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In Gannett we trust:.Travels through McAmerica
Truly One Nation
Allen H. Neuharth
USA TODAY Backs
And so began a joumaisti
journey...They rode the high-
ways and byways...From city halls
and shopping malls...
Truly One Nation is a collection
of interviews conducted by a team of
reporters from USA TODAY on a
cross country "BusCapade." Allen H.
Neuharth is the chairman of Gannett
Inc., the company that publishes
USA TODAY. The paper's mast-
head contains the following quote
from Mr. Neuharth: "USA TODAY
hopes to serve as a forum for better
understanding and unity to help
make the USA truly one nation."
McDonald's and Burger King
may not be as important to the
new consensus as ideas and
attitudes, but they give us some-
thing in common, something to
talk about. And talk we do.
Safeway Stores, K Marts,
Wendy's, all provided recurring
backdrops for BusCapade inter-
views. We knew the USA was
truly one nation when we drove
past the Domino's Pizza store in
One nation that buys all the same
brands. Is it any wonder that Gan-
nett, publishers of the only national
daily newspaper besides the Wall
Street Journal, is pursuing the De-
Now available at 60 franchised
Neuharth loves entrepenuers.
Must have stopped in Ann Arbor:
While other kids dreamed of
playing for the Detroit Tigers, ju-
nior high school student Mon-
aghan dreamed of owning the
Now he does.
While most kids learned how
to turn a double play, Monaghan
must have been thinking about
Hey, having trouble deciding on
an ad/news percentage? Just mix the
two, no problem! Having trouble
getting an interview? Just make
some promises. In addition to their
publishing operations, Gannett also
operates an advertising division. Of
2000 billboards advertising cigarettes
or alcohol in the Metro area, Gannett
owns 500 of them. Remember kids,
Just Say No to those illegal drugs.
A pattern quickly emerged.
And if you don't fit the pattern,
you're not in the book.
You'll find some disappointed
dreamers across the USA.
One page worth, out of 110 or
Most of the dreams and
dreamers we met were more for-
tunate... They were going to
school, doing their homework...
Hyder was getting down to work
when we met him a little past
midnight. Told us that coding
overnight deliveriesat Federal
Express' national hub was just
part of his busy day. "I also work
full time at Memphis State. I work
57 hours a week and I'm carrying
a B average. And I'm about ready
to get a third job as an umpire in
summer league baseball. I get
five hours of sleep a day, and I
rarely get tired." One of the fruits
of his labor: "I have a 1986 Ca-
So what it he doesn't have time
to enjoy it, he's got a Camaro! I bet
it's red, too. But don't worry, you
don't have to do all that to be happy.
You can just quit now and make
minimum wage the rest of your life.
Says a depressed economy is
no reason for a depressed out-
look: "I make $3.35 an hour, and
I'm glad to get it. We're making it.
We pay our bills and have fun."
Neuharth has a lot to say about
-The work week is shorter.
-Pay is better.
-The work is physically less
-In effect, work is becoming
more like fun.
Although Neuharth does a credi-
See America, Page 17
Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy hits hi
By Mark Shaiman
Let's play a little game of word
association - I give you a word and
you give me the first thought that
comes to your mind.
Torcho: High atop the Statue of Ma
Liberty, standing for freedom and Hat
human rights. whc
Torch Song : "Can't We Be the
Friends?" - the ultimate in ballads like
of unrequited love.
Torch Song Trilogy: Harvey i
In those immortal words from as;
Family Feud: "Good answers!!" Es- up
pecially the last pairing, which go to ,ion
together like a horse and carriage. I
would say, "love and marriage" but
that is reserved for heterosexual cou-
ples, and is thus inappropriate in
Originally a stage production,
Fierstein wrote and starred inTorch
Song Trilogy, for which he won a One night, at a bar, he meets Ed away from the rest of the actors with
Tony (and which also won Best (played by Brian Kerwin, who had her performance, even though she is
Drama). In real life, he is a playwrite the role in the stage version). Ed is a new addition to the primary cast.
in search of acceptance in the film in the process of examining his own Jewish mothers are always por-
world of Hollywood. In both the sexuality - claiming to be bisex- trayed as pushing their sons toward
play and the film, Fierstein portrays ual, but only because he is afraid to marrying a "nice Jewish girl." For
Arnold Beckoff, a gay New Yorker openly admit to his homosexuality. Arnold's mother, this is an
looking for acceptance in a hetero- This makes life difficult for Arnold, impossible dream, and she resents it.
sexual world. who, in contrast to his boisterous, And she doesn't hesitate to let
But it is clear from the film that outgoing occupation, is really Arnold know it. It would have been
there is actually little distinction be- searching for an intimate, permanent easy for Fierstein to create a homo-
tween the two men. Both the play relationship. phobic character, to use as a foil.
and the film represent Fierstein's Along comes Alan, who wants But to have the character be a rela-
outward struggle to gain acceptance the same thing as Arnold. Life be- tive, especially a mother, is a chal-
as an artist and person. It is obvious, come terrific for both of them - lenging and commendable decision.
due to his accolades, that he has romance and love galore. Alan is The same really applies to the
succeeded in the former. And the fact played by Matthew Broderick, who rest of the film. While it rarely
that the latter even exists as a strug- actually had his first acting role in a mentions AIDS (mostly due to the
gle for acceptance is the point of the different part in the original play. fact that the play dates back to 1978, V
film, expressed through the life of One of the strengths of the movie before the prominence of the disease)
Arnold. comes from the stage-formed rela- Torch Song Trilogy does focus on
Arnold makes his living as a tionships between Fierstein, Kerwin, the broader issue of public accep-
transsexual Torch Singer under the and Broderick, recaptured on film. tance of homosexuals. Unfortu-
pseudonym of "Virginia Ham." (If All would be perfect if the world nately, those with an initial bias
you think that's bad, his co-worker could exist for just Arnold and Alan; won't learn from this film, because
is called "Bertha Vanation"). The but there are those who cannot let they just won't go to see it. But for
scenes take place at a nightclub others pursue happiness in their own the rest, it does have a lot to say in a
which resembles a cross between way. One of these happens to be fresh, new way.
Cabaret and La Cage Aux Folles, Arnold's mother, who cannot accept
and which adds a lavishness to the her son as he is - thus the family Torch Song Trilogy: Harvey
film that Arnold needs in his life. feud. Anne Bancroft steals the film Fierstein. Good Answer!
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By Brent Edwards
From the makers of Jagged Edge,
with the plot of Jagged Edge, and
with dialogue from Jagged Edge,
Columbia Pictures presents Burt
Reynolds as Jeff Bridges and Theresa
Russell as Glenn Close in the
Jagged Edge-remake, Physical Evi-
Well, actually, this gives the
movie too much credit. Jagged Edge
is a great movie: it's well written,
suspenseful, and has believable
characters. Physical Evidence is not.
We know it's a cheap movie from
the start, when a detective (whose
acting isn't worthy of even Who's
The Boss) reuses the same line from
Jagged Edge: "He's got a rap sheet
longer than my dick."
Burt Reynolds plays Joe Paris, a
poor cop with a quick wit, quick
temper, and a street-smart sense of
what's right and wrong. (Would he
have even taken the role if his char-
acter's name didn't sound like such a
stud?) Reynolds is being tried for
murder, but was too drunk that night
to remember if he did it. Russell is a
rich, sophisticated public defender
assigned to Reynolds' case, and
counterbalances Burt's rough, un-
This is supposed to provide some
uproariously funny scenes - such
as Reynolds trying to drink a beer in
Russell's car, only to throw it out
the window when she tells him to
put it away. Har har har. The writer
obviously thought the brilliant in-
terplay between these two opposites
would be one of the main strengths
of the movie. The interplay does
provide the audience with a few
laughs - but mostly inadvertent
ones, due to clich6d writing. In one
romantic scene, Theresa asks Burt
the inevitable question of love -
"How did I ever get mixed up with
you?" All that was missing was Burt
responding, "Don't fight it, kid.
This thing's bigger than both of us."
Reynolds and Russell give one-
dimensional performances of their
one-dimensional characters. Burt
uses such original moves as
persuading a secretary to give him
information by flashing a Clark
Gable smile, while stroking her arm.
And the decor in Russell's home is
usually more interesting to look at
than hearing her dialogue. Ned
Beatty gives a passable performance
as the prosecuting district attorney,
but commits enough legal mistakes
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