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n the second Sunday of every month, the members of Prospective Queer Parents gather in Berkeley, California for their monthly" SpermEgg Mixer." The get-togethers feature potluck suppers and music, in-jokes about homoeroticism and gossip about homophobia. Yet there is serious talk too about "gay co-parenting." The people at these meetings know they are involved in a showcase of eugenics, and the gay men and lesbian women present examine each other with an eye not toward prospective mates but toward good genes that will be the foundation for the "non-traditional families" they intend to start. This is no regular courtship. At these mixers, the exchange of medical histories and family trees replaces romance. The climactic moment comes after all of the formalities are taken care of and a contract is signed. With the family-to-be all gathered together, the insemination process begins. The man chosen to father the child ejaculates into a cup. The prospective mother or her lesbian lover, armed with a turkey baster or syringe, sucks up the semen and injects it into the uterus. The contract that is signed is crucial in determining the shape of the families that result from these unions. These agreements are designed to provide the child with an extended family and they stipulate full involvement--from afar--on the part of the father. (This is unique in a community where it is not unheard of for lesbian parents to mix the semen of two donors into a genetic cocktail so that the identity

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Beach Blanket Babylon, but these spermegg mixers are common occurrences in the gay community, part of a larger "lesbian baby boom." Though some might charge that this type of artificial insemination smacks of sinister genetic experimentation, the children that result are a badge of legitimacy for the homosexual community. Besides challenging common images of the two-parent heterosexual family, these children offer a solution to a central issue of the gay and lesbian community--its impermanence and inability to replicate itself from one generation to another.

of the actual father is concealed.) With no set rule or protocol, these families are cut-to-fit with as many as two mothers (a lesbian couple) and two men (a gay male couple) raising one child. It may sound like a combination of Brave New World and

he trend driving the sperm-egg mixers springing up in the living rooms of the gay community is also present in a more above-ground fashion. Leland Traiman, a health care worker in San Francisco and the founder of Prospective Queer Parents, felt that the response to the do-it-yourself sessions with the turkey basters was so good that he decided to open Rainbow Flag Health Services, a sperm bank that will cater specifically to homosexuals. Though there are already other gay-run and -owned clinics that provide services to prospective lesbian mothers, Rainbow Flag's agenda makes it unique. Traiman's center, unlike other sperm banks, will inform each mother(s) of her sperm donor's identity three months after the baby is born. This is done so that the natural father can be an "active presence" in the child's life. Prior to this

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INSIDE

HOMOSEXUALITY INC. AFRICA BETRAYED PC NOVEL SAFE SEX HOAX

THE DECLINE OF ACADEMIC DISCOURSE

THE MLA FIASCO

by DAVID HOROWITZ

Speech to the Heterodoxy sponsored panel on "Heterodoxy in the Discourse of the Left," at the Toronto Meeting of the Modern Language Association, Toronto, December 28, 1993.

I

can't say I'm exactly pleased to be here. As a father and grandfather, I know I am attending the convention of an organization hostile to the family and to the social future when its convention is held at the one time of the year that is reserved for family gatherings and reunions. But I

doxy if we thought our perspective would fit in with the dominant discourse of the American academy, its target audience. We are the counterculture, and this convention is the Trilateral Commission of the academic ruling class. Just so we know where we stand. My appearance here is best seen, then, as an in-your-face gesture, a showing of the flag of dissent in the camp of an oppressive orthodoxy. But perhaps we can all learn something from it. Thirty years ago I was a masters

years as a radical which I can comfortably read today. And that in itself is a commentary on the current fashionable view that literature has no transcendent value, that there are no themes that are timeless, no expressions that escape the narrow, reductive, and ultimately uninteresting strictures of class, race and gender politics. (What could be more inane and boring, for example, than a misreading of the Tempest as a text about British imperialism, and Caliban as a prototype for Third

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My politics are further to the left than your worst political cauchemar. Wasting the Right's money pleases me. Please do continue sending me your vitriol, via your journal, to me. My colleagues enjoy a tabloid upon which to heap ridicule. I like a good laugh as well. Ivas Morgan Bloomington, CA Things are breaking fast at Sarah Lawrence! Your article (Frat Attack, Heterodoxy, February 1993), came out at just the right time, before our first faculty meeting. At that meeting, we passed a unanimous resolution rather angrily demanding a scrutiny of the procedures of our Judicial Review Board, "especially with respect to the rights of the accused." A joint faculty-student committee (worthwhile for once) has been meeting to figure out ways to get rid of our more outrageous violations of due process... We have been debating the speech code itself. The students have at last woken up, and the student newspaper, student meetings etc. have been increasingly centered on this. The administrators are said to be cracking under the strain. I'm not a wild-eyed optimist. I think they will survive a week and then there'll be a month's vacation. But real progress-- for freedom!--isn't it a nice, old-fashioned cliché?--is being made. We may yet secure the reversal of Marlin Lask's conviction. You have had a timely and vital role in this! Thank you again! Francis B. Randall Sarah Lawrence College Like, wow, man! I was part of the takeover of the New York Times Book Review and I didn't even know it? Wait 'till I tell the other witches in my coven. Before I rush off to our circle in the woods, though, let me just correct John Ellis's one assertion of fact among his hyperventilations about my review of David Brock's The Real Anita Hill for the Book Review. After careful scrutiny of all four words in the title of my cartoon collection, he concluded that I could be expected to deliver a damning review of Brock's effort. Since I didn't, Ellis skipped my review and stated that the Times, under the detestable Rebecca Sinkler, chose to print "two angry letters attacking Brock." In truth, one letter was from a former staff member of that notorious shill for left-wing femi-nazis, Arlen Specter, saying the review had caught his own ambivalence about the Hill/Thomas hearings. The second letter, which reflected the preponderance of letters the Times received, was a sharp and angry denunciation of me and the review for having been too kind to Brock. Not only did I not receive any letters saying I had been too hard on Brock, I was denounced in the The Nation and elsewhere for my sins. For this, Sinkler and I now get denounced by Ellis as running dogs of political correctness. I could go on about starting in journalism around the time Rebecca Sinkler was just a--gasp--secretary, about the funny and eclectic people she gathered at her first book review editor job, about her continual rejection of the pompous literati, and about the devotion of the women and men who worked with her and reviewed for her, but that would really upset Ellis's own orthodoxy. Anyway, the full moon is rising and I've got to go tell the crones around the cauldron that the Times Book Review is OURS! Signe Wilkinson Philadelphia Daily News As a long-time subscriber who generally finds your publication to be amusing at worst, I was appalled by the profile of Rebecca Sinkler ("The Takeover of the New York Times Book Review" by John Ellis, November). You simply got the wrong person. How could you depict as a PC princess a book editor who gave front-page (and highly positive) reviews to Wendy Kaminer's I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional and Stephen Carter's The Culture of Disbelief, to cite just two recent examples? Didn't Ellis find Carol Taveras' debunking of the "incest survivor" craze to be indicative of an independent intellect at work at the Book Review? Could an editor who gave prominence to Patricia Limerick's ax murder of academic writers really be accused of fawning Editors Peter Collier David Horowitz Managing Editor Bill Cerveny

idolatry of deconstructionism? Could an editor who gave Margaret Thatcher's book to Henry Kissinger for review really be a left-wing pinko commie? I think not. I mean, if the New York Times Book Review isso onesidedly leftist, why is William Buckley in there so often? Not to mention Roger Kimball, and many other strong writers who would seem to be right on Heterodoxy's wavelength. Ellis accuses Sinkler and her minions of often giving a book to a reviewer with an opposite point of view, which is fair, but he fails to note that she does this without any particular regard for the ideology of the author. The method has its perils, but it often results in spectacular successes. I will never forget a review she engineered many years ago of a Stephen King mystery by humorist Dave Barry. It was just perfect! Asking Signe Wilkinson to review David Brock's book was not, it needs to be noted, a case of giving the book to a feminist for a trashing, as Ellis suggests. Saying that simply demonstrates an absolute ignorance, not only of Sinkler, but also of Wilkinson. What really happened in that case was that the book was given to a woman of wit, insight, and extraordinary intellectual honesty--who gave the book the extraordinarily insightful and honest review it deserved. Wilkinson's acknowledgment that Brock had pretty much totally dismantled Anita Hill's credibility was, after all, just about the best thing that happened to Brock's book. Ellis's omission of Sinkler's credentials amounted to journalistic malpractice. He would have his reader believe that she was a Vassar dropout whose experience before joining the New York Times consisted of being "an unpaid intern at a small local newspaper in Philadelphia." In point of fact she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and won the Henry Reid Prize in English literature, as well as the Penn Review Prize for fiction. In the decade before joining the Times as assistant book editor, she had been associate editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, as well as its book editor. The Inquirer can be described as a "small local newspaper in Philadelphia" only to the extent that the Times can be referred to as "a small local newspaper in New York." Had Ellis actually taken the extraordinary extra step of meeting Sinkler personally, he would have been able to report to your readers that she is a woman who possesses an extraordinary intelligence and a coruscating sense of humor, whose highly original approach to the world falls into no easily defined ideological category. I would like to think that the editors would have found this to be just as interesting a story--but I do wonder whether you haven't gotten yourselves locked into a reverse (and equally perverse) "correctness" of your own. David R. Boldt Editorial Page Editor The Philadelphia Inquirer Editor's Note: We assume that Mr. Boldt's "Carol Taveras" is really Carol Tavris; and we note Mr. Ellis never mentioned the Philadelphia Inquirer. By the way, has anyone noticed the sudden spate of conservative writers (William Buckley, Henry Kissinger, Hilton Kramer) on the front pages of the Book Review since the November issue of Heterodoxy appeared?

Phew! Thank God that you have taken such a courageous stand on pornography. Having just seen me wonderfully graphic depictions of such horrible "ART" spread across an entire page of my salary-funded Heterodoxy I feel much better. I look forward to many more such explicit examples of what I don't want my children to see. Perhaps you could show us some of the disgusting cheerleader porn or how about some distasteful lesbian photos I've heard about? If you decide to do a calendar or some examples of nasty playing cards, I would like some for Xmas. P. Gigliotti P.S. A really neat thing is that if you put the picture of Anne-Imelda Radice up to the light she has a penis coming out of each eyebrow. I scoured an issue of The Nation and of Mother Jones and neither one had such divine examples of such despicable art. Thanks again.

I just read David Gentry's article "PC Meets the Cold War" and I want your readers to know that nothing the author wrote about me was correct other than the spelling of my name. Gentry's errors range from ridiculous to deplorable. I did my undergraduate work at UC Santa Cruz (rather than Berkeley). I finished an MA and ABD in four years and then ceased academic work (rather than failing to complete a Ph.D. dissertation in eight). I maintained enrollment for three more years only to keep my student loans from becoming due. These are simple facts that were clearly stated in documents I sent to Gentry. When I sent out my letters of complaint to the University of Miami administration, faculty and students in 1990 (while Valenta was in Miami, not in 1991-1992 while he was away) I was not trying to "join" a political assault. I acted completely on my own; I felt morally obligated to warn prospective students about Valenta's egregious failure as an educator, and about his obstruction of academic freedom. While Gentry says I complained that Valenta had "refused to support a debate" I was trying to set up, Valenta has bragged that he "stopped" the debate (The Miami Hurricane 11/12/93). This is quite a different tiling to do in an environment that should be a safe harbor for open intellectual discourse. I was not "appalled" by Valenta's alleged anticommunism, as Gentry wrote. Rather, I found Valenta to be first and foremost a political opportunist, seeking wealth and power before wisdom and principle. I did my best to stress this point when Gentry called me, and in a letter I sent him, but your reporter willfully misrepresented my position. What's most important is that I have absolutely no argument with professors or students having political lives. My efforts to warn people about Valenta were in no way motivated by politics. I found the whole thrust of the article disingenuous. Gentry did not mention that many students quit the program rather than endure Valenta's abusive behavior. Gentry did not inform your readers that Valenta was fired for abuse of I do not know to what I owe the receiving of the November 1993 power and financial misconduct, as well as sexual issue of Heterodoxy, but I do want to thank you and say that I harassment. Gentry overlooked the fact that there are am impressed with your publication. several other professors at UM who are far more I was much taken by the article drawn from the writings of Prof. consistently to the "right" than Valenta, and who were key Aaron Wildavsky: "In Memorium." witnesses against him. Worst of all, Gentry disregards the In view of the classic character of the published article, and pain Valenta inflicted on untold numbers of students and especially its occasion, I do not know what to make of the subordinates. expression "In Memorium" in the title. It is an unpardonable I doubt you'll have the courage to print this response misspelling of the well-known English word "memoriam." accurately, if at all. Fortunately, more people have risen to How such a clumsy mistake could have passed unnoticed on tell the truth about Valenta than have sunk low enough to the way to and including the printer is quite beyond me, except repeat his shameless lies. for one possibility: Was it perhaps an editorial illustration of Craig Simon the burden of Dr. Wildavsky's theme of "the replacement of Miami, FL excellence in research in educational theory in the name of "proportionality"? If so, it may be pardoned, but the want of taste is regrettable. Harry R. Boer Holland, MI Editor's note: Oops!

Literary Editor John Ellis

Staff Writer K.L. Billingsley

Art Director Laura Hubbard

Operations Director Judd Magilnick

Copy Editor John Penninger

Circulation Manager Lisa Maguire

HETERODOXY (ISSN: 1069-7268) is published by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. The Center is a California 501 (c) 3. Editorial: (916)265-9306. Fax: (916)265-3119. Subscription: 12 issues $25. Send checks to Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 12400 Ventura Blvd., Suite 304, Studio City, California 91604. Visa and MasterCard accepted.

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LOONY TUNES: In fall 1994, the University of California Humanities Research Institute will host a resident research group, "ReTheorizing Music." According to the Call for Fellowship Applications, the effort appears to remedy the fact that "the postmodern thought and theory embraced by other disciplines" has scarcely affected the field of music, "one of the last fields to be affected" by such developments. These are some of the issues to be considered by the research group. "What effect would it have on analysis if we theorized music along the lines of Lacan? What does 'queer theory' have to offer to have made necklaces for many of my other friends, because I believe that such a beautiful outward sign of a woman's flow is very much needed to combat the feelings of secrecy and shame that are normally associated with menstrual bleeding in this society. Women living together often bleed at the same time. Last month most of my friends began bleeding the same week. I had gotten out of the habit of recording my cycles, but an old roommate's faithful example inspired me to start again. After keeping track, I noticed that I was bleeding during the new moon to hang onto her Red Rubber Slippers. With the help of her Red Rubber slippers, Dorothy must make her way back to Kansas to spread the facts about AIDS. Her aunt is going to be surprised. CAVEAT EMPTOR: The following is from The Michigan Review's masthead: "The Michigan Review is an independent weekly studentrun journal at the University of Michigan. We neither solicit nor accept monetary donations from the University of Michigan and we have no respect for anyone that does. The Michigan Student Assembly Office Allocation process sucks. Contributions to the Michigan Review are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We also have no respect for the IRS or any part of the federal government. The Review is not affiliated with any political party, but if we were, we would probably side with the Abolitionists." BLACK POWER: At Camden College in Blackwood, NJ., black activists are protesting the color of the mortarboard tassles used at the school's graduation ceremony. Apparently, each student at the college is awarded a certain tassle color according to class rank: students with the highest grades get gold and silver tassles and students with the lowest grades get black tassles. A number of black students became upset with this tradition and wrote a letter to the school newspaper saying "Black does not need to represent the lowest." FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES: At a local junior high in Victoria, British Columbia, a fourteen year old student named Darcie McNeil led a student protest against the area's logging industry, in which she chastised various school administrators by saying, "Any principals who would not let kids come today are fascist pigs who can rot in hell." PC IN TOYLAND: The Associated Press is now competing with Heterodoxy in the "fact is stranger than fiction" category. In a recent dispatch, AP reports on the doings of a group that calls itself the Barbie Liberation Organization. On Christmas morning, children across the country awoke to find that someone had switched G.I. Joe's talk-box with Barbie's. With each pull of the string Joe would say "Want to go shopping?", "I love school. Don't you?", "Let's sing with the band tonight" and, of course, "Dead men tell no lies." The BLO has since claimed responsibility for the sabotage of over 300 talking G.I. Joe dolls saying that "[their] goal is to reveal and correct the problems of gender-based stereotyping in children's toys." CALIFORNIA CORRECTNESS: The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued a memo entitled "Watch Your Language" in order to "provide examples of discriminatory job specifications." According to the Department, when placing and accepting job orders and advertisements, employers should avoid using the following descriptions: Front office man, Pretty boy, will fit position to man, want big ticket guy, no pantsuits, sideburns not below earlobes, 14 week training --wife can go too, night watchman, repairman, busboy, waiter, lean and mean, good physical shape, age 20 to 30, student, mature, will train bright new graduate, no accents, U.S. citizen, single, married, no children, prefers single, and no children calling all the time.

the study of music? Has an analysis of

the construction of gender roles fully informed our re-reading of 19th century music? To what extent is 'music theory' itself a projection of an elaborate controlling mechanism in our profession and art?...We hope to push the discipline in more socially aware and intellectually challenging directions...into a multiplicity of ways of theorizing music that will not exclude or privilege any particular repertory or period, any national interest or genre." Pass the ear plugs. LEVIS & LEATHER: Ohio State University has a Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Services Office whose mission is to educate students about gay issues. The office is staffed by a full time gay rights activist whose salary is paid by taxpayers and students. Among the literature published this year at the SOU Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Studies office were fliers attacking the biblical prohibition against homosexuality, advertisements for the Gay March on Washington and a directory of gay bars in Columbus, one of which is described as follows: "For those who are into the serious Levi/Leather scene, this is the place for you!" THE CONCEPT OF THE UNDERSERVED: No Irish need apply for the Minnesota State Arts Board's newest grant programs. Minnesotans of Scandinavian descent can forget it too, not to speak of those whose lineage is English, French, or German, or for that matter Syrian and Lebanese. The state arts agency has established racial and ethnic heritage guidelines restricting access to some of its programs for the first time in its history. Only "artists or individuals of color" can apply for the newly funded, $200,000 program. Asked about the implications of the decision, Sam Grabarski, executive director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, told the Star Tribune, "Even though it sounds on the surface as if these are programs based on race, they are not. They are based on the concept of the underserved." MOONIES: The following passage is part of an essay written by Jennifer Firotti, a senior at Columbia University's Barnard School, for the November 15, 1993 issue of the Barnard Bulletin: "Many moons ago, I asked a friend what she used when she had her period. I was tired of flushing away Tampax and buying plastic-wrapped sanitary napkins, so I took her suggestion to use natural sponges. It took me a couple of weeks to find a natural bath sponge, which I then cut to size. Using a sponge as a reusable tampon was not unpleasant for me, but I must warn you that it is not for the squeamish. I was surprised at how red my menstrual blood really was.

and ovulating during the full. These are traditional correlations, and living aware of the moon's changes has put me into the ancient rhythm. I have a calendar which shows the phases of the moon. This is invaluable to me not only in predicting my cycle but also in celebrating full and new moons. I have celebrated the waxing and waning of the moon's energy alone and with circles of women. The energy flow of life is ecstatically felt as it passes through us during moon rituals. This does not fit the common view of paganism as devil worship--no chickens are sacrificed and no deities or supernatural entities need be involved. Songs and dancing to celebrate out lives and deaths--the moon's and women's--take place within the context of nature....On heavy days, I use a sponge and a pad for extra "protection" although I am trying to see blood stains now as a decoration, not something against which to protect. With my supply of durable goods, I can't wait to be on the rag again."

WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS, TOTO: A Chicago based group called the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club Community Outreach has jumped on the AIDS awareness bandwagon with their new play The Wizard of AIDS. In this musical, Dorothy travels from Kansas to the Land of That color became very important to me. After seeing how AIDS (Aware Individuals Demanding Survival), where my friend celebrated her moon-time with special jewelry, she battles the Wicked Witch of Unsafe Sex in her effort I made myself a red bead necklace. I wear it every time I get my cycle, and it helps me look forward to my next. I

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GAY BABIES continued from page 1 revelation, all that the recipient knows about the donor comes from a personal profile (physical features, ethnic background and other vital statistics) that is furnished by the clinic. Even though the father is a complete stranger, Traiman says "he will play sort of an uncle role to the child." The one common feature of Rainbow Flag's bottled fathers is that they are all either gay or bisexual. Traiman feels that his clinic is unique as the only sperm bank that solely and deliberately uses homosexuals as donors. When asked about what is obviously the most potentially explosive issue in his enterprise--using genetic manipulation to create homosexual children-- Traiman sidesteps the question by nodding in the direction of free market economics. "It is my choice. I mean there is a sperm bank that is run out of Southern California that only uses the sperm of men whose IQs are greater than 140. The guy who owns that, that's his choice. You set up the business, you get to choose." Traiman feels that his new sperm bank is responding to a need. Appealing though the guerrilla insemination sessions of the mixers might be, the contracts drawn up there can result in unpleasant custody battles later on. This is why he feels that the sperm banks like Rainbow Flag are the wave of the future as the gay community becomes increasingly serious about starting families. When using a licensed sperm bank, unless certain parental stipulations have been made, the donors have legally waived any and all rights to child custody. At any rate such conflicts are regarded as part of the messy melodrama of heterosexual life. According to Traiman, the homosexual community should get beyond these legal bickerings. He believes that gay families are a way to hell strengthen the homosexual community and provide gays and lesbians with "an investment in the next generation.' Not only does Traiman encourage homosexuals to rear children, it is also his feeling that they make better parents than heterosexuals. "Love defines the family" and homosexual parents, because of the nature of their decisionmaking, tend to be more like-minded and consistent in matters such as raising and disciplining children. "With gay people," says Traiman, "one-night

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stands do not produce children--there are no accidental pregnancies...and the children are more planned for." Heterosexual couples "rarely ever talk about those things beforehand" and have trouble communicating when it comes to difficult situations. Homosexual parents, says Traiman, "are like pre-divorced parents with no bitterness" and produce children who are more likely to practice safe sex and are less likely to resort to violence when solving a problem. As he says half-jokingly, "Maybe the next generation of diplomats will all be raised by lesbians." The efforts of entrepreneurs like Leland Traiman are supported by a growing social service infrastructure. Stefan Lynch, the codirector of Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE), helps to sponsor a number of support and advocacy seminars that address the concerns of the children of homosexuals. Lynch is enthusiastic about exclusively gay sperm banks as an augury of greater cohesiveness within the gay community. "There has always been a rift between the gay and lesbian communities," he says, "and something like this can bridge that gap." When asked about the eugenics implications of Rainbow Flag's program, Lynch says he "doesn't see what would be so bad about trying to create gay children." According to a fact sheet distributed by COLAGE, the sons and daughters of lesbian and gay parents are 6-8 million strong. The daughters of lesbian mothers are known to "have higher self-esteem than daughters of straight women," the sons are "more caring," and both are "more open-minded about a wide variety of things than most people with straight parents." Yet despite this heady atmosphere of utopian experimentation, the existence of these intentionally "non-traditional families" is a cause for debate. Most prospective gay parents act in a subrosa way. But Lynch feels that debate is a good thing: "It is dangerous not to wrap political statement and childbearing together. When we separate out conception and parenting from politics, we're basically falling into the hands of people who would like to maintain the status quo... When we talk about lesbian and gay parenting and say that we are not going to talk about this in a political way, well, damn it, for two women to have a kid is a political act. It's a real challenge to a social system that wants men to always be in women's lives." o advocates of gay families like Stefan Lynch, embroiling a child in a heated debate is not a tremendous concern. As he says, "It is necessary not to kowtow to the bugaboo of fairness to the child,

when it is actually not the parents who are being unfair, but the culture at large." Dr. J. Craig Peery, a professor of Family Sciences at Brigham Young University, believes that this sort of thinking can create an explosive social problem. According to Peery, the proponents of homosexual parenting tend to approach their situations not in terms of the best interests of children, but in terms of "adult

concerns." As a result, the children involved are often used as cannon fodder in a political crusade: "Children aren't something that are just nice and cute. They require all kinds of attention...My concern is that these children now being created can become the political footballs in the game." What is more, open discourse on the long term effects of gay parenting, says Peery, is becoming more and more difficult. Increasingly, a politically correct militancy stands guard over these issues, preventing one from "asking questions about [homosexual parenting] because a priori we know that there are no problems with it. If you do raise questions about [homosexual parenting] then you are immediately branded anti-homosexual." Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a California-based clinical

psychologist and co-founder of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, says that he can appreciate homosexuals' desire to raise children. But he sees the recent lesbian baby boom as being fueled by much more than the natural human instinct to raise children and it can only be understood in the context of a larger agenda. According to Nicolosi, organizations like Rainbow Flag Health Services are antagonistic toward traditional social mores: "When a gay man donates his sperm to a lesbian couple, he is making his contribution to breaking down the conventional notion of family." It is, he says, a way of smashing what is derisively referred to as "heteronormativity" within the gay community. According to Nicolosi, the idea that children are somehow better off being raised by homosexual parents rather than heterosexual parents is merely a political statement for which there is absolutely no evidence. "The radical homosexual agenda is elitist and self-justifying. They feel that they are more liberated and more informed. To these gay radicals, heterosexuals are narrowminded, simplistic people, and they feel that they are going to liberate us from our own self-imposed restraints." Having children, Nicolosi says, is a way by which members of the gay community can have their cake and eat it too. The act of conception allows them to challenge the traditional notion of family at the same time they are bring a kind of legitimacy to their own lifestyle. "Truly what [these radical homosexual activists] are doing is breeding a counter culture--They are being able to play with the essential variables of human development and I'm sure it is a deeply gratifying undertaking for them." To Leland Traiman and his fellow argonauts in this new undertaking, people like Drs. Peery and Nicolosi are part of an outworn creed. The gay family will be a thing of the 90s, he believes, as homosexuality takes its rightful place in society. "We are not hiding and we are feeling more self-assured as to who we are and feeling that we no longer have to be secretive about our lifestyle. We want the same thing that everyone else wants. For a lot of people that means children." As with other statements coming out of the gay community these days, this pronouncement has the intonation of a non-negotiable demand. --Bill Cerveny

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The Lunacy of Safe Sex

D

by PAUL MULSHINE

"We believe that to prevent AIDS everyone should practice safe sex all the time--it's that simple." "OK," I answered. "But what about heterosexual couples in long-term relationships?" "Yes. Even partners who claim to be monogamous should still practice safe sex. One of them might have become HIV-positive before the relationship began." "Fair enough. But what about married couples?" "Same thing. I think married couples should use condoms, because the wife doesn't know what the husband is doing. I think you should protect yourself." "But what about married couples who are trying to have children?" The voice trailed off: a trick question. Seconds passed. The voice returned, the assurance gone. "Well, in that case they shouldn't practice safe sex ...I guess." Or maybe they should. The logic of safe sex is so deranged that, when taken to its logical conclusion, it would lead to the depopulation of the planet. Unlike Mr. Hernandez, most proponents of safe sex simply mouth the "AIDS doesn't discriminate" argument without applying them to real life. If liberal heterosexuals truly believed the safe-sex propaganda, they'd all be using condoms. But they're not. Neither are moderates. Or conservatives. Or even gays, at least not as much as they should. While the" debate over safe sex rages, both sides are overlooking a key fact: nobody uses condoms. Well, perhaps "nobody" is too strong a word. Just not enough people to make it worth mentioning. Here's the math: According to the census, there are approximately 80 million American males in the most sexually active years, between 18 and 55. If each of those males has sex one hundred times a year (slightly less than twice a week, a conservative estimate according to surveys of sexual activity) that gives us about 8 billion sex acts a year. To be safe, then, we'll need 8 billion condoms. But how many condoms are actually sold in the U.S. each year? Just 451 million in 1992, the last year for which figures are available, according to Carter-Wallace, the largest manufacturer. Here's how insignificant that number is: If in a given year every American male began using his ration of condoms on Jan.1, the year's supply would run out at 6:20 p.m. on Jan. 19. For that night, and every night for the rest of the year, bodily fluids would be moving fluidly into bodies. Despite the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that have been thrown to the Big Brotherish safe-sex campaign, condom use has barely kept pace with population growth over the past five years; the figure for 1987 was 428 million. This is shown by surveys as well. A study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health revealed that only 25 percent of those surveyed reported using a condom in their most recent sexual encounter with a new partner. People with multiple partners were even less likely to use condoms. Those who didn't use condoms outnumbered the condom-users by more than 11 to one. In other words, by its own standards, the safe-sex campaign has been a dismal and absolute failure. Therefore, since "we are all at risk" (as AIDS activists are fond of saying), great numbers of these unsafe-sex practitioners must be coming down with AIDS, right? Wrong. Even at this late date, long after the heterosexual AIDS epidemic was supposed to have occurred, gay sex remains very nearly the sole means by which AIDS is spread sexually in the U.S. More than nine out of 10 cases of sexually acquired AIDS stem from man-on-man sex, according to the latest CDC report on AIDS. The only other class of people who acquire AIDS in significant numbers are the female partners of IV drug users. AIDS is a real danger, but almost entirely to gays, IV drug users, and the sex partners of IV drug users. (Interest-

oes President Clinton use condoms? With Hillary, I mean. If he believes in safe sex, he certainly should. Here's a transcript of a telephone conversation I had with a representative of the New York chapter of ACT-UP. At the beginning, my interlocutor, an altogether pleasant-sounding fellow who identified himself as Vic Hernandez, spoke with great assurance:

ingly, very few women have been infected by bisexual men, homosexual sexuality, most particularly in teens, and leaves perhaps proving comedian Andrew Dice Clay's assertion people abandoned with no place to go." Gebbie also is that "there's no such thing as a bisexual.") Except for those campaigning to permit HIV-positive aliens to enter the three groups, AIDS in America would be an obscure foot- United States, A certain percentage of these aliens would note in medical journals. Therefore, practical safe sex ad- almost certainly infect other Americans, but again Gebbie vice would be: "Don't have sex with gay men. Don't use IV and crew hide behind the unlikely prospect that these aliens drugs. Don't have sex with IV drug users." So why do the would practice safe sex, though if they didn't practice safe CDC and the Clinton administration continue to mislead the sex before they became infected, it's difficult to see why youth of America into thinking that a date with a high school they would afterward. cheerleader is approximately as dangerous as a trip to a gay This highlights a huge contradiction in the liberal bathhouse in San Francisco? agenda on AIDS. The typical liberal can't decide whether he's Vladimir Lenin or Abbie Hoffman--rigid state control, or "If it feels good, do it." Fidel Castro, who seems to have the best leftist credentials on earth at the moment, believes in universal medical care, but he also believes in quarantining all HIV-positive Cubans. On the other hand, in a libertarian state (of which there are even fewer than Marxist states, namely zero), gays could do as they please but would be left to deal with the consequences. But only an American liberal would be naive enough to encourage gay liberation and then offer to pick up the inevitable cost: "Certainly at the national level we " have big checkbooks that can be hauled out to pay for things," was how Gebbie, ever generous with your tax dollars, put it. Those who wish to penetrate the safe-sex idiocy need to look at the real issue. So far, conservative attacks have focused mainly on the fallibility of condoms. This is a non-issue. If condoms have, say, a 7 percent failure rate but are used in only 5 percent of sex acts, it's obvious that the fallibility debate centers on 0.3 percent of sex acts. The debate should center on the more than 95 percent of sex acts that are condom-less. This would show that the real role of condoms in the liberal pantheon is not to cover penises, but to cover a gaping ideological hole. So far, safe-sex advocates have been able to hide their failure by arguing that with enough "education," people will begin to use condoms. But no one has heard quite as much safe sex nagging and cajoling as the gays of San Francisco. Yet many of these have stopped using condoms and are taking their chances, the New York Times recently reported. One 23 year old stated that he MAN PREPARING TO HAVE SAFE SEX. had purposely acquired HIV. "It's like the red badge of courage," he told the Times. He said being HIV-positive Perhaps it's because AIDS continues to act in a politi- made him feel "gayer." Which it no doubt did. All indications are that, as it cally incorrect manner. HIV is like a smart bomb seeking out all those groups beloved by liberals: homosexuals, drug- concerns American sex lives, AIDS will remain "a gay using minorities, people from the Third World--virtually disease." Gay activists hate that locution, not only because every PC-approved group except lesbians. (When a pur- it's true, but because it points up the inherent flaw in the gayported case of lesbian-to-lesbian HIV transmission was rights movement. If society is going to create a new class of reported recently, lesbians greeted the news like the Im- civil rights based on behavior, society has a right to demand maculate Conception; finally, they were victims too, en- that that behavior either be in society's interests or at the titled to all the rights and privileges.) And the most un-PC very least be harmless. But the behavior of gay Americans thing about HIV lies in the people it spares: white hetero- in the last two decades has fit neither of those criteria. The true goal of the safe-sex movement is not to make sexual males, most particularly those who live in suburbia. All the data so far indicate that your standard white hetero sex medically safe, but politically safe. AIDS "education" male has virtually no chance of getting AIDS unless he has a nasty echo of communist "re-education." It's there to shoots up heroin. He can have unprotected sex with all the implant an ideology, not any useful advice. Young people women he wants; statistically, he has more chance of chok- are naive, some of them so naive that they really believe that "AIDS doesn't discriminate." The Philadelphia Inquirer ing to death on dinner than dying of AIDS. An accurate safe-sex campaign would have to tell recently carried the story of one such teenager who had a heterosexual males: "Don't do IV drugs and you're basi- post-high school summer fling with the gays of New cally safe." But the message for gays would have to be that Hope, PA. He later got engaged to a woman and joined the the activity they consider essential to their sexual identity, Navy, where he found out he was HIV-positive. Of course, anal sex, is very likely to kill them unless they use extreme he would have been safe if he'd used condoms. And of caution. Instead, both groups are getting essentially the course he didn't. Safe-sex advocates profess to be mystified same message. President Clinton's AIDS czar, Kristine over why people won't use condoms. "No one knows why Gebbie, refuses to state the obvious fact that gay sex is people don't practice safe sex," one physician wrote reinherently more dangerous. Worse, she refuses to even state cently. No one? I know. My friends know. One summed it that HIV-positive people should refrain from having sex up nicely: "Would you rather have sex with a condom, or with HIV-negative people. Appearing on "Crossfire" with with a woman?" The idea that sex can somehow be cleaned John Sununu, Gebbie stated that she personally would have up and made "safe" is as idiotic a concept as any human has condom-covered sex with an HIV-positive person as long ever had. As Woody Allen (who should know) said of sex, "If it's not dirty, you're not doing it right." Several million as it took place in "a committed relationship." Gebbie, and by extension Clinton, seem to have bought or so years of evolution have conditioned us to desire unsafe into the entire radical gay agenda, in which the cause of sex almost as much as we desire food; only a liberal could preventing AIDS takes a back seat to gay rights. In her believe that this drive could be thwarted by a handful of public-service announcements on TV and a few hours of speeches, Gebbie seems to endorse the borderline-pederastic lectures in a high school health class. practice of encouraging teenage males to find their place in the gay community. In a speech that won her some notoriPAUL MULSHINE is a writer living in New Jersey. ety, she opined mat AIDS will continue to spread as long as America remains a "repressed Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies sexuality early and denies

HETERODOXY

by K.L. BILLINGSLEY

e know where you live," the anonymous voice said late last November. Then, lest the listener think this was a prank, the caller duly recited the man's address, adding, "We know you have a wife and two children." Soon there was another call to staffers at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. Tournament officials, one caller said, would have to be "concerned with safety" if certain conditions concerning race and ethnicity were not met in the Rose Parade. Such strong-arm tactics seemed absurd given the role of community festival which the Rose Parade has traditionally played for people of all backgrounds in Southern California. . Camping out on the streets at the best vantage points for this spectacle, now in its 105th year, is a long standing tradition, as is sharing food and camaraderie in the long hours before festivities begin.

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The appeal of the Rose Parade has always been multicultural and international. There have been minority Rose queens and grand marshals, including Brazilian soccer star Pele and baseball great Hank Aaron. Leo Carillo, Pancho in the Cisco Kid television show, was a fixture of the parade for years. There have always been minority bands and marchers, along with floats from various countries. But this type of representation was not enough for Pasadena's professional ethnics and its PC mayor, Rick Cole, who helped poison the atmosphere of the festival and create the conditions that led to the veiled death threats last November. The parade, proclaimed Cole in the months leading up to the event, was "controlled by aging white men." For Cole and his comrades, unless the governing boards of the parade were "diversified" with the appropriate number of "people of color," the parade would be regarded as a last bastion of racial discrimination and would have to be changed by any means necessary. Though known as a conservative place--home not only to the Parade but to Cal Tech, the Rose Bowl and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory--Pasadena has seen the rise of aggressive dissidence over the past few years. The mayor himself is one example. Another is the Reverend George Regas, Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, a high profile antiwar activist during the days of Vietnam who has continued this stance into the present (he staged a much-publicized vigil against the Gulf War that was picked up by CNN and the foreign press) and has expanded his concerns to include the realm of sexuality. ("I am for safe sex," Regas said in one recent sermon, "and if I had my way I would put a basket of condoms on every teacher's desk.") Regas blesses homosexual marriages and his church operates an AIDS center generously funded by the city which pushes sexual sacraments not only including condoms but dental dams. The Reverend Regas now serves as Cardinal Richelieu for Mayor Cole, who, as one observer noted, "is stuck in a 60s time warp that makes him continue to brag about breaking into the dean's office at Occidental College all those years ago." In 1970 Cole, apparently not a fan of reasoned debate, headed a group of protesters who disrupted a meeting of conservative school board candidates by shouting and firing cap pistols. The Rose Parade became a target of choice for Cole and his friends in 1992 when festival officials appointed a descendent of Christopher , Columbus as grand marshal. This time, Cole reached for his rhetorical cap gun and shot off some fevered PC boilerplate about Columbus being a symbol of "greed, slavery, rape and genocide."

approve letters to the editor. Fernandez-Palmer denies that this was an effort to quarantine the views of opponents like Angeli Di Lucca-Paterson, explaining that she intended only to make the editors of the paper "more sensitive." The editors are reluctant to discuss what transpired at these meetings but it might be noted that the Star News has since established a "Latino roundtable" to discuss "positive" story ideas and named a Latino managing editor. Fernandez-Palmer's husband Oscar, who wrote one of many letters critical of Di Lucca-Paterson, earns a comfortable living running Pasadena's bilingual programs. This pair has a heavy financial stake in the continued flow of public dollars to programs tailored for Latinos. As one member of the Pasadena community who has followed their career notes cynically, "Follow the money. It works every time." Issac Richard, the city council's resident black militant, agreed with the assault on the Star News, He ROSE PARADE FLOAT actually wanted to move the public notices to a black paper. Richard's politics are best indicated by an event that occurred last October 31 in Pasadena when gang members yelling "Get blood!" gunned down three black children returning home from a Halloween party. Two days later, Pasadena police chief Jerry Oliver, who is black, proposed a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the capture of the killers. Vice Mayor Katie Nack said that with these brutal murders "a line had been crossed." Issac Richard opposed the reward. As a sidebar to the bizarre political atmosphere which has overtaken staid Pasadena, Richard himself had been arrested for a shooting during the 1970s. The story made the local press but there were no arrests and the records were sealed. During the televised council debate on the reward, Mayor Cole, to his credit, said to Richard: "Two decades ago you shot a young man, so you crossed the line then." Richard Pasadena Star News. Assuming mat all Latinos think like flew into a rage and bellowed that Cole was a "white they do, the pair proclaimed that Latinos had been "grossly racist poor white-trash SOB." Since that time, Richard, underrepresented" in the city and had "earned the right to who is fond of staging angry filibusters during which he elect their own representative." In other words, they wanted reads from War and Peace, has become so disruptive that a segregated Latino district, a kind of Hispanic the council must sometimes call the cops to keep order. Bophuthatswana. Shortly after this, Republican activist Angeli Di Lucca-Paterson responded with a letter in which saac Richard's fellow black militants, particularly deshe said: "Living in America is a privilege, not a right; velopers Danny Bakewell, of the Brotherhood Crusade, Spanish speaking people are not special; taxpayers have no and Jimmy Morris, began criticizing the Rose Parade on obligation to transfer wealth in the form of money to Latinos; racial grounds early in 1993. So eager were Tournament of redistricting is done on the basis of population and geogra- Roses officials to appease all the possible opponents that phy, not race or ethnicity." She provided statistics of how they brought in the NAACP, Lydia Fernandez-Palmer, and much illegal aliens are costing local governments. She also a Latino group called Impacto. They also commissioned a called the Latino militants "these new fascists" and used legal audit of the parade by liberal former California Susome other tart descriptions of gangs, minority neighbor- preme Court justice Cruz Reynoso, whom California voters hoods and graffiti. booted out of office in 1988. According to T of R president Di Lucca-Paterson's use of the term "fascism" was Mike Ward, the audit found no "history of discrimination" immediately assailed. Yet, as she replied, she had used the but militants kept up the pressure anyway in months leadword in an approximately correct way--indicating an ideol- ing up to the parade. They staged demonstrations at tournaogy of blood bond and exclusivity--while leftists in and out ment headquarters and hired Hispanic day laborers, most of of Pasadena have a long tradition of using this term them- whom could not speak English, to swell their protest. In selves to describe anything they don't like. For example, June, Angeli Di Lucca-Paterson's husband and school when conservatives charged that the fact city councilman board candidate Andrew Paterson suggested in the Star Phil Hawkey's wife had a job as a paid staff member at News that Cole and Richard be allowed to run the Rose Democratic Party headquarters involved him in a conflict of Parade. Paterson envisioned Louis Farrakhan as grand interest, verbose Democrat Ralph McKnight said that this marshal of a "Tournament of Races," with Latino running was "fascism at work." backs being required to carry the ball a precise 28 percent While Di Lucca-Paterson was receiving numerous of the time--proportional to population in Pasadena--in letters of support, both public and private, some ethnic the ensuing Rose Bowl game. activists demanded that the city council punish the Star News Here the Patersons had broken another taboo. Angeli for publishing her letter by withdrawing its contract for public announcements and ads. Others went directly to the had called ethnic separatists "fascists," and now Andrew had paper. Lydia Fernandez-Palmer directs the El Centro de laughed at them in print. The predictable and ritualistic Accion Social which like many ethnic organizations re- charges of racism and insensitivity did not appear to bother the ceives public money, some of it to process amnesty applica- couple. But it was time to turn up the heat on the Parade tions from illegal aliens. Fernandez-Palmer and some black itself. In September the ubiquitous Jesse Jackson hit town activists went directly to the Star News and demanded that they recognize a multicultural review group to monitor and and led a vigil against racism in the Rose Parade at Rector Regas's All Saints Church. Though he was not there, Rector Regas supported the protest. ("The pressure was

Mayor Cole ultimately showed up at this year's parade, after all the sound and fury he helped create, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Tournament of Racism." It was not a particularly generous treatment of the city on its day of days, which, as some citizens noted, pays Cole's salary and benefits. It also poured flammable intellectual materials on a smoldering racial situation in Pasadena. Local political officials have made a habit of such maximalism, and it created the background for this year's War of the Roses. During the Clarence Thomas hearings, for instance, there was much talk in the press about Thomas's guilt and Hill's innocence, long before there had been time for a full investigation. Democratic Party vice-chairman Ralph McKnight called Virginia Thomas, who is white, the Supreme Court nominee's "trophy wife." The same year, an opinion piece by Latino activists Katherine and George Padilla (a Pasadena school board member) appeared in the

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JANUARY 1994

THE ACADEMIC ASHERFELD

by DAVID BERLINSKI

In the last installment, Asherfeld was given $500,000 by the Dean of the University as a payoff for persons the Dean said were trying to use the kinky implications in Montague's death (and an alleged videotape of his last moments) to blackmail the university. The complex trail of clues leading to and from the death led him finally to Jimmy Joy, Chinese restauranteur and godfather whose smuggling of Asian immigrants into San Francisco seemed, on the surface, to be connected to Montague. But the surface of the events on which Asherfeld had been treading proved to be very thin....

The Dean called on Friday morning. "What's up?" I asked. "You tell me, Asherfeld," he said evenly. I told the Dean that everything was copecetic; I told him not to worry; I said I'd drive down after lunch. "Asherfeld," he said, "this can't wait until after lunch." "Sure it can," I said. "You'll see. Whatever problem you got now, it'll still be there this afternoon. Trust me on this." "Asherfeld," said the Dean in his new voice, "don't underestimate me." He hung up without waiting for an answer. It was a little past two when I got to the University; I parked behind the Dean's office in the Dean's parking lot. The Dean ushered me into his own office without saying a word and sat himself at his desk, his elbows resting on the desk top. His ever present aide Mole Anbisol was seated in his gleaming wheelchair; he had placed the thing next to die Dean's desk so that the two of them were facing me. I sat myself down and said: "What's up?" "Why don't you tell us what's up, Asherfeld?" said the dean. "You're the one who didn't make the drop." "Sure I did," I said. "I just didn't make the drop into the accounts you gave me." "What?" The Dean almost rocketed from his chair. "What're you talking about, Asherfeld? Those instructions were specific. You were supposed to drop the money into those accounts. You've screwed up all my arrangements." Mole Anbisol cocked his head to regard me better; he looked like a bright little bird. "Calm down," I said. "I haven't screwed up anything. I had dinner with Wah Gee and Jimmy Joy. They wanted the money delivered in cash. That's what I did. I gave it to them in cash." "Asherfeld," said the Dean, his face reddening with fury, "we don't even know that these are the people asking for the money in the first place." "That's true," I said. "They were pretty happy to get five hundred thousand dollars, though. Said thank you and all." "Asherfeld," said Mole Anbisol somberly. "I can't believe you took it on yourself to change settled arrangements." He withdrew his head backwards by a bit and looked at me along the corridor of his nose. "I've got to tell you what's running through my mind," said the Dean. "It's not pretty, but I've got to tell you." "No need," I said. "You're wondering whether I might not have helped myself to that money, stuffed it in an old sock, sent it to the Canary Islands for safekeeping. You're absolutely right. It's the sort of question I'd be asking, too, if I were in your shoes." "If we both know the question, Asherfeld, what by you is the answer?" I spread my hands apart. "It's not my problem," I said bluntly, "you guys start wondering at two in the morning where that half million dollars went to." Mole Anbisol said: "You know that is an unacceptable response." He hitched himself slightly in his wheelchair by pushing down on the arm rests with his elbows. He added: "This institution is not without resources of its own, Asherfeld." "Sure," I said. "I don't watch my step I could wind up in the Bay with concrete waders." "Asherfeld," said the Dean, "you don't watch your step you could wind up facing some very serious criminal charges." "Name one," I said. "Defalcation of funds." "You guys give me half million dollars in cash and tell me to go pay off some blackmailers and you think I'm running the risk of being charged with defalcation of funds? Get serious. The money is gone. There's no way to recover it. But look on the bright side. You got what you paid for." "Explain yourself, Asherfeld," said Mole Anbisol. "What you wanted was silence, what you got is silence. Sounds like a Kmart Special to me." "What are you talking about, Asherfeld?" said the Dean. "I don't think Jimmy Joy and Wah Gee were holding up the university. They were not going to embarrass you. They were happy to get half a million dollars, but they didn't ask for it. Money's well spent even if you didn't have to spend it. As I say, you got what you paid for." Mole Anbisol placed a long finger alongside his nose and said: "Let me understand this, Asherfeld. Your view now is that Jimmy Joy and Wah Gee were not responsible for the tape or for the unpleasant package the Dean received? Do you have a reason for saying this?" "Sure," I said. "I asked them about it. They said they had no idea what I was talking about. Denied knowing anything about Montague's death, any blackmail attempt" "Asherfeld, that's exactly what you'd expect them to say if they knew something." "It's also exactly what I'd expect them to say if they didn't," I said. "This is crazy," said the Dean. "If you thought they had nothing to do with this Montague business why'd you give them half a million dollars?" "You told me to," I said. The Dean's forehead was now covered with perspiration. "Why did they take the money than, if they're not involved?" he asked. "What would you do if someone offered you half a million dollars in a brown paper bag?" "Yes," said Mole Anbisol suavely. "I daresay we'd all do the same thing. Now that you've boisterously given away half a million dollars of the university's money, are you going to tell us what changed your mind about things?" "Sure," I said. "You've earned that much. I don't think CSR had anything to do with illegal immigrants. For one thing, Montague didn't need the money. He was living off a trust. He didn't need to dirty his hands." "Why'd he bother with that whole affirmative action business?" asked the Dean. "It was elegant, it was clever. That's the sort of man he was." "That is fairly conjectural," said Mole Anbisol. "There's more," I said. I reached into my briefcase and withdrew two red folders. I tapped the top one. "Copy of CSR's quarterly audit," I said. "I got it as sort of a gift. Makes for interesting reading. For one thing, the books zero balance." "But that's what you'd expect," said Mole Anbisol. "If CSR was just being used as a conduit, the books should zero balance." "It's also what you'd expect if CSR wasn't being used as a conduit." "That's it?" said the Dean, spluttering. "What about everything else, Asherfeld? You come in here talking about tattoos, Tongs, God knows what. What about Omo's ranch? What about watching the dock at night and the bus?" "What about it?" I shrugged my shoulders. "Less there than meets the eye," I said. "The business about Violet, for example. Why should she have to leave that coach house every couple of weeks?" "You tell us, Asherfeld." "It made sense at first. Nights that Omo's expecting a shipment, they need the coach house. That's why Montague had Dottenberry arrange things in the first place. But there's a better explanation. Montague was having an affair with Zoe Dindle and who knows how many other women. He wanted a place to go, someplace convenient. Same thing with Odo Omo. I figure the man has something to hide. Of course he's got something to hide. It was staring me in the face all along. He's got a harem of ball boys up there on the ranch and doesn't want his world to think he's an imbecile. Odo Omo was doing exactly what he said he was doing. He was protecting his privacy. He didn't want to be outed." "This is crazy," said the Dean. "I can't make heads or tails of what you're saying. First you tell us this Omo's busy receiving illegal immigrants. Now you tell us you made a mistake. He's up there on his ranch communing with the great outdoors. Then you tell us that Wah Gee and Jimmy Joe are smuggling in illegal immigrants. Now you tell us that these are classy citizens, they've got nothing to do with anything illegal." "No," I said. "I'm not saying that at all. The part about Omo is right. I think Wah Gee and Jimmy Joy were involved with illegal immigrants." "There you go," said the Dean. "I just don't think they were involved in holding up the university." "Who sent the tapes then?" Mole Anbisol asked in a calm, even voice. "The Dean did." Mole Anbisol sat back in his wheelchair. The Dean flushed deeply and said: "That's outrageous Asherfeld. It's in terrible taste." He began angrily stuffing papers into a briefcase; abruptly he stopped what he was doing and bunched his fists by his sides. "How did you know I hadn't used your drop?" Tasked. The Dean lifted his head. "I told you. They called me." I shook my head. "Couldn't be," I said. "They had the money already. Why would they call you?" "You tell me, Asherfeld. We're going around in circles." "No we're not," I said. "You're lying." The Dean lowered his hands to his desk and sat straight up in his chair. He looked at me steadily through narrowed eyes. "It wasn't their drop," I said. "It was yours. It's the only way you could have know that I hadn't used the accounts." "What are you saying?" "I'm saying that Richard Montague didn't owe Wah Gee or Jimmy Joy anything. I'm saying that they never threatened the university. I'm saying they never asked for payments of any kind. I'm saying they had nothing to do with Montague's death, didn't know about it, couldn't have cared less. I'm saying there was no video of Montague's death because Montague didn't die in any kind of orgy." There was a moment of tense silence in the room. The Dean kept his bunched hands on his desk; Mole Anbisol continued to look at me with his malignant spider's eyes. "It was you," I said to the Dean. "You're the only one who knew enough to make it work. I kept you posted myself, every step of the way. You pumped up Rimbaud and Hectorbrand with rumors. You knew the university would pay up." "You can't prove any of that, Asherfeld." "I'm not a policeman," I said. "That's not my job." There was another one of those uncomfortable deep and somber pauses. Then I said: "There's one more thing." I opened the second manila envelope I had brought

HETERODOXY

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pened. It was a calm clear day. After she got through with her jelly donut, Violet Violet met me in her office. She was sitting placidly asked: "How did you figure everything out, Mr. at her desk, her hands folded in front of her. She smiled Asherfeld?" her pretty smile at me. "Sometimes there's less to things than meets the eye." The door to the chairman's office banged open and "I don't understand." a tall woman with a long sad stupid face emerged; I I waved my hand vaguely in the air; I didn't want to recognized her right away. explain everything to her. "Aaron Asherfeld," said Violet miserably, "this is "Odo Omo had a tattoo," I said. "I thought it might be a Naomi Lipscombe Griller, the new chairperson of the Tong mark, something sinister. Turned out to be just a department?" She still put that little question mark at the fake tattoo, something silly he pasted on. I thought that end of every sentence. Neava Climax might have been involved with CSR. It Naomi Lipscombe Griller gave me a quick savage turned out she wasn't. I thought that Bulton Limbish look and turned her attention to Violet. might have been something more than an idiot. It turned "I want you to remember, Violet," she said, her out he wasn't. See what I mean? Less than meets the eye." hands on her hips, "that everything that transpires in this Violet nodded her fat head. "I think I understand," she office is confidential." said. had told the Dean that I had hand delivered half a Violet nodded her head unhappily; I could see her Violet sipped at the rest of her latte and pressed a million dollars to Wah Gee and Jimmy Joy, but, of lower lip was beginning to tremble. few crumbs from her plate into her mouth with the tip of course, I hadn't. I was pretty sure that if anyone "Except the names of all those potential rapists on her index finger. asked, Wah Gee and Jimmy Joy would deny knowing "Do you know how he anything, which is pretty died?" she finally asked in a much what they would have small voice. "Do you know how done if I had given them the Richard died?" money. "It was an accident," I I went down to the Bank said. "That's all it was." of America on the corner of "Please," she said. "Tell Columbus and Union; it was the me." bank I had used to set up the "He choked to death, Dean's accounts. I asked to Violet He was alone and he speak with the manager. He choked on bit of pepperoni was a smooth skinned Filipino pizza. He couldn't swallow the with a lilting accent. I told pepperoni. The medical him I wanted to close each of examiner thinks preservatives in my five accounts and convert the meat caused an allergic the money to fifty cashier's spasm. He tried to perform the checks. He looked at me Heimlich maneuver on himself skeptically over his thinand bruised his own throat. framed gold spectacles and That's why it looked as if then punched in the accounts someone might have strangled on his desktop computer. him." "These funds were deViolet took a moment to posited with us just last absorb the information and then week," he said. giggled. "I'm fickle." "And he was always so thin," He resumed looking at she said triumphantly. It was a his screen. good time to leave. I made my goodbyes "I'm not sure the checks have "These signs perpetuate sexist stereotypes in restrooms," said Miss Piggy. and headed off down the sunwashed cleared," he said lamely. walkway toward the bookstore toward the front of the "The law gives you three business days to float my the faculty and in the student body," I said. "You don't university where I had parked illegally. money," I said. "I gave you a week." Two girls were manning a table just beyond the He shifted uncomfortably in his leatherette seat; he want to keep that a secret." Naomi Lipscombe Griller looked levelly into my fountain. I recognized them right away--Tiny Face and knew something was odd. He just couldn't figure out eyes and said: "I take the problem of sexual harassment Miss Piggy--the feminist co-eds I had seen the very first what. day I stepped on campus. I walked over. Two enormous "Any transaction over ten thousand dollars," he on this campus very, very seriously." "It's a problem alright," I said. "Right up there with signs had been propped up on easel besides the table. said, "I have to report to the IRS." "What's it all about?" I asked. "It's about smashing "No you don't," I said. "You've got to report an poor dental hygiene. Don't let those glossy smiles fool stereotypifying symbols," said Tiny Face. you. I hear there's a lot of gingivitis going around." deposit over ten thousand dollars. This is a withdrawal." "It's about symbols that are used to define us," said "Mr. Asherfeld," said Naomi Lipscombe Griller, "I'll need a few hours," he said dubiously. "as far as I'm concerned, that remark could well be Miss Piggy. I said that would be fine. She pointed to the signs. One showed the outline of a constructed as a violation of the Speech Code." When I came back that afternoon, the money had woman in red, the other showed an outline of a man in black. "I hope so," I said. gone out to sea and come back; the manager had the "Professor Griller," said Violet delicately, "Mr. "What about them?" I asked. "These signs cashier's check waiting for me. There was nothing else perpetuate sexist stereotypes in restrooms," said Asherfeld like isn't a member of the faculty." he could do. "Can't do a thing to me," I said cheerfully, "except Miss Piggy. "A considerable sum of money," he said. "This is like a passive woman in a dress," said Tiny Face, let the smoke come out of your ears." "You think so?" I asked. Naomi Lipscombe Griller turned on her heel and tapping the woman's sign and then turning her He nodded shyly. attention to the man's, "and this sign is all I'm this reentered her office without saying a word. "It depends on what it's buying." macho broad-shouldered dude in pants.'" "I can see Then I said to Violet: "Come on. "We'll get coffee." I stood for a long while at the little desk they have We walked together toward the union. Violet told how it's a problem," I said. As I walked away I thought in banks for customers to fill out deposit slips. I adme that she was moving: Omo had asked that she vacate about the whole caper once again. I had managed to get dressed the plain manila envelope the bank had given me the coachhouse. I thought he might. She said that Mike one thing right about the university. There was less here to Mrs. Ami Goode. Her son UB Goode was the only than met the eye. Dottenberry was helping her find a new place. casualty here. I didn't know what to say and I didn't want We sat on the terrace at the union and looked out at the to send the checks without saying anything. This concludes the serialization of Less Than Meets silent campus, the light brilliant now in the noon-day sun. Finally, I wrote: Milk and Honey. Violet was munching an enormous jelly donut and the Eye. David Berlinski's novel will be published in I mailed the envelope from the mail box at the sipping from a latte. book form this year by St. Martin's Press. corner of Columbus and Greene. "No more Jennie Craig's?" I asked. "No more diets," she said defiantly. "I've joined xcept for Violet, I never saw any of them again; I this support group FATT. Fighting against Trendy Thinnever wanted to. I drove down to the university ness. It teaches me to accept who I am?" one last time to let her know what really hapI nodded. "Probably something we should all do, Violet." "I'll always be fat," she said. "And no one will ever love me."

with me and withdrew a thick folder stamped with the seal of the State of California. "Richard Montague's autopsy report," I said, opening the folder to the first page. I got it from a federal official named Huber Dreyfuss, pretty annoyed at being stonewalled by the university. There was a full length forensic photograph of Montague lying on hospital gurney; he was nude. I pushed the open folder toward the center of the table so that both Mole and the Dean could see it. "Montague's body wasn't mutilated," I said. "What does that mean?" said the Dean defiantly. "It means you have to answer," I said. Mole Anbisol shifted his wheelchair; he gasped. He understood.

I

PAGE 10

River Runs Through It

JANUARY 1994

T

by STEWART GOLDMAN

The coroner's report states that drugs were the cause of death. His friends, co-workers and the rest of our family know that River was not a regular drug user. He lived at home in Florida with us and was almost never part of the "club scene" in Los Angeles. He had just arrived in LA from the pristine beauty and quietness of Utah where he was filming for six weeks. We feel that the excitement and energy of the Halloween nightclub and party scene were way beyond his usual experience and control. How many other beautiful young souls, who remain anonymous to us, have died by using drugs recreationally? It is my RIVER PHOENIX

prayer that River's leaving in this way will focus the attention of the world on how painfully the spirits of his generation are being worn down. They are growing up with polluted air, toxic earth and food, and undrinkable water. We are destroying our forests, the ozone layer is being depleted, and AIDS and other diseases are epidemic. The world is a very confusing place for most young people and we need to address that. Drug abuse is a symptom of an unfeeling, materialistic, success-oriented world where feelings and creativity of young people are not seen as important. Drugs, including alcohol, are used to soften the pain of feeling separated from ourselves, each other, and love. We can't just say "Just Say No"--it's ridiculous--we need to offer our children something that can say "Yes" to. I have been trying to make sense out of chaos in relation to the world situation for many years, and with River's passing I feel more clear than ever before. I feel the answer to our destructive nature, which manifests itself in many forms, and our inability to love and care for one another are based on our disconnection from every natural part of who we are. The universe and earth is a magnificent system of oceans, rivers, tributaries and streams of electrons, atoms, micro-organisms, plants and animals, of plankton, moss and trees. And we, the humans, believe we can stand apart from this living system and say we are the masters. We act as if all of this was put here for us to use, STEWART GOLDMAN is a writer in Southern A MOTHER'S NOTE ON HER abuse, and profit from. We have separated ourselves from the very essence of life in order to raise ourselves up as the California and has worked for L.A. Magazine and SON'S LIFE AND DEATH ultimate divine expression on Earth. other publications. by HEART PHOENIX River made such a big impression during his life on I think people want to know if River ran his course or if he was taken from the world prematurely. He was my Earth. He found his voice and found his place. And even first born. I birthed him at home, suckled him to a chubby 2 year old, and then held him in love and awe until his safe passage on October 31.

his is a delayed obituary for River Phoenix. His was a death that was much discussed but yet improperly mourned. As everyone now knows, on October 31 this young man, one of Hollywood's most promising rising stars, died outside the Viper Room, a Sunset Strip nightclub owned by Johnny Depp, another teen heartthrob. After Phoenix began convulsing inside the club, his brother Leaf, along with some friends, dragged him outside and dumped him on the pavement. There, he writhed like a mackerel for some ten minutes while people stood around and gawked. At one point, "Married With Children's Christina Applegate came out of the club. She regarded Phoenix momentarily, then went into a comic-spastic imitation of him, much to the delight of her companions. Finally someone called 911. But by then, of course, it was too late. A week later the coroner stated that Phoenix died from a lethal overdose of cocaine and heroin--commonly known as a "speedball" --the same concoction that killed actor John Belushi several years earlier. Though Phoenix's death shocked his public--he was known as a strict vegetarian, an animal rights activist and a believer in environmental causes--those who knew him weren't particularly surprised. Phoenix was regarded in the business as a reputed alcohol and drug abuser. According to sources, Phoenix had started hanging out with street junkies as part of the research for his role as a gay street hustler in the 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho. He'd been a serious addict for nearly three years. For the last year or so, according to Phoenix's dealer, the cocaine and heroin mixture (laced with Valium and an over-the-counter cold medication) was the 23 year old actor's drug of choice. It is no surprise that the media just didn't get it; that this death was used to sell papers, TV shows and magazines--all under the guise of promoting an anti-drug message, of course. A week following the release of the coroner's report, Hard Copy had Phoenix's drug dealer on as their guest in an "exclusive" interview. That same week, the National Enquirer ran-- as it had with Elvis--a photo of the dead actor in his casket. The Enquirer stated that it was doing a "public service" by running the picture. Underneath the grisly photo of the waxy-faced actor--his hair died black, which gave him an oddly vampiric look--the caption read: IF LOOKING AT THIS PICTURE SAVES JUST ONE LIFE -- GOOD! Yet if the media's vulgarity was predictable, it might have been expected that the dead boy's family would at least mourn him well. But on October 24, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times titled "A Mother's Note on Her Son's Life and Death." The author of the article was Phoenix's mother, Arlyn Phoenix, who prefers to be called "Heart." Mrs. Phoenix (who describes herself as having been "a wanderer" in the 60's and a "strict vegetarian") is a former missionary for The Children Of God (now called The Family), a group which the Cult Awareness Network refers to as a "destructive cult." Normally, I wouldn't print the whole of a lengthy document such as the letter of Heart Phoenix, but to some degree the true character of the letter, and its redeeming social value, is in its excess. Therefore, with the exception of two paragraphs which testify to her son's musical and other "gifts," the letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

River, who had the whole world at his fingertips to listen, felt deep frustration that no one heard. What is it going to take? Chernobyl wasn't enough. Exxon Valdez wasn't enough. A bloody war over oil wasn't enough. If River's passing opens our global heart then I say, thanks dear, beloved son, for yet another gift to all of us. What is one to say about this document? Most maddening about it is that the sentiment is so canned and tinny; that the dead man's own mother, rather than expressing genuine grief, uses the occasion to propagandize for all her pet causes. It is hard not to conclude that language has become so crippled and sentiments have become so lame as a result of the intrusions of politics into our emotional marrow that we cannot even grieve honestly and intelligently for those closest to us. Death is not a gift. Nor is there any scientific evidence whatsoever that it is a "passing over" (complete with Elizabeth-Kubler-Rossian white light)--into some wonderful New Age Never Never land. As the Bible makes clear, death is, most often, a highly unpleasant, probably painful occation--and, in the case of Mrs. Phoenix's son, a humiliating one. It is the cessation of life as we know it Period. What lies behind is, well, up for grabs. The toxicology report on River Phoenix did not show that his system ceased functioning because of an overdose of polluted air or a lack of ozone. He didn't die because he ate fat-laden meats or drank toxic water, and he certainly didn't die from AIDS. Moreover, he didn't die because his "creativity" went unappreciated. He wasn't some tragic runaway who died of a drug OD while pursuing the elusive muse of fame. He was a movie star! He was paid millions of dollars and adored the world over for his creativity. How can Mrs. Phoenix expect the "global heart" to be opened by this death? The global heart should flutter with anxiety over an example of such profligacy, such an abuse of life, such irresponsibility. The global heart should beat with trepidation at the fact that the daunting message of this death--which was not about ecological but personal irresponsibility--was lost with this talented young man. Unfortunately, logic, experience and a modicum of cynicism dictate that neither River Phoenix's death nor his mother's rhetoric is going to change anything. Rather, people will use the event to promote whatever their beliefs are, whether they concern New Age propaganda or "recreational" drug taking. Certainly, the kids who prowl the same clubs that Phoenix did don't seem inclined to turn their backs on their lifestyles as a result of this event. It may even become a 90s version of the 50s mythology surrounding James Dean. A week after his appearance on Hard Copy, Phoenix's drug dealer was back at his post at the door of the Viper Room, hawking his wares. Outside the club, Tracy, a 22 year old Viper Room regular, didn't seem dissuaded in the least by Phoenix's passing. As her boyfriend Gordon purchased their "stash" for the evening, Tracy breezily philosophized, "Sure, you could end up like River Phoenix if you use drugs. But most of us won't. We just do it to have fun. Hey, life is like...a gamble, right? I mean, yeah, you could end up like River Phoenix, or you could end up in the White House."

appropriate," Regas said.) There were also vigils and protests outside of tournament headquarters The Los Angeles city council threatened to withdraw their floats from the parade if the T of R did not add minorities and women to its executive committee to an extent that would represent the population. Black and Latino caucuses in the state legislature threatened to hold a public hearing if the tournament did not "diversify." It was also rumored that representatives of Pac 10 and Big 10 schools which play in the Rose Bowl also brought pressure to bear. Then things got tough in the fall, as the tournament preparations were entering the home stretch. There was a break-in at tournament headquarters. Then came the threatening phone calls. Tournament official Mike Ward says that officials hushed these up because of fears that publicity "would encourage other threats." (Even Mayor Cole calls the anonymous calls "ugly threats" made by "sick people.") But the intimidation worked on officials softened by the seemingly unending racial and ethnic confrontations of the prior year On November 30, 1993, two days after the calls, tournament officials gave in and paid what one observer calls "protection money" by appointing five quota members to the Tournament's executive committee: one white female, an Asian female, two black males and an Hispanic male. Reverend George Regas hailed the action as a "great victory." Conservative critics of tournament leadership charged that none of the five appointees would have qualified for such a position under normal standards. Of course, by the standards of PC apartheid, race, gender and ethnicity constitute qualifications. "This bold action culminates more than a year's worth of progress to diversify our organization at every level," stated Mike Ward in a press release issued jointly by the

WAR OF THE ROSES continued from page 7 effective and

City of Pasadena and the Coalition Against Racism. But privately, Ward and his fellow officials had been badly shaken by the experience. One official who did not want to be identified said that they had faced "terrorism." This year's Rose Parade went on as scheduled, with only one disturbance. A low-flying airplane passed overhead trailing a banner that said "Can't We Do Better Than Rick and Isaac?" What would have happened, some Pasadena residents wondered, if the tournament had not caved in? "We would have stopped the parade, interrupted it and embarrassed them in the eyes of the world," black activist Danny Bakewell told the Los Angeles Times. "If they hadn't integrated the Executive Committee there wouldn't have been no damn parade," crowed Isaac Richard at a Pasadena Political Reform Round Table. "We were going to stop it, we were going to do it. We were importing people from Atlanta, Chicago and Oakland and L.A." As Andrew Paterson put it, the tournament crowd had no clue what they were dealing with. They "wore a tuxedo to an alley fight," he said, "and that's why they lost." Mayor Rick Cole, the Rev. George Regas, and Tournament officials are putting a happy face on everything and consider the War of the Roses ended. That is surely a premature judgment. The radical factions in control of Pasadena's internal political life are motivated by an encyclopedia of well-cherished grievances and it's not statistical satisfaction they are after but power. Having scored big with threats and intimidation they will surely be back for more. Lydia Fernandez-Palmer, for example, says that the five quota appointments are merely "a start." Isaac Richard is calling on the Tournament of Roses to pay Pasadena $250,000 for, yes, an anti-violence

MAYOR RICK COLE

COUNCILMAN ISAAC RICHARD

program. Would some of this protection money wind up in organizations that support Isaac politically? Pasadena's militants have at least provided one service by revealing the extent to which the intellectual processes associated with political correctness have infiltrated mainstream society. They have also showed that when it comes to tactics, advocates of political correctness are far from Martin Luther King and Gandhi. They have more in common with Al Capone. "It's a nice parade you've got here,'' they said in effect this year. "We wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it, now would we?"

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PAGE 12

JANUARY 1994

THE MLA FIASCO continued from page 1

Association is not its bad politics and out of date social analysis, although one surely has to wonder about the judgment of people who remain faithful to a worldview long after its bankruptcy has been demonstrated at incalculable human cost. What provokes my indictment of the current profession is its assault on literature, its abandonment of the educational task--which is to introduce the next generation to the enriching wonders of the literary text--and finally its burial of the literary subject under a mountain of feminist, Marxist, deconstructionist kitsch. One has only to compare the scholarly contributions of past Presidents of the MLA--Marjorie Nicholson, Henri Peyre, Maynard Mack and Germaine Bree come to mind--with the empty file of an ideological poseur like Houston Baker to measure its descent into intellectual mediocrity and political attitudinizing. But literature is not politics, nor even a preparation for politics. Historians of the future will, in fact, wonder in amazement at the domination of academic thinking in post-Cold War America by ideas that were first made fashionable by Nazis and Communists and their intellectual teachers. What do Heidegger, Foucault, DeMan, Althusser, Gramsci, Nietzsche and Marx have in common but their popularity among American academics and their place in an intellectual tradition that gave rise to Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler? Of course, the academic Left, which everywhere else insists on the connection between theory and "praxis," in this case can find no connection between the anti-liberal and nihilist agendas to which it pays intellectual homage, and the dreadful acts committed by the Communists and fascists who were actually guided by them. "Is it possible," asks David Hirsch, an eloquent critic of the academic Left, "that there should be no connection between the Nazis' effort to murder God in Auschwitz and Heidegger's attempt to deconstruct the

HETERODOXY

PAGE 13

metaphysical tradition in Western philosophy, which is to say his attempt to destroy that fusion of Hellenism and Hebraism which is Christianity? In fact, are we not bound in all honesty to say that the real-world endpoint of [the] deconstruction of the logocentric tradition is precisely Auschwitz?" But why stop at Auschwitz? Aren't the theories that underpin the intellectual flights of Frederic Jameson, Houston Baker, Terry Eagleton and other stars of the academic Left precisely the ideas that led to the creation of the Soviet gulag with its tens of millions of victims, whose only crime was to be politically incorrect? There are in fact two intellectual traditions that lie at the back of current academic theory: Marxism and nihilism. Is there any thinker in all of history whose ideas have been as wrong--and with such destructive consequences--as those of Marx? His plan for a kingdom of freedom turned into a blueprint for oppression and murder, while his dream of a planned economy turned into mass poverty and starvation. Yet there is a Marxist proposition that perhaps has stood the test of time (and he lifted even this from Hegel): history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. How else explain that after the Ministries of Truth have been dismantled in the capitals of the Communist and Fascist empires, after the commissars of thought control and the gauleiters of political purity have been turned out to pasture, the totalitarian fantasy of a world without dissidents is being revived by American academics? In the English Departments and "Student Life" centers of our nation's universities we can see a renewal of the totalitarian project to create a "new man" and "new womon" free from the taint of attitudes that are reactionary and incorrect, capitalist and patriarchal, and otherwise "oppressive." In administrative "Diversity Offices" and in Women's Studies classrooms we see resurrected the discredited Marxist theory that human beings are "socially constructed" and the impossible dream that a vanguard can reconstruct them so that they will be transformed into citizens who are pure in mind and politically correct. The numbing mediocrity of what passes for present academic discourse is a direct consequence of these agendas which have led to an almost complete lack of intellectual diversity on American faculties in the liberal arts. Political correctness, speech codes and sensitivity reeducation sessions are but pale imitations of their totalitarian originals. The oppressive apparatus of the new campus thought control is justified by the prospect of "eliminating racism, sexism and classism"--that is, by the same fantastic vision of a liberated future that inspired the Nazi and Communist disasters. Of course there are many intellectual orphans of the Left who can no longer believe in the Marxist future and have not been able to figure out how a social minority-- blacks, gays or women--can achieve a liberation that would be inclusive for all. Towards the liberated future they suspend disbelief. Theirs is a nihilistic option, a path taken by deconstructionists, relativists and most postmodernists. Is it mere accident that relativism and nihilism should become favored outlooks of the academic Left during the period of socialism's collapse, that is, at the precise moment that the ideas of the Left are being refuted by historical events? Relativism and nihilism are, in fact, the ways in which the Left has managed to avoid the painful but necessary meanings of its own past, the truth of its own complicity in the great crimes of this century's failed Utopias. The deconstructionist "turn" can be seen as the necessary answer to the radical's dilemma: How to avoid the truth of a history that has punctured its social illusion? How to maintain the destructive passions of the radical project? Nihilism is the radical (dis)solution. Utopianism and nihilism, of course, are two sides of the same intellectual coin, as biographically linked as euphoria and depression, as semiotically joined as "nowhere" and "no how." The Revolution, as conceived

by the secular messianists of the modern Left, is really a vision of heaven on earth, of paradise regained. But, as everyone knows, the great creative work of Revolution invariably begins as a work of destruction. Marx himself identified the radical's affinity with the Great Destroyer, invoking Mephistopheles' dictum: "All that exists deserves to perish." What is the radical's imperative but the devil's choice: To sever the past from the future, to annihilate what is for what will be. The Hegelian term for "transformation" (now the official definition of the university's mission) is Aufhebung-- to deconstruct, to destructure, to de-mystify, to dissolve, to demolish, to deny, to defame, to debase, to create out of something, nothing. Nowhere.

HOUSTON BAKER

And what is this something that is to be denied and destroyed by the contemporary Left with its deconstructionist and nihilist agendas, but,--once again--the liberal democratic societies of the capitalist West? Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Is it an accident, then, that the seminal thinkers of the post-modern Left are the 20th Century's destructive Utopians--Communists and Nazis? Or that their 19th century intellectual godfathers are Nietzsche and Marx? "Every anti-liberal argument influential today," as the University of Chicago's Stephen Holmes observes, "was vigorously advanced in the writings of European fascists," like Giovanni Gentile and Carl Schmitt, including the critique of "its atomistic individualism, its myth of the presocial individual, its scanting of the organic, its indifference to community...its belief in the primacy of rights, its flight from 'the political,' its decision to give abstract procedures and rules priority over substantive values and commitments, and its hypocritical reliance on the sham of judicial neutrality." Or, to look at it from the other side, the academic Left's positive agendas--"cultural determinism; the reduction of all social relationships to issues of power; the idea that one's identity is centered in one's ethnicity or race; the rejection of the concept of the individual--...all of these ideas," as Gene Veith observes, "are direct echoes of the fascist theorists of the 1930s."

Of course to compare the agendas of the tenured Left with the radical projects of Nazis and Communists is to aggrandize the professors with an historical potential that they mercifully lack. It is true that university intellectuals were among the first groups to enlist with Hitler and Lenin, but America is not Weimar Germany nor Czarist Russia, and the current political trend on American campuses is a wave of the past rather than the social future. A more precise image of our present academic malaise was provided by Houston Baker's presidential address to this convention last year. Baker is head of the African-American literature department at the University of Pennsylvania, salaried at the level of a corporate executive, and an artfully malicious practitioner of radical chic. Professor Baker's most recent contribution to scholarship is a book that celebrates and defends rap music, including its most violent and gangster-oriented expressions, as one of the premier art forms of the 20th Century. Baker is, in fact, the chief academic apologist for a violent and criminal culture that most black leaders--less detached from the actual community of black Americans than himself--have begun to identify and reject as a threat to their children. The centerpiece of Baker's address, which typically had nothing to do with literary scholarship and everything to do with striking the right political pose, was a diatribe against 300 members of fraternity houses situated on "Locust Walk," a campus thoroughfare at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Professor Baker, "These exclusive inhabitants have made life miserable, violent, and dangerous for women and minorities for decades. To walk through campus...is to journey through the heart of fraternal darkness, where 300 uncivil and privileged white occupants hold a community of 22,000 hostage." Not content with this laughable charge, Baker extended his indictment of the white males of Locust Walk to include the alleged criminal oppression committed by white males generally against West Philadelphia, the United States and even the world: "The Locust Walk fraternities...have not only been an enduring source of violence and insult against black, women, hispanic, gay and lesbian students in West Philadelphia. They have also been a metonymic [he means synecdochal] inscription at the center of everyday campus life, of American-- indeed global--maps of white male power and privilege...Locust Walk...[is] a devastating emblem of general cartographies of white, male-centered legitimacy and control." Here, then, was a rococo performance of the professorial mission as understood by today's academic commissars: the demonization of American culture and of the white male minority as a prelude to the work of revolutionary deconstruction. The real crime of these tenured literati is the betrayal of culture and common sense. More than that it is the failure to fulfill their obligation as teachers, which is to transmit the hard won lessons of previous generations. In our time this means the importance of those values and beliefs that have gone into the making of the only successful multicultural society in human history, the understanding and respect for those institutions, laws and traditions that have made American democracy possible. The intellectual level of the American university is at its lowest ebb in its three hundred year history, less academically free than when colleges were run by religious puritans. Its mission was once the disinterested pursuit of knowledge and the education of moral character. Today it has been redefined by a generation of radicals so that its tasks have become political indoctrination and cultural deconstruction. The American university is now part of the problem rather than the solution--and we have organizations like the MLA and its current leadership to thank for that.

PAGE 14

JANUARY 1994

African Reappraisals

Reviews by L.H. Gann

Native Strangers: A Black Africa Betrayed. American's Journey into the By George B.N. Ayittey, St. Martin's Press, 1992, Heart of Africa. 4l2 pp.,$l9

By Eddy L. Harris, Vintage Departures, 1992 ed., 315 pp., $12

language as kinderduits, a distorted form of Dutch fit only for ignoramuses. British South Africans used to despise the Boers as country bumpkins, lower class and, even worse, out of communion with the regnant Church of England. But for whatever reason, Harris feels that ironically enough, "[the Afrikaner] is the example Black Americans should follow. Africa is not our home. Should the volcano erupt, we will have no place but the United States...I could no more return to Africa than I could live on the moon, and if someone put a gun to my head and said I must, the only places possible would be Zimbabwe and South Africa." Such sentiments will no doubt shock those Men pensants who have accepted the cultural conventions which govern most academic courses in Afro-American Studies, Chicano studies, ethnic studies, and multicultural studies. But Harris's conviction does mirror the assumption of ordinary black Americans. They would not dream of learning Kiswahili, Seshona, or Sindebele to find their identity; they would no more wish to emigrate to an African country than fly to the moon. The ethnic revival, the search for roots--with its taste for dashikis, zithers, Oktoberfests, pibroch, tartans, and chili--centers on easy options: cookery, music and dancing, all interlaced with the recital of grievances. But the search for roots usually avoids intellectually challenging tasks, such as the acquisition of new linguistic skills. The ethnic revival mostly stops where the irregular verbs start--a fact obvious to all who have ever taught a foreign language to American youngsters.

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It is a marvelous journalist's account by a black writer, with sketches of politicians, beggars, bureaucrats, Bible thumpers, students, soldiers and jail birds. The reader meets them all. He shares the author's elation at splendid sights, his major and minor annoyances. He is taken into the writer's confidence regarding not only African politics, ethnic strife, corruption, and inefficiency in the post-colonial African states, but also African pride, courage, toughness and dignity. Harris's Africa has nothing in common with the dreamland invoked by television or, in a different sense, by multicultural courses in academe. The land he describes is a continent marked by almost limitless diversity--Arabs, Berbers, Wolof, Fulani, Afrikaners. As the writer explains, Cameroon alone has fifty ethnic groupings, Zaire more than two hundred. There many different Africas. Every generalization is at the same time both true and false. Africa is riddled by . ethnic hostility. Black people--for example Tukololor, Fulani, Wolof--were savagely persecuted in Mauritania; black Senegalese thereafter went on a ferocious rampage of retaliation against light-skinned Mauritanians. Such savagery of course goes unmentioned among the politically correct "experts" who prefer to concentrate their fire on white racism instead. The author's impartiality, by contrast, is refreshing. As Harris puts it bluntly, "What black men do to other black men is no better than what white men do, and no better because it is done by blacks." In addition to having produced a travelogue, however, Harris has also written a Bildungsroman. Harris set out with a romantic longing for his ancestral homeland; "Africa was suddenly like a magnet drawing me close, important in ways that I cannot explain, rising in my subconscious and inviting me." To the author, Africa loomed in the distance as a motherland, a source of black consciousness, an explanation for the way black people walk, talk, rejoice and grieve. The real Africa turned out differently, and Harris

ative Stranger is a remarkable worktwo separate books intertwined. The first is a travelogue which takes the reader on a journey from Paris (Africa's "backdoor") first to Muslim Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania), then to "black" Africa (West and Central), ending in what used to be "white settler" Africa (Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa).

came to know that he was the product not of the motherland but of the Western culture that nurtured him: "My skin is black. My culture is not." Harris came to dislike Africa north of the Limpopo River--the endless patience of the common people, their endless waiting, and the cruel way in which the mighty treat the weak. By contrast, he describes with astonishment his arrival at the border of Zimbabwe, a country profoundly shaped by British settlers, the former overlords. Suddenly the roads are paved; motorists obey the rules of traffic; there is food to eat; credit is available. The immigration inspector, neatly dressed in a crisp British summer uniform, expected no bribe, spoke with genuine authority, and knew his business. What a change from Africa beyond the Limpopo! As the author correctly points out, Zimbabwe is a bicultural country. Having fought a bloody guerrilla war, blacks and whites arrived at an accommodation. Whites kept their farms; blacks took over the government. Countless problems remain--but at least there the water is drinkable and the telephones work, and these are not negligible achievements. Even more surprising was the author's reception in South Africa. (He arrived at a time when the Group Areas Act, the cornerstone of segregation, was still on the books, but no longer being effectively enforced.) Contrary to expectations, he was courteously received by whites. He found Soweto indeed a ghetto, but not the horror he had imagined. ("I've seen worse neighborhoods in Chicago," Harris notes.) As he writes: "There is poverty, but there are also Africans with expensive houses and cars--the U.S. television stereotypes do not apply--a fact skillfully used in the past by South African propagandists in influencing tourists from overseas." More surprising still are the author's sentiments toward the Afrikaners. Of all the people met in Africa, he felt nearest to the Boers. British South Africans still have an emotional and even political attachment to Britain. If catastrophe were ever to strike South Africa, they could always gain a British passport and return to Britain. Not so the Afrikaners. South Africa is their only home, just as the U.S. is the only home for American blacks. Neither Afrikaners nor black Americans have anywhere else to go. The Afrikaners, one might add, resemble black Americans in certain other ways. They both are permanent minorities in their respective countries. Both have suffered in the past from their neighbors' disdain--though for very different reasons. (Hollanders were wont to look on the Afrikaans

eorge Ayittey's approach is different from Harris's, but his conclusions are similar. Ayittey, a Ghanian, is a professional economist, a professor at the American University, and a former consultant to the World Bank and AID. His is a scholarly book, not a journalist's account. Yet Ayittey's work is likewise a devastating critique of post-colonial Africa, now widely reduced to economic disintegration, political chaos, civil wars, infrastructural and political decay. Foreigners must share in the blame. Foreign aid all too often promoted corruption on a massive scale. Foreign diplomatists all too frequently attempted to mobilize Africans for causes not of African concern. Foreign advisers helped to promote African socialism in various forms; foreign media magnates all too often tried to exculpate the ills of one-party rule. Yet, as he writes, "African socialism has been a dismal failure, one-party rule has been a disaster, and international blindness to the nearly universal corruption of the continent's leaders has made matters immeasurably worse." All this needs to be said. Mention should also be made of the reluctance of so many pieds rouges (leftist advisers and academic experts for these countries) to take responsibility for, or even to remember, the bad counsel they gave to the newly independent African states regarding the alleged need for central planning, state intervention in industry and other once-fashionable nostrums. On the final day of British rule in Kenya, the Duke of Edinburgh and Jomo Kenyatta were seated side by side during the official ceremony when the Union Jack was solemnly lowered for the last time. "Sure you won't change your mind?" whispered the Duke into the President's ear. Had Eddy Harris been in Kenyatta's shoes, Harris might have hemmed and hawed. Ayittey would not. For to Ayittey the story of Western colonialism in Africa is a story of oppression. Admittedly, there were differences between the oppressors. British "indirect rule" was preferable to centralized rule by the French; Belgian governance was even worse. Overall, colonial overlordship was indeed marked by "atrocities, plunder, and neglect." Colonialism's principal merit was to leave Africa's indigenous institutions largely intact. Africa's post-colonial leaders unfortunately failed to build on the traditional economic sectors and on the traditional authority of chiefs and kings lost under colonialism, and to rebuild the native political institutions which the colonialists had tried to destroy. My own views, developed in cooperation with my friend and collaborator Peter Duignan, are different. Let me therefore summarize them. Our views concerning the historical role of modern colonialism in Africa in some ways accord with Karl Marx's views on British rule in India. Marx argued that for a specific period in history, capitalism had played a progressive role in the subcontinent. The British had created ports and railways, introduced a modern press, built a modern army, initiated

HETERODOXY

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regular communications with Europe through steam vessels, promoted trade and modern education, and unified the region politically. According to Marx, the British had set off the greatest, in truth the only, social revolution ever heard of in India. Marx, like Kipling, had praise for British railway builders, army sergeants, mining engineers, printing press supervisors, physicians--these were the true agents of progress on the subcontinent. We ourselves take a similar line with regard to the colonialist in modern Africa. It was at their behest and direction that roads, railways, ports (and later airfields) were constructed. The colonists were African city builders par excellence. They set up factories and developed cash cropping and farms. Unlike the olden-day conquerors, Tutsi, Ndebele, Zulu, the Europeans introduced entirely new methods of production, distribution, and governance. The Europeans were the state builders of modern Africa. (Most modern states in Africa were originally colonial creations.) It was also Europeans who pioneered in Africa archaeological services, created modern archives, reduced to writing numerous indigenous languages. For all its harshness and brutality, colonialism was an instrument of cultural transfusion. Did imperial conquest not also involve exploitation and cultural hegemonialism? Of course. There was exploitation, and we tried to define its nature and extent. But exploitation was only part of the story; the late-nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism in Africa (above all

British, to a lesser extent French colonialism) had inbuilt brakes of a kind not familiar to earlier African empires and to African post-colonial rulers who did not have to cope to the same extent with investigative journalists, opposition in the metropolitan parliaments, legal challenges and missionary criticism, and who have thus been able to compile their bloodthirsty record virtually without challenge. Should we now continue to blame yesterday's rulers? Should we now preach to the dead or the dotards? I think not. For all the ills of colonialism, the material well-being and real wealth of Africa greatly increased from the end of the last century through the second world war, and so did the social choices available to individual Africans. How can I be so sure? Afrocentric or otherwise, modern Africans themselves wish to be university professors-- not traditional bards, spirit mediums, or healers. In a similar vein, post-colonial African politicians run modern states; they do not reconstitute pre-colonial kingdoms. To the best of colonial administrators, their work represented a social service. Kipling, in his later much-derided poem "The White Man's Burden," did not call on colonialists to fill their own pockets, but to "fill full the mouth of famine and bid the sickness cease." His was in effect a Peace Corps Program. Such views as these were mostly unacceptable in academia during the 1960s and 1970s, the era of decolonialization. Public opinion, however, may slowly be shifting. The optimism which once characterized Afri-

can studies has vanished. Foreign aid has become unpopular. Many an aged person in Uganda or the Southern Sudan can remember only the more advantageous side of the British colonial past amid present-day misery. At a time when international peacekeeping missions have become to acceptable to war-ridden countries such as Somalia and Bosnia, the olden-time colonialist's claim to have benefited humanity by suppressing inter-tribal warfare no longer seems as ludicrous as before. Reassessments sometimes come from unexpected sources indeed. In a recent work John Kenneth Galbriath praised British rule in India in terms that might have pleased a Victorian viceroy. J.U.J Asiegbu, a Nigerian and a bitter critic of imperial rule, credits British rulers with "patriotism and probity...self-discipline and other remarkable ideals of public duty and responsibility as now remain, unfortunately, yet to be learned and emulated by the succeeding generations of indigenous African leaders." The last word on Africa's relations with the West has not been said. But the terms of debate are changing. To this reassessment, both Eddy Harris and George Ayittey have made a pleasantly heterodox contribution. L.H. GANN is a fellow at the Hoover Institute.

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Environmental Criminal Released

turned, this time in the company of three agents from the Office of Preservation of Endangered Species, Compliance Division, who, upon seeing the furniture and the birds on the patio, placed Mr. Wood under arrest for willful destruction of the habitat and maintaining a hostile environment for an endangered species, both Class E felonies. anyone could do except to wet down the smoldering ruins. The family spent the night in the car and at daybreak they began sifting through the mess to see what, if anything, could be salvaged. The Woods were discussing how best to comply with the court order when an agent of the Residential Clean Air Section of the Federal Environmental Protection Bureau pulled into the driveway. He explained somewhat apologetically that because of the fire he would have to charge them with creating a Level 8 smoke pollution condition, an infraction carrying a penalty of a ten thousand dollar fine or six months in jail. As he was leaving, an agent from the Water Board arrived who, after showing his identification, wordlessly placed a summons in Mr. Wood's hand. Since Mr. Wood's glasses had melted in the fire he had to ask Jefferson to read the paper out loud. It charged the Wood family with allowing run-off from fighting the fire to pollute the stream, an offense carrying a seven thousand dollar fine or a four months jail term. As the senior Woods sat stunned at the edge of the stream, Jefferson, who was re-reading the summons, let out a whoop. Since he had caused the fire by knocking over the coffee maker, he was responsible for all the resulting damage. He would take the blame and be sentenced as a minor, which would give him at most three months in juvenile detention. At first his parents wouldn't hear of it, but they gradually realized that this was their best course as a family. When the marshals came to arrest Mr. Wood, Jefferson stepped forward and explained his role in starting the fire. He was taken into custody and the lawyer who had handled the original complaint agreed to take his case free of charge. In pre-trial motions the prosecution argued that the senior Woods should not be allowed to fob off the charges on a minor child and threatened a possible child abuse investigation. Jefferson's lawyer countered that recent rulings in several children's rights cases permitted Jefferson to make his plea. The judge ruled that while Jefferson might have the right to sue his parents for forcing him to make coffee, he had no right to be tried for damages resulting from his having knocked over the coffee maker. Therefore, the original charges against his father must stand. From that point on, the trial was unremarkable. Mr. Wood was convicted on all counts and sentenced to ten months on the pollution charges and five years for his failure to restore the habitat of the beetles within the two week period granted by the court, although the court did direct that the sentences run concurrently. With his release scheduled for tomorrow, Mr. Wood agreed to an interview, today. Asked about his plans for the future, he said that he has been studying environmental law while in prison and intends to open a consulting firm to help homeowners like himself. His wife has already leased office space and is advertising for clients. "I'm very excited to be starting a new venture that seems to have a lot of growth potential," he told reporters. "We've got a good location and the space doesn't need much in the way of renovation--just a couple of walls have to come down. As soon as that's done I'll be ready to see my first client." --JUDITH SCHUMANN WEIZNER

ohn Wood, convicted of a series of environmental crimes that rocked Connecticut five years ago, will leave prison for a halfway house tomorrow.

Mr. Wood lost his bid to stay out of jail when he failed to comply with a court order to repair environmental damage done on property formerly owned by his wife and himself. Mr. Wood's case began its curious evolution five years ago when he sought permission to remodel his house, a two bedroom bungalow on a wooded lot with a stream running beneath the dining room window. Wood applied to the West Haven Building Department for permits to install a picture window in the dining room above the stream and to build a screened porch adjacent to the living room. The Connecticut building department approved the picture window but not the porch because while the house had been built before passage of the Wetlands Preservation Act, the law forbade new building within one hundred feet of a stream. Disappointed, Mr. Wood asked permission to open up the area beneath the dining room, creating a patio. The building department, satisfied that these changes would not ·compromise the structural integrity of the house or infringe on statutes, agreed to the modifications and Mr. Wood hired a contractor to proceed with the work. In the course of the renovations for the patio, the contractor came upon what he thought was a nest of termites and advised Mr. Wood to hire an exterminator. Mr. Wood called {Connecticut Kritter Killers but when the exterminator came he saw very quickly that the insects were not termites. They were, in fact, a species he had never seen before, and he took a few live specimens before applying pesticide. Work on the house had proceeded for almost two weeks when Dr. Herbert Holzlaus, curator of entomology at the West Haven Museum of Natural History, dropped by to examine the site from which the specimens had been removed. Dr. Holzlaus told Mr. Wood that he was sure the insects were very rare Tibetan Wood Beetles and asked if anyone in the house had visited Tibet recently. Mr. Wood explained that while none of his family or friends had been to Tibet, they had recently begun to patronize a newly-opened Chinese laundry in town whose owner was rumored to be a deserter from the army of the People's Republic of China. Satisfied that the mysterious insects were indeed Tibetan Wood Beetles, Dr. Holzlaus, in his capacity as presi,dent of the Society for the Preservation of Endangered Species International (SPECI), presented Mr. Wood with an Order of Protection for an Endangered Species that forbade work to continue until experts could determine the extent of the damage that had already been done to the site and what corrective measures would have to be undertaken to preserve the wood beetles' new American habitat. The contractor had already laid the flagstones for the floor of the patio but had not yet joined them, so Mr. Wood paid him for the work done to that point and promised to call him when the order was lifted. During the summer evenings, the Woods placed a table and chairs on the loose flagstones and began to enjoy their new, if unfinished, patio. When beetles occasionally surfaced, birds that frequented the bird feeders the Woods had placed on their property made short work of them. Several weeks after his first visit, Dr. Holzlaus re-

At the ensuing trial, the contractor testified that Mr. Wood had ordered construction halted the moment he was served with the Order of Protection. Mr. Wood's lawyer argued, therefore, that his client could not be held liable for willful destruction of habitat But the government's expert witness explained that as the Tibetan Wood Beetle lives in the soil the additional weight of the patio furniture was likely to have caused distress to the remaining beetles. Also, birds had willfully and maliciously been permitted to eat those beetles, he found, causing additional distress to the endangered insects. The jury agreed with the government and found that Wood had indeed created and perpetuated a hostile environment. Mr. Wood was convicted and sentenced to three years at the Rolling Hills Correctional Facility. Mr. Wood's lawyer appealed. He pointed out that the weight of the house as it originally stood had not seemed to cause the beetles any distress and the lessening of weight occasioned by removal of the wall might have improved rather than diminished, the atmosphere for the beetles. He also called as an expert witness a Buddhist monk who testified that a few hours in the intestine of a bird was an essential part of the Tibetan Wood Beetle's life cycle. Nonetheless, the Court found in favor of the State of Connecticut and directed Mr. Wood to restore the beetles' habitat to its original condition or face his jail sentence. His savings depleted and faced with mounting legal bills, Mr. Wood decided that the least costly way to comply with the court order would be to do the work himself. Aided by his wife and children, he began construction. By the end of the second day they had removed the flagstones, poured the new cement floor and erected the framework for the siding. The next day, as they were installing the insulation, eight year old Jefferson Wood, while carrying out his assigned task of making coffee for the family, accidentally overturned the coffee maker, starting a fire in a pile of sawdust. High winds blowing in through the window and door openings quickly spread the flames until the entire house was engulfed. The family fled. By the time the fire department arrived there was little

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