What's Needed Now:

A Call for Courage, Intelligence,
Art, Judgment and Guile

by Arlene Goldbard

© copyright Arlene Goldbard 1995


Writer and cultural activist Arlene Goldbard lays out her fourteen-point proposal for a progressive platform in national politics, with an invitation for YOU to respond.


The battle over cultural policy is being fought now on two fronts: the media and the Congress. ...

For the last few weeks we've been getting calls from people around the country concerned about these issues and eager to work out a cooperative strategy for addressing them. Most recognize that the New Right's attack on cultural democracy has gotten over so well not only because its authors are better funded and better connected, but also because they are better organized and able to speak with a single voice to the media and to Congress. ...

For the neighborhood arts movement [NOTE: this is what community-based arts were called in those days], opposing the New Right's attack on cultural democracy may be a survival question -- not only because the right threatens the few sources of neighborhood arts support currently in government, but because its dominance of the debate on cultural policy also threatens to effectively silence our side.

-- Don Adams and Arlene Goldbard,
NAPNOC notes, January 1981

My work through Adams & Goldbard, the consulting firm Don Adams and I started in 1978, has had an unanticipated side-benefit: 17 years of traveling around the country helping our clients (mostly cultural and social-issue organizations) solve problems and make plans has given us plenty of material for an overview, as well as a taste for relating the big picture to the small.

Increasingly since the November election, our overview of the state of what the Far Right likes to call the "Cultural Left" can be summed up in a few phrases: people are panicked and appalled by the Right's apparently speedy success in dismantling the remnants of our cultural and political commonwealth; tired of being backed into a defensive posture defending flawed programs, and keenly aware of the need for reflection and vision to galvanize our side to be more than a beleaguered opposition.

In the past six months, I have probably heard a hundred variations on the following assertion: "The Right had 15 well-financed years of meeting, thinking and talking in which to formulate the proposals and approaches it has used to seize the high ground. We need to do the same." Few of the people who've said this have remembered to mention that the Right's critical 15 years came after Barry Goldwater's defeat in the 1964 presidential election, paving the way for Ronald Reagan's victory in 1980 and the ensuing almost 15 years of right-wing dominance of political discourse that has followed. Neither have they mentioned that our side -- the Cultural Left and other advocates of social and economic justice -- has had 15 years since Reagan's election to go and do likewise. The one point of consensus is that we haven't done it.

I hope I can be forgiven the egregious faux pas of quoting myself at the head of this essay, because I do it to make a point larger than "I told you so." I like being correct just as much as the next person, but believe me, there's not much pleasure in it at the moment. I quote these excerpts from one of Don Adams' and my earlier calls for reflection and action to make the obvious point that seeing what's needed doesn't bring it into being, not in 1981 and not in 1995.

At a meeting we attended in March [1995], several activists of the Cultural Left claimed as their goal to put culture on the progressive agenda and progressive politics on the cultural agenda -- a worthy mission, failing at which consumed a decade or more of my own life. Another person recounted the story of another recent meeting of progressive activists. On the last day of that get-together, after an extended exploration of how to fight the Right, participants were asked to say what they were for, and once people had asserted their ringing call for more resources for their own organizations, an impressive and demoralizing silence fell over the meeting.

These activists made the point in a nutshell: there is no progressive agenda at the moment, and acting as if there is one -- bippety-boppity-boo -- is not going to make it so.

Whoever wants to fight lies and ignorance today,
whoever wants to speak the truth
must surmount at least five difficulties.
He must have the courage to speak the truth when it is everywhere stifled;
the intelligence to recognize it when it is everywhere hidden;
the art to make it manageable like a weapon;
the judgment to choose who will know how to make it effective; and finally
enough guile to make them understand it.

-- Bertolt Brecht, 1935

There is an ample supply of convincing explanations as to why the Cultural Left is so reactive and defensive, and so limp when it comes to "the vision thing." Most progressive cultural organizations are heavily dependent on liberal foundation and government funds for support, and those sectors have not made it a priority to invest in the development of democratic ideas and strategies, the way the big right-wing philanthropies such as Olin and Scaife have. Instead, progressive organizations have been chronically undernourished, locking people into a survival cycle where there is no future to dream about and plan for, only a perpetual and crisis-ridden present. Within this climate of scarcity, much more emphasis has been placed on adaptation than on changing the paradigm: think about all the groups scurrying through the '80s to adopt market rhetoric, to spin-doctor their work, downplaying their real political and aesthetic commitments in the mostly vain hope of attracting money from donors luxuriating in the Republicans' decade-long revival meeting at the Church of Free Enterprise.

Part of the Right's program these 15 years has been to systematically undermine popular faith in the public sector while exalting the wisdom and virtue of the private sector. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, the Right and the media have been so successful at manufacturing this piece of consent that to the person in the street, it has become a "no-brainer" that private interests can do everything better than government. Looking back, I don't find much evidence that artists have opposed this viewpoint. The tendency has been to go along with it: the Arts Endowment's pittance is defended as smart government spending because each dollar attracts umpteen private dollars to match it. Members of Congress should vote for it because it's not really public subsidy, it's more like a premium that gives the private sector extra bang for its buck.

Those are the external factors, but what about internal obstacles? The Cultural Left is antiauthoritarian to a fault. Anyone whose work and ideas gain mainstream attention is immediately accused of selling out and repudiated by the truly hip and cool, with a paradoxical result: the only people widely known or recognized as leaders are those so massively endowed with ego as to be immune to such criticism.

The Cultural Left is comfortable in opposition and securely situated on the margin: there is always a seat outside the circle of power for those whose mission is to erect a standard of political correctness that judges everything and finds everything, always, wanting. Like the people at the meeting of progressives our activist friend described, most of us know exactly what we are against: we want to stop the Right from abolishing abortion, welfare, arts funding, public television, freedom of expression, sexual rights and on and on. But holding the line isn't a platform, it's a cry of desperation.

Within the Cultural Left, campaigning for one reform or initiative is often criticized on the grounds that it does nothing to speak to another and equally worthy cause. I have heard dozens of people say that the Right knows how to compromise in the interests of coalition-building and a powerful, coherent message. There is an element of romanticizing the opposition in this assertion, but it contains some truth. However, none of these people who called for compromise on a united progressive agenda troubled to mention just what aspect of their own commitments they would be willing to downplay or even suppress in the interests of such compromise. This is play-politics, pretend-politics, baby-politics, and its result is to mire people in juvenile internecine struggle that entirely obscures the big picture, let alone the question of how to change it.

Critics may judge this essay arrogant, grandiose and preachy, and I plead guilty on all counts. I am arrogant enough to imagine that my observations might be of some use; grandiose enough to believe that I can see the big picture; and preachy enough to spell it out in writing. All I can say to others who may have withheld their own ideas from fear of facing the same charges is dare to be bold: courage, intelligence, art, judgment and guile may have to be fortified with a little grandiosity to register on the 1990s political Richter scale.

Ours is the age of substitutes:
instead of language, we have jargon;
instead of principles, slogans; and
instead of genuine ideas, Bright Ideas.

-- Eric Bentley, The New Republic, 29 December 1952

And in 1995, I might add, instead of public intellectuals, we have Newt Gingrich; and instead of public policy, we have the Contract on America. The Clinton administration floated into office on a fluffy cloud of rhetoric about Bright Ideas and policy wonks, but I ask you: does anyone actually believe that this cohort of bought-and-paid-for political hacks has the moral courage to do anything significant about the very real and dire social problems that threaten to swamp the body politic?

I have been active in arts organizing since the late '60s; before that, I was a draft counselor and antiwar organizer who designed posters for the movement and painted in her spare time. I would be able to start my own think-tank if I had collected a dollar every time I heard someone say that artists are uniquely suited to be social visionaries, that artists can see beyond the constraints of realpolitik to the true aspirations of a people, that artists are brilliant problem-solvers, that artists can craft compelling visions of the future that can galvanize social action. I'd have quite a pile of dollars if I chucked one in every time I'd made these claims myself. So where are these visions?

Instead of waiting around for the progressive movement -- what my partner Don refers to as the "What's Left" -- to create some kind of a well-oiled policy apparatus that spits out agendas we can try to negotiate our way onto -- that is, instead of waiting around for hell to freeze over, I want to challenge every activist artist and cultural thinker to just do it. And to put my money where my mouth is, I'm willing to go first.

What follows is my fourteen-point platform to unite those who believe in democracy and give our side a vision that can mobilize people. In the artistic spirit, I want to let you know that the first part of this agenda came to me in a dream: I woke up on Point Ten and reached for a pad and pen to write them all down. When I went over the points later, they seemed like a good start, because their enactment would speak to the goals I think are most important now: changing the culture of politics and the politics of culture in this country, and making a difference in the lived experience of the people who the Newtoids have consigned to the human rubbish-heap. I also think it's important to be right up front with democratic and civil libertarian values, even though the pollsters may tell us the "average American" disapproves of sexual freedom or decriminalization of drugs. A strong vision that represents a real departure from status-quo politics has far more power to mobilize than the watered-down near-Right pabulum dished out by the likes of the Democratic Leadership Council.

I also want to be quite clear that this is a platform for the public sector, grounded in the belief that it is possible to have constructive and competent public action. Markets are fine and powerful things, but they need to be checked if what we want is a civil society, not a national shopping mall. Even if big business had not proven itself so untrustworthy with respect to our commonwealth, here are just a few of the things that the private sector has never been willing or able to do: feed, house and provide medical care for the aged, impoverished and infirm, among others; protect and encourage minority expression and diversity of opinion; create full employment; educate the children of low- and moderate-income parents; safeguard the environment, and stimulate and support a culture of creativity and access where the reigning question isn't what will turn a buck.

In the following platform, I offer two points to wrest some sort of civil polity from the market fanatics; two points to restructure aspects of federal government so they reflect and advance overarching policy goals; four points to protect the citizenry from the cruel indifference of the marketplace; and six points that advance some of these aims and can also generate income to pay for them. I have borrowed freely from dozens of policy-thinkers whose work I've read over the years; I make no claims of originality.

One further note: I don't pretend to be an expert in all of the areas included; in fact, cultural policy is the only area in which I can confidently claim expertise. I'm sure that to the experts there are appalling flaws in many of my formulations, but in the kind of policy statistics debate that's needed now, I put more faith in common sense. The source of most of mine is the 1995 World Almanac and Book of Facts.

  1. Decommercialize the political arena.
  2. Electoral politics at anything but the most local level is a joke, now that elections are spending contests and advertising dictates the parameters of political discourse -- and the Right is just now having considerable success in deploying the same sham tactics at the local level in elections for school boards and city councils. The commercialization of political discourse is one of this country's greatest shames and one of the most poisonous of its influences on global politics.

    Campaign financing should be entirely public, with free airtime and franking privileges available to candidates or propositions securing a reasonable number of endorsement signatures from registered voters. PACs should be abolished and there should be extremely modest limits on how much individuals may spend to endorse or oppose a candidate or proposition. How to do this will require some clever constitutional thinking; but regardless of the particulars, the goal should be to make the playing field as nearly level as possible so that elections are a contest of ideas, track records and capability, not advertising budgets.

  3. Establish a robust and diverse public media presence to counteract the commercialization of information flow.
  4. With the exception of the U.S., every industrial nation with a developed media capability began by establishing a public media apparatus embodying public cultural values before permitting private interests to enter the field. Having allowed commercial interests to dominate our media, we are at a great disadvantage in trying to establish a diverse, multidirectional communications environment not enslaved by market vagaries, but that doesn't lessen the urgent need to do so.

    We need multichannel publicly funded television and radio broadcast facilities in every region of this country. If I were designing the system, I'd probably have a news channel, an independent-production-oriented channel and a couple of channels that mix public affairs and entertainment programming. But those particulars are less important than the need to situate the system at iron-clad arm's-length from political manipulation and to provide adequate funding to ensure that production, distribution and broadcast capabilities are fully the equal of commercial broadcasters without the need to clog the airwaves with odious tote-bag pimping.

  5. Create a national democratic cultural policy and put it to work through a cabinet-level Department of Cultural Development
  6. Such a department could subsume the Arts and Humanities Endowments, the Institute of Museum Services, the Federal Communications Commission, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and cultural programs within many other existing federal agencies (such as the Department of Education), all funded at levels adequate to address this country's massive cultural development needs. The existing federal cultural apparatus is not only inadequate in scope and underfunded; it is treated as a specialist concern of artists and arts institutions, with almost no general public constituency, even though cultural issues themselves are of broad public concern.

    To quote the description Don Adams and I created in 1989 for a publication of the Institute for Policy Studies,

    The overall aim of this new department should be to stimulate cultural vitality and diversity, always increasing access and participation, multiplying forms and styles, encouraging creativity, invention, and artistic freedom.

    Guided by such a policy of cultural democracy and a strong articulation of cultural rights (such as the right to practice one's heritage cultures), this umbrella agency can ensure that all of the federal government's expenditure and authority in the cultural arena is consistent with democratic cultural values. One key tool for this purpose would be a "cultural impact report" required for any public initiative that impinges on the cultural arena. Another would be re-entry into UNESCO and other international cultural forums in the interests of asserting a democratic presence in world cultural development (in contrast to the international role this country now plays, which former French Cultural Minister Jack Lang characterized as "the liberty ... of the fox in the henhouse, which can devour the defenseless chickens at his pleasure").

  7. Create a national environmental policy for biodiversity and sustainable resource management and put it to work through a cabinet-level Department of the Environment
  8. This departmenbt would subsume the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and current programs within many existing federal agencies (such as the Forest Service, which is now situated in the Department of Agriculture). Thanks to the successful manipulations of the "wise use" movement and its allies, public discourse on the environment has become so debased that "Will it affect our profits?" is seen as a more pressing environmental policy question than "Will it poison our children?" or "Will we have any ancient forests in 50 years?" Like cultural-development thinking, to be effective, environmental consciousness has to pervade the entire federal apparatus. The widespread enforcement of environmental impact standards would be just one vital instrument of this policy. Another would be the power to use taxation as a policy instrument -- for instance, by taxing herbicides and pesticides to discourage their use and create resources to invest in alternative forms of pest management.

  9. Replace all welfare programs with a single guaranteed annual wage program
  10. A guaranteed annual wage program works along the lines of a negative income tax. This proposal, put forward many times in the past (including by the Nixon administration), would eliminate the shaming and punitive welfare bureaucracy and have a salutary effect on the ethical climate by taking the government out of the business of forcing people into humiliating lies to prove their worthiness for disgracefully inadequate public charity. It would save a good deal of money now spent in administering a social nightmare. It would also free creative workers to make their contributions to the cultural commonwealth by underwriting the living expenses of countless artists and others who would be willing to subsist on small public incomes in exchange for the freedom to do their work (which after all, harms no one and, when compared with the work of making weapons and poisons now underwritten by the government, incurs almost no social cost). This would also help to solve the problem of unequal access to educational and career opportunities for artists and other creative workers, because it would subsidize the development of those who lack inherited wealth or other class privileges to sustain their apprenticeship.

  11. Create a massive public-service employment program along the lines of the New Deal jobs programs
  12. This would shore up failing infrastructure, create badly needed public works and employ people in essential fields that have atrophied because they lack abundant opportunity for private-sector profiteering -- teaching assistants, community organizers, community health workers and so on. There is enough work that needs doing in this country to employ every person who wishes to work; it disgraces us all to have a government that would rather spend money wasting lives in prison or on the dole than put them to meaningful and socially constructive work.

  13. Create an accelerated program of affordable housing for everyone
  14. Such a program should incorporate what we know about conservation of resources, patterns of culture and how people like to live in this country. As ought to be crystal-clear by now, our "homeless problem" is the direct product of Reagan-era policies, including a virtual moratorium on the construction of new affordable housing; policies that encourage urban gentrification, driving people out of formerly affordable areas; closing of public institutions such as mental hospitals, and the failure of income supplements to keep pace with the greed of an almost unregulated market. Even the Republicans admit that warehousing the poor in high-rise danger zones is failed public policy. There are many success stories of small, community-based housing programs; they ought to be replicated across the country with adequate public-sector funds to make them really work.

  15. Adopt a single-payer publicly financed healthcare system
  16. The arguments for this platform point received a partial airing during the Clinton administration's grand opera on healthcare policy: without copayments or deductibles, it's cheaper and easier to administer, much less likely to allow people who need treatment to "fall through the cracks," and much less vulnerable to abuse than either the present system or the other alternatives proposed, such as "managed care." Its only real political drawback in our commercialized public arena is that it would severely limit the profit potential of two of this country's most powerful lobbies -- insurers and private healthcare providers -- but that and the administration's ineptitude were enough to remove it from serious consideration. It isn't public policy if private-profit interests call the tune; if for no other reason, single-payer should be supported because it will disempower these terminal greedheads and force them to take up some other occupation than exploiting the sick.

  17. Institute a universal tax on advertising
  18. Right now the government, through direct allocations and tax deductions, spends a substantial amount of your and my tax dollars subsidizing corporations' advertising costs, most notably and egregiously the tobacco industry's. Advertising is not a very productive investment in terms of jobs or infrastructure, but it does line the pockets of corporate executives, who in many fields spend far in excess of their production costs to promote their products -- including the cultural industries, where the production costs of a film or recording are frequently outpaced by its promotion expenditures. In 1992, according to Advertising Age, combined U.S. advertising expenditures totalled over $44 billion, and the figure has risen ever since. A 10% tax would have yielded over $4 billion to invest in shoring up the cultural commonwealth.

  19. Institute a universal tax on gasoline
  20. During the last presidential campaign, several candidates suggested a gas tax, pointing out that domestic petrol prices are a fraction of their counterparts in the rest of the industrialized world, in part accounting for the pathetic state of our public transportation infrastructure and air quality. In 1993, domestic personal expenditures for gas and oil amounted to almost $104 billion. At an average cost of $1.17 per gallon, that adds up to almost 89 billion gallons of gas. Let's cut the figure to 79 billion to account for the cost of oil: a tax of 10 per gallon would have yielded $7.9 billion to invest in public transportation; a tax of 50 per gallon, which still wouldn't have brought prices close to those paid by Europeans, would have produced nearly $40 billion in new revenue. Even with adjustments to avoid unduly penalizing rural and low-income drivers, the effect of a gas tax would be profound.

  21. Decriminalize drugs
  22. The United States is becoming a maximum-security state with prison population of almost a million at the end of 1993 and a landscape of prisons that surpasses any other country on the planet. While education budgets are cut back in the ostensible pursuit of a balanced budget, prison construction and maintenance expands unabated. According to the 1993 almanac (the 1995 edition doesn't list these statistics), the percentage of offenders committed to state prisons for drug charges rose from 4.2% of the prison population in 1960 to 29.5% in 1989. In 1992, over a million people were arrested for "drug abuse violations." The drugs most often associated with criminally aggressive behavior -- alcohol, tobacco and caffeine -- are legal and in some cases, protected by subsidy or other public subvention, whereas billions of dollars are spent annually in failed attempts to eradicate and punish the users of drugs that tend to dissolve ego boundaries and reduce aggression, such as marijuana. The most pernicious and vicious drugs, such as crack cocaine, prey on the most demoralized and impoverished segments of society, demonstrating the obvious truth that it is the death of hope -- and not the power of chemicals -- that leads to self-destruction.

    Recreational drugs should be regulated for adult use, the income associated with their production and distribution should be brought within the purview of the above-ground, taxable economy, and a substantial portion of the public funds now used to punish drug-users should be redirected toward education and prevention of abuse. Corresponding savings in "criminal justice" and penal expenditures would release a substantial public cash infusion for constructive social investments.

  23. Decriminalize consensual sexual behavior by adults
  24. This would include homosexual acts and sexual commerce. Whenever the Right talks about reducing the scope of government, I have to laugh: they want to pull the state out of the places it belongs, such as promoting "the general Welfare" (to quote the Constitution), and bring it right into our homes, where what we consume and how we have sex will require Big Brother's approval.

    So long as there is no coercion involved, sexual rights ought to be safeguarded just like other forms of expression. Same-sex marriage, cohabitation without benefit of marriage, protection from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, the right to consume and distribute pornography, and the right to engage in or procure sex-for-money should all be protected by law.

    I know that many people imagine an ideal society in which all sexual relations are spiritual contracts as well as carnal ones, but the reality is that while almost everyone has sexual desires, some people cannot get laid on a bet. Two hundred thousand people were arrested in 1992 for prostitution and other sex-related offenses (excluding rape). As with the decriminalization of drugs, there would be substantial savings in law enforcement and incarceration costs if adult consensual sexual behavior were legalized. If prostitutes are offered the dignity of a legitimate profession, and sensible medical inspection is part of the job, there would be cost-savings (and life-savings) through limiting the spread of infectious disease as well.

  25. End corporate welfare.
  26. Subsidy of advertising expenditures makes up just a small proportion of our government's prodigious channelling of public funds into corporate coffers through monumental tax favors to defense contractors; tax policies that make it easy and attractive for multinationals to close plants and move overseas and to merge and acquire other companies rather than increasing productive capacity and jobs; accelerated depreciation writeoffs; huge gas and oil subsidies; tax-free bonds, public subsidy for agricultural tax shelters and an impressive array of other special-interest tax breaks for big business.

    Hitting them in the pocketbook, where it really hurts, will take courage, intelligence, art, judgment, guile and then some. It will also free up a huge amount of public revenue. In 1993, private business income amounted to $4,407,200,000,000 and corporate federal income tax generated $117,520,000,000, for an average tax rate of 2.6%; personal income amounted to $5,375,100,000,000 and individual income tax generated $509,680,000,000, for an average tax rate of 9.4%. (Corporate apologists will protest that taxes are based on profits, not gross income. But profit is a subjective term, and part of what is used to define it is the subtraction of deductible expenses that make up much of corporate welfare. So I'm sticking with grosses for comparison.) If businesses had paid taxes at the average individual rate, it would have produced over $4 trillion instead of the $117.5 billion actually paid in corporate income taxes (coincidentally, total federal debt amounted to just under $4.4 trillion in 1993.) And that doesn't include much of the income that would be achieved by ending other forms of corporate welfare.

  27. Put the military and intelligence establishments under civilian oversight, clean them up and cut them back
  28. Whether or not the United States ever needed military and intelligence apparatus as impressively tumescent as ours have become -- nearly $279 billion in public funds were spent to put about 1.7 million troops on active duty as of the end of fiscal 1993, and no one knows the true cost or size of our inept spy system -- it certainly does not need them now, nor does it need the unstinting flow of thousand-dollar toilet-seats and coffeepots that you and I purchase to create fat bonuses for incompetent and profligate defense contractors.

    A country that can't house, feed, educate and care for its own population has no business underwriting a publicly funded protection racket for dictators and despots. Peace-keeping operations should be placed under the auspices of an international force and supported with a large enough fraction of our (and others') defense budgets to be effective. Similarly, our freespending intelligence agencies have done nothing notable to justify their claims to protect national security, unless you count it as a contribution to public morale to supply a steady stream of spy-counter-spy plot lines to the tabloids and TV movie makers.

    Both establishments should be put under the oversight of a presidential council representing all sectors of public policy, charged with defining and advancing a more realistic and humane definition of national security and investing public resources to achieve it. It's hard to estimate the resource-generating potential here, but if in 1991 the U.S. had invested $100 billion in the United Nations' peacekeeping operations and retained a generous $100 billion to support a smaller domestic military apparatus, there still would have been a healthy $79 billion to invest in productive capacity and jobs in the non-defense economy.

[A]rt establishes the basic human truths which must serve
as a touchstone of our judgment.

-- John F. Kennedy, 26 October 1963

I take it as an encouraging sign that artists and arts organizers are talking more about cultural policy these days. But I'm disappointed that what so many of them seem to mean by this is funding for artists and arts organizations. Arts subsidy is just one part of cultural policy, and, in my view, it is by no means the most important. Only the first two of my fourteen platform points touch explicitly on arts subsidy. But if some of the other measures listed above were enacted, the climate for artistic practice and cultural development would be aided far more than direct grants to artists could ever achieve.

The aim of cultural policy should be to enable the development of a society in which expression, communication, creation and imagination are everyone's birthright. Decent housing, employment and healthcare are by no means incidental to this aim. I'm not JFK's biggest fan, but I think he was right when he claimed for art -- and by extension, artists -- a special ability to remind us of basic human truths. Mainstream politicians, even progressives, don't seem to realize the importance of asserting those truths in the public-policy arena. I'm hoping that socially conscious artists will take this opportunity to show what they can do in the realm of social imagination.

I look forward to reading your platforms soon. Online readers can share them on the World Wide Web through Webster's World of Cultural Democracy. Others may direct their contrbutions to the address which appears below.

Arlene Goldbard is a partner in Adams and Goldbard, cultural and organizational consultants and authors of Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture. She has recently finished "Free Lunch," a novel about relationships and right-wing politics in the '90s.

This essay was first published in HIGH PERFORMANCE magazine, Issue 69/70, Spring/Summer 1995. Be sure to visit the Web site of HP's publisher, Art in the Public Interest. Back issues of this and other editions of HP can be ordered there; selected articles are also available online.

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