Cold war heats up
Last month, in our issue on the decade,
we zeroed in on the violent, war-torn year
of 1970. Who would have thought that in
the first weeks of 1980 we'd be discussing
the possibilities of another war.
The president wants to register all 19
and 20 year olds and has asked Congress
for authority to register women for the
first time in our history. (For local and
national reaction, see story, page 14).
On the other hand, we have some good
news to report on the home front. In
January we welcomed Rose Wright, our
student intern from Antioch College in
Yellow Springs, Ohio. We had a Breakthrough staff party and surprised her by
inviting Gloria Steinem, who was in town
talking about the recent changes in Ms.
Rose will be working at Breakthrough
until the end of March. Her internship here
is part of Antioch's Co-operative Education Program. Her first job here was to
transcribe the Judy Chicago interview
(see page 18). No small feat.
She then took on the draft registration
interviews, calling all members of the
Texas Congressional delegation and accosting Houstonians on their lunch breaks.
"Hello, we'd like to know - "
"Sorry, I 'm late for lunch." or
"No, I don't want to buy youi tape recorder."
A tough assignment for a rookie reporter, but Rose and photographer Gary
Allison Morey braved the cold shoulders
talking to people in the street about the
What struck us in all the casual war
talk in the White House was that they were
talking about our children. So, that's who
we put on the cover: Vanessa Estrada,
daughter of Cilia Teresa, and my son,
Cilia Teresa has four draft age children
and feels people are removed from the very
idea of war because we've never fought on
American soil. "I guess people feel that
they'll be sitting in front of the television
eating potato chips, drinking a beer and
watching the war like a football game."
Vanessa says she will go to Canada if
the draft is reactivated. Michael is ambivalent. His mother is not.
I have a daughter and a son and am
opposed to either of them being drafted.
In prinicpal, if men have to register then
so should women, but it is ironic that
women don't have the E.R. A. yet. How
can women be drafted "to defend a Constitution " that excludes them? — G .C.
In the February issue, we planned to write
about the collaboration of Chancellor
Alfred Neumann and Dean Calvin Cannon
in bringing The Dinner Party to Houston
(the University of Houston at Clear Lake
City, that is) next month. Instead, the
story that broke in mid-January (see
opposite page) is one about Chancellor
Neumann removing Dean Cannon as dean
and demoting him to director of special
university events, with specific responsibility for The Dinner Party.
For weeks rumors linked the dean's
dismissal with financial mishandling of the
Dinner Party project and raised concern
over the possible adverse effects on the
At the request of the school paper,
Neumann (in mid-February) issued the
first official statement on the whole matter,
reassuring his support for The Dinner Party
— still leaving vague the main reasons for
the dean's dismissal.
It now appears that The Dinner Party
is safe from politics. "Either through design or accident, they did not lower the
boom on Dean Cannon until the project
was far enough along under its own steam
atleast not to financially jeopardize The
Dinner Party project," said a grateful
member of The Dinner Party planning
committee, praising Cannon's work for
organizing support "in Houston and all
This same member said, however, that
she was distressed to see the effect the
dismissal has had on Dean Cannon, "They
have done this in a way that was maximally humiliating to him."
One who should know about such
things is Dr. Nikki Van Hightower. The
former UH assistant professor of political
science once told an AAUW gathering, "I
find the nasty world of politics far less
nasty than the academic world. I find
politics far more open and honest."
It would be less than honest to report
how difficult it was to get word out of
Clear Lake. We had better communication
during the last flood.
Protocol demanded some official word
from the chancellor and no one —the dean
nor faculty — wished to go on record until then. Once we had the chancellor's
statement, we wanted our interview with
him and were first told he did not wish to
add anything to his prepared statement.
It was clear the Clear Lake administration wanted no publicity. "We don't
publicize such matters," both the chancellor and the provost and vice chancellor
We persisted and were granted an interview. Neumann affirmed his strong support for The Dinner Party. "Let me make
this very clear, I was one of the first to
back The Dinner Party with university
funds (Neumann committed $7500 toward the project, the largest single contribution to date).
"When Dean Cannon proposed the project — I was fortunately briefed — I immediately made resources available. If attendance for the show is less than we expect, who is going to lose money? The
university. Our neck is way out, which
means my neck."
So, The Dinner Party, no stranger to
museum politics, has just survived its first
bout with university politics. "This episode, " insisted Cannon in his new role as
director of special university events,
"should not detract from the emphasis
that should be properly given to The
Dinner Party." Let's hope not. - J.B.
Rose Wright, Breakthrough's student intern from Antioch College.
^KHUUST0N| ii |
Vol. 5, no. 1
Shirley Bryson, Ailene English
Beth Adam, Missy Hauge
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff
Lynne Mutchler, Rose Wright
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff
Janice Blue, Rose Wright
Daniel Bissonnet, Janice Blue
David Crossley, Theresa DiMenno
Bill Dennis, Gary Allison Morey
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff
David Crossley, Gary Allison Morey
Gabrielle Cosgriff, Rose Wright
Nancy Lane Fleming and Rita Saylors,
Co-hosts on KPFT-FM and production staff:
Blanca Balderas, Gertrude Barnstone,
Michelle Batchelder, Leslie Conner,
Jack Drake, Stella Fleming,
Marge Glaser, Karen Saylors
Juliet Clarke, Rose Wright
Morris Edelson, Lynne Mutchler
Second-class postage paid at Houston,Texas.
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published monthly (except for the bimonthly issues of July/August and December
/January) by the Breakthrough Publishing
Company, 1708 Rosewood, Houston, TX
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Breakthrough, P. 0. Box 88072, Houston,