says ". . . both struggled to keep the sun
from setting in the East upon their
"Though neither acknowledged a ray
of gloom," continues the story, "defeat
in Tuesday's twin bill of primaries (in
New York and Connecticut ) could shred
their once-impeccable credentials as
serious contenders." In light of the fact
that Kennedy won handily in both states,
and Bush beat Reagan in Connecticut ,
we can assume that "clouds of hope"
have been cast over their respective campaigns.
Death doesn't sell," proclaimed
the new owners of Houston City
Magazine last month, as they
killed the cover of the March issue and replaced it with a lifeless Statue
of Liberty. The original cover was a tight,
close-up shot of funeral director Robert
Waltrip, The Emperor of Death, with a
legend to the effect that "he buried Elvis
Presley and he'll bury you."
"It was a great cover," sighed Jerry
Lazar, senior editor at the time, but since
fired. "We thought it was one of the
strongest we'd done. But then the new
Emperors of Life came marching through
the front door and that was that." Lazar
said that (president) Wick Allison called
the cover "bad editorial, bad marketing"
and flipped it aside with the immortal
words, "Death doesn't sell."
The Waltrip story, by Alan Waldman,
was good stuff, and ended with the promise of more to come in the April issue—
"Next month: Bobby Waltrip has his day
in court." Part two, scheduled for April,
was killed by Allison too. So we'll never
know if Bobby got his day in court.
With all this killing going on, it is with
several grains of salt that we read Allison's New Year's Resolutions in the April
City. The new owner commits City to
"deliver to our readers a sprightly, well-
informed, tough-minded magazine ... We
want to be fair, but we intend to be opinionated . . . The journalist's job is to get
the facts, but a magazine's job'is to reach
beyond the facts to tell its readers what
the facts mean ... We want to strive toward the best. We may not always reach
it, but we will keep trying. I can guarantee you that we will not allow ourselves
to fall into the mediocrity that dominates
the Houston press . . ." And so on.
We hope the new owners of City will
pull together a "tough-minded" magazine.
God knows Houston needs it. And, judging from the last few issues, there are
grounds for cautious optimism. But killing
a "tough" cover and replacing it with the
Statue of Liberty holding a tablet inscribed
'Business cards in 10 hours' is just plain
It is no longer even debatable that
women live under a sexual reign of
terror," state the editors of Mother
Jones, whose April issue is devoted
almost entirely to "Sex, Porn and Male
Henry Schipper, in "Filthy Lucre"
takes us on "a tour of America's most
profitable frontier." Porn is so profitable,
reports Schipper, that its gross take for
1977 was four billion dollars—as much as
for the conventional movie and music
industries combined that year. "Pornography is indeed very American," concludes Schipper.
In "The Politics of Porn," Deirdre
English maintains that an important step
in coming to terms with pornography is
separating the men from the pornogra-
phers, the fantasizers from the rapists.
She argues that women have much to lose
in an unswervingly critical attack on
Andrea Dworkin, in "The Prophet of
Perversion: a new reading of the Marquis
de Sade," claims that Sade's "ethic-the
right to use any "object" of desire at will
—resonates in every sphere. It will be no
surprise to feminists—though leftists have
always denied it—that Sade's writing and
life were of a piece, a whole cloth soaked
in the blood of women imagined and
"The End of the Ride," by Amanda
Spake, is a harrowing account of the ordeal of 15-year-old Mary Bell Vincent,
who hitched a ride with a man who repeatedly raped and abused her, then cut
off both her hands and left her for dead.
"It would be easy," says Spake, "to
dismiss Lawrence Singleton as just another psychopath ... We regard the rapists
and the rippers we read about as such extreme aberrations that we can ignore the
meaning of their acts, if not the acts themselves. Because we do not really understand the connection between sex and
violence, submission and domination,
eroticism and sadism, we say there is little
"Yet, there is a link that we understand intuitively For what Lawrence
Singleton did was to act out a profound,
almost mythic rage, an angry fear, a pecu-
larly male emotion . . . His acts were sadistic, but his rage is generic.
"This is not to say," concludes Spake,
"that all men are rapists, batterers or
maimers of women ... I do believe,
though, that all men feel a rage similar to
his. Most express it not violently, but in
jokes, in fantasies, in contemptuous remarks, in subtle ways, which ridicule and
reduce women to something less than
what they are."
Mother Jones does not presume, in
these articles, to give answers to a tremendously complex question. It does,
however, present "a basis upon which to
examine the current debate over pornography and its relationship to sex, violence
and male rage." And it does that very
David Frost started out as a funny man on British TV. Recently,
he chaired a round-table on the
future for Yorkshire Television,
a BBC area network and "introduced the
discussion with a sort of ventriloquist's
patter," reported 77?e Listener, a BBC
publication. Frost's monologue inadvertently gave some clues as to why he made
the switch from comedy.
For example: "A team of experts flew
to Iran to try and find out what makes
the Ayatollah Khomeini tick—and, in particular, what makes him go cuckoo every
The panelists were finally allowed to
participate. They included Professor
Milton Friedman, who was optimistic
about British government policy, British
trade union leader Jack Jones, who was
not, and Germaine Greer, who addressed
the role of women in the labor force. "I
hope most people will digest the fact,"
said Greer, "that families need two pay
packets to live on and that women do not
work for fun and they are not reserve
labor any more . ..
"As long as they exist as a reserve labor
force," she continued, "they undermine
the bargaining power of the other, stronger workers. I would hope for a drive to
recruit women to the trade unions and to
have them properly represented."
Frost then asked about increased leisure
for women. "Women don't have any leisure," responded Greer. "Women leave
the factory at a run, because they have to
do the shopping and collect the kids.
Leisure is an unrealistic concept for most
Jack Jones concurred. "I think that
Germaine Greer has talked a lot of common sense on the industrial front." Now
that Greer lives in Oklahoma, Jones
hoped she could help the trade union
movement organize in the United States.
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