- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

Hollywood goddess
"She was a brown-haired, baby-faced, slightly pudgy, indolent-eyed 15-year-old named Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner when she was discovered in the mid-'30s at the Top Hat Cafe in Hollywood (not Schwab's drugstore, as is popularly believed). By the time director Mervyn LeRoy was through overseeing her makeover for his 1937 drama 'They Won't Forget,' the teen-ager was renamed Lana Turner, her eyebrows were plucked into a thin arch, her clothes were fitted to perfection. She caused such a sensation as a fetching student who bops about in a tight sweater that the press dubbed her The Sweater Girl.
"When MGM snapped her up, the little Lolita was built up as a nice girl in such films as 'Love Finds Andy Hardy.' When Turner graduated from her teens, however, her sex appeal was cranked up a notch the studio bleached her hair blonde and she started wearing heavier makeup. By the time she was finally paired with [Clark] Gable in 'Honky Tonk,' Turner was a white-hot goddess.
"The va-vooming of Turner reached its apex in the 1946 film noir 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' in which her wardrobe hot pants, bathing suits, tight dresses was almost completely white."
Stephen Rebello, writing on "The Building of a Bombshell," in the February/March issue of Movieline

Snarky show
"Comedy Central is where the hip and cheesy sides of cable programming come together. No other network is so proud of helping America fritter away its time.
"And, if you're me, you also tune in because you can't get enough of Ben Stein.
"'Win Ben Stein's Money,' his mock game show, has been doing a swell job of helping me turn my grey matter into Play-Doh practically since its debut. It's 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse' for people who wish they'd gone to Columbia when Lionel Trilling was in flower.
"Everything about the show is parodic.
"The questions are more arcane than 'Jeopardy's, with pop culture getting short shrift compared with politics, sciences, and big business. But the names devised for the categories are terrible puns and snarky double entendres, which are often so cheerfully smutty that your mind reels even as the fifth-grader in you chortles."
Tom Carson, writing on "Ben Stein Is Money," in the March issue of Esquire

Three of a kind?
"American public life has recently seen a string of these pitiful lost children from permissive families. Before rudderless [John Walker Lindh] there was sad Chandra Levy, and before her, pitiful Monica Lewinsky.
"Recall that all three of these California Gen-Xers came from wealthy households where children were few and showered with material indulgences, while rules and adult guidance were scarce. The highly educated professional parents lived in fashionable communities (Beverly Hills, Marin County), and adhered slavishly to trendy social views. Neither Johnny nor Chandra nor Monica Lewinsky were denied much of anything growing up money, personal freedom, sexual license, overseas travel, whatever.
"All three of these families were presided over by 'nice,' ridiculously weak mothers and fathers who dabbled in a veritable smorgasbord of moral codes. Johnny and Chandra and Monica had parents who experimented with Eastern mysticism, astrology, Buddhism, and several varieties of New Age mush."
from "Liberal Parents, Lost Children," in the March issue of the American Enterprise

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