diversity is not reflected in the na-       our mission is potentially in jeop-          parks like Yosemite, where a 2009             are facing crises like parish and school         out illness, according to Vatican guide-
tional parks, even though African-          ardy,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, who          survey found that 77 percent of the           closings, polls showing the loss of one of       lines issued in 1999, which superseded
Americans and other groups played           took over as director of the Park Ser-       visitors were white, 11 percent La-           every three white baptized members,              guidelines issued in 1614.
a vital role in the founding of national    vice last year. “There’s a disconnect        tino, 11 percent Asian and 1 percent          and the sexual abuse scandal.                        Bishop Paprocki noted that the Dev-
parks,” he wrote. “If the national          that needs addressing.”                      black.                                           But to R. Scott Appleby, a professor of       il is a real and constant force — though
parks are America’s playground,                In a Park Service survey it commis-          Mr. Johnson said he was more               American Catholic history at the Uni-            few people will require an exorcism to
then why are we not playing in the          sioned in 2000, only 13 percent of black     likely to meet someone from Finland           versity of Notre Dame in South Bend,             handle it.
most beautiful places in America?”          respondents reported visiting a na-          or Israel in the park than from an            Indiana, the timing made sense.                      “The ordinary work of the Devil is
   “The Oprah Winfrey Show” recent-         tional park in the previous two years.       African-American neighborhood in                 “What they’re trying to do,” said Dr.         temptation,” he said, “and the ordi-
ly aired two episodes from Yosemite            Jim Gramann, a visiting social            the United States.                            Appleby, “is to strengthen and enhance           nary response is a good spiritual life,
in response to Mr. Johnson’s appeal.        scientist with the Park Service who             “It’s something that’s pervasive           what seems to be lost in the church,             observing the sacraments and pray-
   The National Park Service is ex-         is overseeing a review of a follow-up        in the culture — it doesn’t matter            which is the sense that the church is not        ing. The Devil doesn’t normally pos-
panding its efforts to diversify both       survey in 2008 and 2009 that is to be        whether you’re Oprah or a postal              like any other institution. It is super-         sess someone who is leading a good
its guests and its work force as the        released early next year, said the gap       worker,” Mr. Johnson said.                    natural, and the key players in that are         spiritual life.”

                                                                                                                                                               Repubblica NewYork
VIII                                                                                                                                                                                         MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010

                                                                                              ARTS & STYLES

                                            With Cher, the Beat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Cher: With

                                            Goes On and On
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the MTV
                                                       By FRANK BRUNI                   this won’t change.                                                                                                             Music
                                               On a nippy evening in November,             She plays a tough showgirl who                                                                                              Awards in
                                            as she curled up in a Manhattan hotel,      takes a talented ingénue (Christina                                                                                            September.
                                            Cher was exhausted.                         Aguilera, making her film debut) un-
                                               Getting old, she said, stinks. She       der her lavishly feathered wing, and
                                            teases that she’s 100 and puts the real     she has a power ballad, written ex-
         PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN/GETTY IMAGES   number, 64, so far out of mind that, she    pressly for her, in which her character
                                            said, “I should probably tattoo it on my    proclaims that she’s “far from over.”
The actress Salma Hayek                     hand to remember.”                          Titled “You Haven’t Seen the Last
wears a turban in Paris.                       But she is constantly reminded. “It’s    of Me,” Cher belts it like her very life                               LEFT, REUTERS; RIGHT, CHRIS PIZZELLO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                            harder to do things,” she said. “I’ve       depended on it. But the Cher sitting at

The Turban                                  beat my body up so badly, it’s amazing
                                            it’s still talking to me and listening to
                                                                                        the Four Seasons Hotel was a smaller,
                                                                                        quieter creature.
                                                                                           She didn’t look old, not exactly. By
                                                                                                                                     1965 through “Song for the Lonely” in
                                                                                                                                     2002, Cher has never taken that aston-
                                                                                                                                     ishing durability as license to explore
                                                                                                                                                                                       daughter’s discomfort with her gen-
                                                                                                                                                                                       der to a general sadness brought on by
                                                                                                                                                                                       drug abuse.

Re-emerges                                  A durable diva takes on
                                                                                        all creaseless appearances, she and
                                                                                        others have labored to prevent that.
                                                                                        She didn’t dress old, either. Her T-shirt
                                                                                                                                     any genre that tickled her fancy.
                                                                                                                                        She nabbed top acting honors at the
                                                                                                                                     Cannes Film Festival for her role as
                                                                                                                                                                                         The love of her life? Not Sonny Bono,
                                                                                                                                                                                       with whom she shared a career and a
                                                                                                                                                                                       marriage until they split up in 1974, but

With Élan
                                                                                        clung to a svelte, taut frame.               the red-haired biker mom in “Mask” in             the onetime bagel baker Robert Ca-
                                            roles in film and as a                         “Burlesque” is her first movie in         1985 and won the best actress Oscar for           milletti, “even though he’s like 1,000

                                            late-night TV host.
                                                                                        seven years, and she has only one oth-       playing a widow in “Moonstruck” two               years younger.” She was 40 and he was
                                                                                        er in the works, “The Zookeeper,” in         years later, but she never attempted              22 when they met in the late 1980s.
       By SIMONE S. OLIVER                                                              which, she said, she supplies the voice      Broadway musicals, or Shakespeare.                  There’s no man now, although she
   Wearing a turban demands con-                                                        of a lioness. During much of that time          “Look, I have a very narrow range,”            recently dated Ron Zimmerman, a co-
fidence. You have to truly believe                                                      she focused on her music — her four-         she said. “If you look at my characters,          median she met on Facebook. (She is
in your look.                               what I say. But I’ve got aches and pains    year farewell tour, then a three-year        they’re all me.”                                  on Twitter, too. “I’ve been around 100
   The turban has never really              everywhere.”                                commitment at Caesars Palace in Las             Mike Nichols, who directed her in              yrs I know a Gazzilion cool things! I’m
vanished, but it has been lying low.          This is deeply unsettling. We’ve          Vegas. She said that she has always          “Silkwood,” for which she received an             pass’n it on xxme,” read one Tweet.)
Recently, though, this dormant              seen Sonny’s Cher; “Silkwood” Cher;         considered movies a bonus career.            Oscar nomination, said: “I heard her                Coolness notwithstanding, she is
trend has quietly, but assertively,         “Moonstruck” Cher; disco Cher. But             Sometime early next year, she said,       on the radio once, somebody was in-               cautious. She initially said no to “Bur-
surfaced at fashion shows and on            geriatric Cher?                             she will don yet another persona, in-        terviewing her, and they said, ‘How do            lesque,” then maybe, then asked for
city streets.                                 Across nearly half a century of hit       troducing and reflecting on old films        you feel about the Middle East?’ She              rewrites. “I was nervous,” she said.
   In New York, Jason Wu styled             records, acclaimed movies, gaudy            after midnight on the Turner Classic         said: ‘Listen, I’m Cher. You don’t want           “And I hadn’t made a movie in a long
his spring collection with black            concert spectacles and a magnitude of       Movies channel.                              to know what I think about the Middle             time. And I have my own opinions
or cobalt turbans. The Vena Cava            celebrity, Cher has come to seem the           It’s surprising, but also a window        East.’ She knows who she is.”                     about things.
designers used them in their show.          Sherman tank of divas, sometimes un-        into Cher’s success. For all her audac-         During a recent interview there                  “You’re around these girls who are
Giorgio Armani used North Af-               der fire but grinding onward, armored       ity (the boundary-pushing outfits, the       wasn’t a single topic that made her               20 years old with perfect bodies, and
rican-inspired turbans in his col-          and unstoppable.                            tabloid-fodder affairs) she has always       flinch.                                           you remember when you used to have
lection in Milan in October. June             And in her new movie, “Burlesque,”        been acutely conscious of her own lim-          The transformation of her daughter,            a perfect body,” she added. She shook
Ambrose, a veteran stylist who              a glossy musical now showing in North       its.                                         Chastity Bono, into a son, Chaz? “We              her head. Smiled. “Just to stay in the
has dressed artists like Mary J.            America and opening worldwide this             Although her span of hit singles          talked about it a lot over the years,” she        competition —” she stopped, leaving
Blige, P. Diddy and Jay-Z, wore a           winter, she essentially promises that       stretches from “I Got You Babe” in           said. But she had always attributed her           the sentence unfinished.
turban every day during New York
Fashion Week in September. And
Salma Hayek arrived at the Stella
McCartney show in Paris in a navy
and white printed turban.
   When the trendsetting Kate Moss          A Love Affair
                                            With the Music
showed up at a gala at the Metro-
politan Museum of Art in a turban
in May 2009, she stood out among

                                            Of America
the parade of glamorous guests.
“Kate can look any way she wants,”
said Harold Koda, the curator of the
Costume Institute at the Met. “She
can be the girl next door, grungy, et
cetera. But once she put on the tur-                  By LARRY ROHTER
ban, she became a starlet.”                    EL CERRITO, California — The sign
   Once linked to grannies in house-        on the wall of the building that serves
coats, the turban has a new as-             as the home of Arhoolie Records
sociation for young women. They             here, just north of Berkeley, promises
have embraced the sophistication            “down home music,” and for 50 years,
linked with Hollywood glamour of            often operating on a tight budget, the
the 1920s and ’30s, when women              label has delivered a rich and quirky
like Garbo, Gloria Swanson and              mixture of blues, folk, jazz, Cajun, Tex-
Joan Crawford wore them. “From              Mex, country, zydeco and gospel — the
way back, turbans signified a wom-          full panorama of American roots mu-
an who was very educated and                sic — to an equally diverse collection
worldly,” said Caroline Rennolds            of music fans.
Milbank, the fashion historian.                John F. Kennedy had just been elect-
   Because turbans have histori-            ed president when Chris Strachwitz,
cally been associated with Arab             Arhoolie’s founder and still its owner,
dress, it is tempting to connect            sat pasting pictures on the cover of the
them with the conflict in the Mid-          label’s first LP, “Mance Lipscomb:
dle East. “They make a strong               Texas Sharecropper and Songster.”
political statement, like wearing           Driving across the South a few months
harem pants,” Ms. Ambrose said.             earlier, Mr. Strachwitz had recorded
“We take an element of other cul-           that blues singer at home, dreaming
tures and internalize it.”                  of giving up his job as a high school                                                                                                                                       TONY RAY JONES

   Mr. Koda isn’t convinced that            teacher but never imagining that his        Chris Strachwitz, left, the founder of Arhoolie Records, recording Juke Boy Bonner in the early 1970s.
they have anything to do with               homespun venture would outlive some
politics: “It’s not a part of a Kum-        of the world’s largest recording con-
baya fashion movement. I think              glomerates.                                 can roots music, Mr. Strachwitz has          Patton and Tommy Johnson.”                        soulful country sound and a lot of duet
it’s more of Poiret’s view of Ori-             To commemorate its 50th anniver-         an unusual background. Born in                  The extensive liner notes on Arhoo-            singing,” he said. “And there was this
entalism than women watching                sary, Arhoolie is about to release a        Germany in 1931 into an aristocratic         lie records — many written by Mr.                 weird mixture of string music with the
the news and referencing what’s             four-CD collection of songs, ranging        family as Count Christian Alexander          Strachwitz — were a vital source of               trumpet filling in almost like a jazz
going on in Afghanistan. It’s an ex-        in style from the blues of Jesse Fuller     Maria Strachwitz, he spent his child-        information. From recordings put out              musician, which I thought was just
oticism, a sense of the other that is       to the free jazz of Sonny Simmons, that     hood under Nazi rule and came to the         by Arhoolie, whose name comes from                gorgeous.”
visually compelling.”                       Mr. Strachwitz recorded between 1954        United States after World War II as a        a Southern dialect term for a field hol-             Mr. Strachwitz said one of his most
   Not everyone finds turbans en-           and 1970 in the San Francisco Bay ar-       high school student living originally        ler, budding performers could learn               gratifying moments was handing over
chanting. Some fashion bloggers             ea. Called “Hear Me Howling: Blues,         in Reno, Nevada. From the start, he          about the instruments and tunings                 a royalty check to Mississippi Fred
have dismissed them as a costume            Ballads & Beyond,” the package also         said, the variety of American music          that performers used.                             McDowell after the Rolling Stones re-
and cannot understand why they              includes a 136-page book that tells the     styles, especially their driving beat,          “Every one of those records was a              corded his “You Gotta Move” in 1971.
keep making a comeback. Other               history of the label.                       enthralled him.                              treasure,” said Ms. Raitt.                          “I got tangled up being a sort of
women are posting turban-tying                 Most of Mr. Strachwitz’s best-known          “The rhythms haunted me,” he said.          But Mr. Strachwitz is above all a              agent for some of them, for Fred and
tutorials.                                  recordings, though, are from the field,     “I’d hear all this stuff on the radio, and   collector. Though he does not speak               Mance and Lightnin’,” Mr. Strachwitz
   “I was tying turbans on Busta            especially in Texas, Louisiana and          it just knocked me over.”                    Spanish, Mr. Strachwitz has built what            explained. Originally, he said, when he
Rhymes 10 years ago,” Ms. Am-               Mississippi. That is where, starting in         For a generation of performers, from     is believed to be the largest private             approached the Stones about royalty
brose said. “For me, it’s cyclical.         1960, he found, recorded or helped re-      Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones             collection of Mexican-American and                payments “their lawyers said ‘no, no,
It was time for me to bring it up in        vive the careers of seminal bluesmen        to Bonnie Raitt and T Bone Burnett,          Mexican music, from mariachi and                  no, everything they record is their own
conversation again.                         like Bukka White, Lightnin’ Hopkins,        Arhoolie has been a lodestone. In his        norteño accordion groups to corridos,             stuff.’ ” But Mr. Strachwitz persisted.
   “Fashion is mute until we give           Lipscomb, Mississippi Fred McDowell         autobiographical “Chronicles Vol. I,”        with some recordings from as early as             “Fred was already suffering from can-
it a voice,” added Ms. Ambrose.             and even Clifton Chenier, the accordi-      Mr. Dylan credits the label as being         a century ago.                                    cer,” he said. “But I was very happy to
“That’s the guts and the energy of          on-playing King of Zydeco.                  the place “where I first heard Blind            “That music had the same appeal                be able to give him a check before he
this whole thing.”                             For someone so devoted to Ameri-         Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Charlie        to me that the hillbilly music did, this          died.”

                                                                                                                                                           Repubblica NewYork

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