Regarding the interview with Starhawk (Issue 93):
I understand how women have to cut men off from the continual mothering they seem to never want to leave. I understand how the power of women must be multiplied so we may peacefully share the planet.
What I don’t understand is how the use of violence, the presentation of it in stories, pictures, the skullduggery and scheming against the enemy (be it idea, structure in society, personal mental habit), can possibly change us into more gentle and mature beings.
I know that the spaces we go through are helpful if shared with others in similar spaces. And, at the same time, I wonder if the principles I have been taught are not basically true. Is the mind a reflector and a snare for wandering ideas and, thus, is any presentation of images (however rationalized by our right brain) which give the mind more forms of violence fueling the violence?
It is a question of balance, of course. And I wonder if the tendency toward more violent images I seem to perceive in this last issue of THE SUN (the Lucy Syndrome and Lorenzo Milam’s work seemed particularly vivid) are part of this “structure” which Starhawk sees as inherent in our society. I know that whenever anyone gives me advice on writing a popular novel to make money, they say write about money, sex, violence, in any order. I’ve been wondering if THE SUN is maybe slipping on the bandwagon there a bit. Certainly one can fight fire with fire, as any forest firefighter knows. What one is left with is ashes, however.
Well, enough said here. THE SUN is certainly not a feminist magazine and I hope it doesn’t get to be one. And, as it says under the masthead, “What is to give light must endure burning.” At the same time, a famous writer once said of his work, “I know it’s bullshit, but isn’t it brilliant bullshit?” I’m in favor of putting bullshit on the garden, not in my mind, however brilliant it is. Not that just about anything isn’t bullshit from some point of view, of course. Hey, diddle, diddle. Keep up the good work. Doing what I can locally to raise subscribers for you.
OK! OK! I’ll renew! I didn’t need you because my life was humming right along. Now, somehow, it’s gotten dunked in hot pain and someone took a bite out of it. So I’m ready to wallow and ache again with the rest of you.
Wavy Gravy is a beautiful person, and I was glad to get the issue with him (Issue 90). So good to see how the 60’s translate into the 80’s.
As to the Editor’s Note, don’t let anyone tell you that it’s egoistic to publish your own journal. It seems good to me — full of feeling and deep meaning. I’m glad you had the courage and honesty to print it. Every issue I’ve gotten has been better than the last — and since I’ve just recently subscribed, I’ve got a lot to look forward to.
This morning Charles Osgood on his radio short spot, “Newsbreak,” talked of a young Vietnamese lady in Pensacola, Florida, who came here at age nine unable to speak a word of English. She graduates today valedictorian with a 4.3 average (4.3 because she’s taken extra courses) and a full scholarship to Baylor University. The story touched something I’ve been contemplating for some time relating to our national digestion of the Vietnam experience, an experience that in a funny, sad, and brutal way may have marked our passage as a nation from adolescence into adulthood. It was really the first time in our history that we experienced failure and defeat, and while at some levels we are still pouting about that (not allowing maps of the minefields to be released, or in any way aiding that part of the world in recovering economically from the destruction), somewhere in our national psyche that awareness is sinking in. And where we might come to recognize it openly is through such people as this young Vietnamese lady, or the thousands of others doing very well in our school systems, or the people who run the French bakery in Amarillo (if you’re not there at ten o’clock on weekends you miss the croissants, though you can get scrumptuous French loaves all week), or the Thai family here that has turned a greasy spoon into one of the most popular lunch places downtown serving both Thai food and chicken fried steak, or the Laotian couple whose wedding, embodying five thousand years of history in the ceremony, so deeply moved the local Lutheran pastor who legally sponsored it. There are problems, of course, not the least of which has been that different groups of the refugees see other groups as enemies. But when I look at the qualities that they are bringing and little by little infusing into our culture I can only feel a deep gratefulness and awe and the beginning of a sense of history that works at a different level than what comes through textbooks. As we in this country go about the process of destroying land at an unprecedented rate, here come people whose space has been limited, who have had to live on and nurture the same piece of land for centuries. As our educational systems deteriorate further, here come people for whom they are an unprecedented opportunity. As we begin to recognize the possibility that we cannot save the entire world, for whatever purpose, here come people who know the art of survival, not just of themselves but of their culture. As we become more immersed in future thinking, with all its possibilities and fears, here come people with thousands of years of history behind them. As more people in this country become disenchanted, here come thousands for whom the opportunity to be alive, to live with dignity, is a profound gift.