- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2000

The weighting game

"Griping about Hollywood's unhealthy obsession with actresses' weight is the whine of the times… .
"Calista Flockhart, for instance, says she feels Monica Lewinksy's pain. And she believes that Linda Tripp is, in at least one respect, just like her.
" 'All people talk about is the way they look,' the 'Ally McBeal' star protests in the April issue of W magazine.
"Having been down that road many times before … the actress observes, 'It's a cheap way to take away women's power. If you talk about the way she looks, you negate her intelligence.' …
"[Actress] Kate Winslet [said], 'People are always going on about fat, thin, but I just don't care… .
"Her solution? Pregnancy.
" 'I'm fully expecting to blow up like a balloon,' the expectant mother says."
Amy Reiter, writing in "Nothing Personal," Monday in Salon at www.salon.com

Separated by nature

"Jeffrey Eugenide's first and to this point only novel, 'The Virgin Suicides,' has been adapted for the screen by newcomer Sofia Coppola… .
"The story takes place in a seemingly idyllic suburban yesterday populated by, among other things, rampant male hormones. The chief objects of desire, the Lisbon Sisters, are the quintessence of budding femininity. They are the obsession of a group of boys who retell the tragedy… .
"The unattainable quintet of girls are closely guarded by their overprotective parents. The domineering mother, played by an alarmingly disheveled Kathleen Turner, is the ruler of this universe, so far as material reality goes.
"The inexplicable suicides, needless to say, are beyond authority… . Turner, with a severe material air, provides hints of pseudo-Freudian complicity. She's not quite the mother of Carrie, but she is not exactly above suspicion.
"The father, by contrast, fights a losing battle. James Woods, cast rather brilliantly against type, plays a man doomed to spin his paternal wheels in futility. Some of the best moments in the film come when we catch glimpses of his almost self-conscious defeat, the slight shrugs of surrender he allows himself as he is paradoxically engulfed by the sea of females he is by nature separated from."
Chris Chang, writing on "The Virgin Suicides," in the March/ April issue of Film Comment

Workers, unite

"Fifty years before Karl Marx theorized that voluntary exchange alienates labor, an American statesman, Albert Gallatin, implemented the first profit-sharing plan at his glassworks in New Geneva, Pa… .
"In its earliest forms, worker capitalism emphasized profit sharing at one's place of employment … .
"But the development of history's first mass class of worker capitalists … required the development of more flexible tools that allow ordinary workers to participate not merely in their employer's fortune, but in the fortunes of capital markets generally.
"As a result of those innovations, today some 76 million Americans, representing 43 percent of U.S. households, own stocks or stock mutual funds. This constitutes a 126 percent increase in shareholding over 15 years… .
"To the propertyless wage earner as Marx envisioned him, work is an involuntary detour on the path to consumption… . But to the extent that the worker's wealth-seeking combines wage earning with investment, Marx's theory founders in paradox.
"The worker capitalist voluntarily defers consumption in order to share profits in someone else's good idea."
Richard Nadler, writing on "The Rise of Worker Capitalism," in Policy Analysis from the Cato Institute

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