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Fire and light By Deck Yoes Jr. San Antonio Honor to be asked to prophesy. Practical problem with it, however. America currently experiencing severe prophet shortage. Its only excess prophets are false ones. Wished for Jim’s hairball. Equivocal but authentic. Did the next best thing. Consulted I Ching. I Ching domesticated in Texas since 1968year in which it told Larry Lee, Don Gardner, Sam Hudson, and me that a Pacifica radio station would indeed survive in Houston. Therefore.. . Three Wise Pennies Equal 2 6 Fire and light a double brightness. Weakness dwelling with strength above and below. Give reverent attention to the confused steps of the ruler. Your strength interferes with the lowly contentment you should cherish. Parsing: Clinging Brightness Adherence Things cannot be forever in a state of extraordinary progresssooner or later they fall into peril. When one falls into peril, he is sure to attach himself to some person or thing. Fin de Siecle But you knew already that the deluge is here. This is it. We’re in it. The convulsions have begun. Confused rulers busy denying there can be another Great Depression. Unaware or unwilling to admit that we now have what will be called The Great Inflation. “The press does not have power,” reminded Bill Moyers. Watergate was raging, and someone had asked him whether he didn’t think the press was abusing its power. “Government has power,” Bill said. “The press has influence.” The people also have power. But in time of peril, the people would fain cling to some person or thing they deem superior. They fear to rule themselves. The Writer Addresses the Observer As Though It Were a Person Not an enviable positionto stand between rulers and ruled, reminding each power of principles they wish to put aside in favor of mere preservation. Advice to the prudent from the I Ching: Cultivate a bovine acceptance of things as they are. Concentrate on entertainmentname the ten best fish restaurants in Dallasthat’s what people want. Keep your head down. Moo gently and give lots of milk. Vote for Connally. Well, you asked for prophecy, didn’t you? Above all else, the Chinese are a prudent people. They would not have kept for 3,000 years a book that gave rash counsel. If your misfortune is to be strong when you should be acting humble, obviously the advice doesn’t apply. The I Ching, like all soothsayers, is adept at leaving itself an out in case prophecy fails. If you insist upon treating your weak position as a post of honor, your activities will clearly generate a lot of fire. Fires are hot and burn things. You may not survive. But fires also generate light. Homage to Joseph Needham A double brightness? Everyone knows the Chinese do things upside down. The men wear gowns, the women wear pants. They read from left to right and bottom to top. They honor their elders. They even walk around upside down to us because they’re on the other side of the globe. Their cardinal direction is South, not North. Look at a river from its north bank, what do you see? The sun’s brilliance reflected from water. A double brightness. The sun. The source of light, of heat. The ultimate source of energyin more senses than one. The rivers. Challenging in flood, succoring in droughtonce one learns how to irrigate with them. Build a boat, and a river’s a highway. To an invading army, it’s a barrier, yet at the same time nourishing, mingling, moving, always changing, renewing, with the sun’s light clinging and adhering even to little drops that fall back from a horse’s nostrils as he raises his head from drinking. They call this the Sunbelt, and look to it now for one more opportunity to grow. One more frontierin a place where the wages are low, the real estate’s cheap, and the sun spends the winter. They come for Fire. They don’t know about our rivers. Let there be light. Deck Yoes, once arrested for being one of the three persons who protested atomic testing by trying to sail a boat into the testing area of the Pacific, had one career in public radio and now works for an industrial firm in San Antonio. t , % SI’. * Vitw1/4. ‘ ‘ to be able to do at least somewhat better by our staffers financially than we have been able to do these last 25 years. It would seem to me to be unwise to risk what we now have by starting a new Observer unless we had raised, as capital, sufficient funding for two years of pro duction, promotion, and marketing of the new thing. To make the regional Observer more, I believe we would need to receive, for stock issued, about $500,000 in new capital. To launch the Observer into the national life from the Southwest, I believe we would need, for stock is sued, about $2 million or $3 million., Either of those enterprises succeeding, we could then try to go on to a daily and, the much higher capital requirements thereof, if at the time this seemed the thing to do. To raise the capital our essentially nonprofit operation would have 58 DECEMBER 28, 1979