Staid and rundown Havana, which once eschewed advertising and blatant bids for customers, has opened its first experiment in fast food since the economic "Special Period" began in 1989....
"There is nothing fast about this," grumbled a student named Graciela, who had been waiting 20 minutes in a slow-moving line to buy a 25-cent bag of popcorn. Asked why she did not leave, she looked surprised. "Where else is there to go?" she said.
An Inclusive Litany
Six months ago, my 13-year-old daughter announced that she wanted to get a belly-button pierce.... I said: "This is a big step. Why not wait until your birthday. If you still want it then, we'll make it a birthday gift." Her birthday was six months away. She agreed.
On her birthday, Lauren didn't mention the pierce, and in the manner of parents throughout history who fantasize a different reality for their kids than actually exists, I entertained the notion that she might have forgotten about it or changed her mind. This notion was dispelled the very next day.
"Dad, O.K., here's the thing. I made an appointment at Gauntlet in San Francisco tomorrow at 4. I have to bring a picture ID. You have to bring a picture ID, too, and it has to show that we have the same last name.
Gauntlet? I had visions of knights wielding oversize lances.
The next day I drove Lauren, her sister, Bonnie, and a friend, Felicia (along for moral support), to the Castro district in San Francisco, home of Gauntlet. I sent the girls in ahead of me while I parked the car. By the time I arrived, Lauren had taken care of everything except producing me and my ID. A self-possessed and professional young woman introduced herself: "My name is Denise and I'll be doing your piercing today."
Along with her confident demeanor and apparent intelligence, Denise had a nose pierce. She may also have had a belly-button pierce, but who knew? She had a calming effect on me. If someone this together could be a piercer, how bad could it be?...
Denise took charge, talking soothingly to Lauren as she daubed her with antiseptic, marked the spot, clamped it with the forceps and, in a flash, pierced the skin next to the belly button and popped a ring in. She was so smooth and it went so quickly that I momentarily forgot my nervousness.
After a few minutes we marched into another alcove to see a video on pierce care.
This is a scene my parents could never have envisioned: dad and daughter watching a half-naked man demonstrate the proper care of a nipple pierce. Yet, there I was gobbling down pierce-care hints, as if this were the most normal thing in the world. Then it hit me: this was normal. Not 1950's normal, but maybe 1990's normal. The circumstances and changed but not the child-parent dynamic. Though I hadn't realized it, I was there to bless Lauren as she grew away from me, to respect and trust her as she forged her own identity. It left me wondering just who had been pierced.
A warm, brilliant young white male student of mine came in just before he was to graduate and said that my course in race, law and culture, which he had just finished, had been the most valuable and the most disturbing he had ever taken. I asked how it had been disturbing.
"Who are your heroes and how are they racists?" I asked.
"My mom and dad," he said. "After thinking about what I was learning, I understood that they had spent all my life making me into the same kind of racists they were."
Affirmative action had brought me together with him when he was 22. Affirmative action puts people together in ways that make that kind of revelation possible. Nobody is a loser when that happens. The country gains.
If Congress rejects President Clinton's call to guarantee $40 billion in loans to Mexico ... the damage to the United States' prestige as a world economic leader would be severe, analysts said....
"The prestige of the president, the Fed chairman and the leadership of both houses in Congress has been committed," said Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. If Congress were to kill the aid package, "the feeling in the rest of the world would be that we are a nation in disarray, a country incapable of addressing a crisis."
Abecedarian n ["one that is learning the alphabet.... archaic: one that teaches the alphabet and the rudiments of learning"—Webster's] : a Be-Spelling woman who combines and recombines the Elements of words in New ways, Hearing New Words into be-ing
Spooking: Re-membering Witches' powers to cast Glamours; Re-calling our powers to detect and exorcise patriarchal patterns that spook women; Dis-possessing women's Selves of the demons of the Predatory State....
Time/Spaceship n : vehicle of memory, Divination, and Archaic/Astral Travel; vessel steered governed by the Witch within all Weirdsome women
Parthenogenesis (Anne Dellenbaugh) n [derived fr. Gk parthenos virgin + Gk genesis birth—American Heritage] 1: process of a woman creating her Self 2: process by which a Virgin brings forth Daughters by herSelf without the interference or input of any male 3: process by which a Spinster creates unfathered works: SPINNING. See Virgin
Toadal Time: the Time of the Toad; Toadally experienced Time; Time of Toadal encounters: eventide; Hopping Time, outside the totaled time of clockocracy
Volcanoes, Women as: all women under patriarchy, understood as containing deep Memories and Passions which always have the potential to rise explosively to the surface, making possible Self-Realization and Macromutational leaps of consciousness. Canny Comment:
- So what we have in effect, each of us, is miles and miles of underground corridors full of filing cabinets in which we busily file away mountains of data every day.
- Somewhere in these endless subterranean storage cabinets, women have a unique file entitled "What it means to be female in a male world." ...
- The miraculous part of an epiphany is that when the file bursts, and all the file data flood into the conscious mind, they are perfectly organized; they present one with conclusions. I knew instantly what the women's movement was all about; I knew it in my very bones.
- —Sonia Johnson
Prime Matter: Original Matter that is alive and that is also Spirit of the finest corporeality. Examples: rocks, trees, stars, butterflies, the readers of this book
Spell-Muttering: the mad mumbling/grumbling of Furious Crackpot Crones. Example: the mutterings of "Trudy," character created by Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner for Tomlin's one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985)
Quack-pot Crone [akin to Crackpot Crone] : a wise old She-Duck; a Laughing Duck
Lunatic n [(derived fr. L luna moon): "...one who is wildly eccentric: one crazy actions or extravagances: CRACKPOT"—Webster's] : This definition has been awarded Websters' Intergalactic Seal of Approval. See Crackpot Crone; Maenad; Weird
[Ed.: In 1999, after excluding male students from her Boston College classroom for 25 years, Ms. Daly was pressured under federal anti-discrimination law to admit men, leading her to take a leave of absence instead.]
Five independent studies, including two published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that there was no evidence a "Gulf War Syndrome" exists. Persian Gulf veterans' rate of death and hospitalization from disease was roughly the same as that of other soldiers, and considerably less than that of the civilian population. The Gulf War soldiers did have a slightly higher death rate overall, but this was due almost entirely to car wrecks. According to the Institute of Medicine, the only adverse physical consequences linked with Gulf War service not directly related to combat were about 30 documented incidents of leishmaniasis, a parasitical disease caused by sand fly bites.
Within days of the release of the final report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, which also found no scientific basis for a "Gulf War Syndrome," President Clinton announced a doubling of the budget to investigate the phenomena. The President also later appointed another panel consisting of five members and chaired by former Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH), who announced that he intended to meet with veterans' groups but signaled no corresponding intention to meet with doctors and scientists.
Proponents of the Gulf War Syndrome theory point to a number of possible causes for the malady, including nerve gas, anthrax, pills, vaccinations, depleted uranium in shells and tank armor, burning oil, burning kerosene from lamps, fresh lead paint applied to vehicles, a bacterium that is normally harmless, insecticides, and Scud missile fuel.
Most critics and fans agree that Piss Christ is Serrano's most significant photograph. At one point, as Senator Helms was slashing artists like a serial killer, this work became an emblem of free expression; it was alive with conviction and the belief that art is integral to civilization. Now, hanging in the New Museum, the fire is gone. It's still impossible to separate the work from the controversy, but Piss Christ looks quieter than ever, as worthy of contemplation as a church window.
[Ed.: Not so. When later displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, assailants attacked and destroyed the photograph, injuring two museum guards.]
Police were told that Forrett had taken guns and ammunition. They located his car, but it contained no weapons. When they caught up with Forrett, he was trying to escape over a wall; police shot him twice, once in the back. An investigation cleared the four officers.
Forrett was sentenced to 32 years in prison, from where he launched a lawsuit against the Riverside Police Department, citing excessive use of force. Even Forrett's lawyer, Steve Yagman, who is well-known for taking on such cases against police, was disgusted by the case. "What my client did was morally repugnant," he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "He doesn't deserve anything."
Yagman tried to have himself removed from the case, but the judge would not allow it. He argued the case in March, 1995, and secretly hoped that the federal jury in Los Angeles would see through his arguments but, to his astonishment, it found for Forrett, awarding him $1 in compensatory damages from each of the four police officers involved. A hearing to determine punitive damages has yet to take place.
[Ed.: Forfeiture laws have taken on a curious animism.]
Another man who fell through a skylight while burglarizing a building in Redding, California, was awarded $250,000 in damages.
Student Craig Rogers said the course content made him "want to vomit," and he responded by filing a $2.5 million sexual harassment suit against the state of California, alleging that Marrow created a "hostile, offensive or otherwise adverse environment" in violation of university rules. Rogers, a devout Christian and father of two, said he did not oppose the course content itself, just the way it was presented. California's Board of Control, which oversees complaints against the state, dismissed Rogers' complaint and advised him to sue the school directly, an option he has not yet decided whether to pursue.
When asked why he didn't walk out on the offending lecture, Rogers explained that he thought the material would be on a test.
As a member of your school's staff, you are always in contact with students, not only in classrooms but also in lunchrooms, stairways, and hallways. As school district employees in the 1990s, we must watch out for our safety.
When you walk through the halls, always be mentally prepared, as a hostile situation could occur at any time. Be alert to what's going on around you, and, most of all, watch your body language and tone of voice.
- Be sure of yourself. Be aware of everything around you. Carry yourself erect, be energetic, and look around. Walking slouched over and standing in a corner are indicators of being a victim.
- As you walk, slightly to the right of the center of the hallway, you spot a student you wish to speak with on the opposite side of the hall. If you cut through the crowd you may insult students by making them move for you. And, of course, some will simply refuse to make room. To avoid this situation, go a step or two past the student, turn around, walk with the traffic, and then approach the student diagonally.
- When you go down the stairs, it is important always to keep to the right. This shows that you follow school rules. If students get unruly and start to run and charge the stairs, simply stop on the landing until the crowd passes. It's not only safer, it's more dignified.
- If you have to walk through a crowded hallway, do not walk with your body square. Walk with your body at a slight angle. This is less confrontational. In this position you will be less threatening, less "in the face" of the student. It's best to walk in an irregular pattern so you do not become an easy target [for abuse], such as a slap on the head from some student in the crowd.