- The Washington Times - Friday, November 16, 2001

The new blackface
"I am offended by the increasing use in movies of prosthetic blubber. This practice of skinny actresses donning fat suits is essentially the new and acceptable blackface in Hollywood.
"Furthermore, I cannot get over how much worse Gwyneth Paltrow makes the problem with her comments to the press about what it was like to sport the fat suit for the day (while, let us not forget for a second, getting paid millions to do it). substitute racial words for all the references to weight. For instance, substitute 'Latina' for 'overweight' in the following:
"Gwyneth Paltrow to 'Entertainment Tonight': 'I got a real sense of what it would be like to be that overweight, and every pretty girl should be forced to do that .'
"While Paltrow contends that 'Shallow Hal' is about uncovering a woman's inner beauty that concept is in itself insulting to women who have never shared her teensy dress size. Do we have to be rail thin to possess 'outer beauty' and sex appeal and to be capable of attracting lovers?
"At best, her comments treat all plus-size women as noble savages (with inner beauty, of course) who are hilarious when they bust a chair on a date or create tidal waves by jumping in a pool. But at the end of the day, after she sheds her blubber in the makeup trailer, she still gets to be Gwyneth Paltrow."
film director Allison Anders, writing about "Weighty Matters," Wednesday on Entertainment Weekly Online at www.ew.com

Tyrant love
"We only take thinkers seriously when we consider their ideas in terms of their deepest motivations and most obvious consequences.
"Twentieth-century continental and American intellectuals have been attracted to tyranny for different reasons. In Europe, the issue since the French Revolution has been the legitimacy of the modern age: secularity, democracy, capitalism, and bourgeois culture. There the intellectual temptation has been to seek a return to some imaginary pre-modern idyll or the elimination of one or more aspects of modern life, especially bourgeois capitalism. For 200 years, continental intellectuals flirted with tyrants who promised radical alternatives to modern life
"American intellectuals are thoroughly modern and bourgeois. When they embrace tyranny, it is usually out of ignorance and a naive optimism about human nature."
University of Chicago professor Mark Lilla, interviewed Nov. 10 in the New York Times about "Why Are Deep Thinkers Shallow About Tyranny?"

Looks like America
"Yes, it's a miserable shame there aren't more terrorist organizations that 'look like America.' If only 'Up With People' would start blowing up buildings.
"Not all Middle Easterners are terrorists, but in this context all terrorists are from the Middle East. What seems to bother the civil libertarians is not that Middle Easterners are being interviewed, but that the people being interviewed are disproportionately Middle Eastern. Frontload the Mormon Tabernacle Choir into the mix and they'll calm down.
"Al Qaeda is an explicitly Middle Eastern, explicitly Muslim organization explicitly dedicated to fighting Americans, Europeans, Christians, and Jews. So it is unlikely that a lot of blue-eyed Finns from Minnesota or Jewish kids from Ohio will have a lot of helpful information about what al Qaeda's up to.
"But hey, if Thorsten Jurgenson of St. Paul or little Jeremy Bernstein of Shaker Heights has been flying back and forth to Kabul under shady circumstances, by all means the FBI should chat with them. But in the meantime, please don't tell me that John Ashcroft has to behave like a college-admissions counselor, constantly trying to maximize diversity, even on his list of suspects."
Jonah Goldberg, writing on "Profiles in Profiling," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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