OBSERVANCES February 20, 1956 U.S. rejects Soviet proposal to ban nuclear weapons tests and deployment. February 21, 1965′ Malcolm X assassinated. February 23, 1868 W.E.B. DuBois born. February 23, 1981 U.S. State Department issues ‘White Paper’ on El, Salvador defending U.S. intervention. February 24, 1912 Elizabeth Gurley Flynn leads Bread and Roses textile strike of 20,000 women. February 24, 1965 District 1199 of the Health Care Workers Union becomes the first U.S. labor union to oppose the war in Vietnam. February 27, 1973 Wounded Knee, South Dakota, occupied by Oglaga Sioux. March 1, 1954 Bikini Island Hbomb test irradiates 7,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. March 6, 1857 Supreme Court hands down infamous Dred Scott.decision on slavery. war’s historical context is reduced to the “bad feeling” some of the men experience after torching a village. There is absolutely no sense that the Asian war had a political history -or that the individual corrupt actions of an army might have roots in a corrupt foreign policy, in service to a-bankrupt colonialism. “Someone once said,” Charlie writes to his grandmother, “that hell is a place without logic,” and that seems to sum up screenwriter Stone’s notions of the war: some American soldiers fell from Mars into a foreign and nasty landscape, and they had to fight their way out, barehanded. Platoon is an honorable effort to retell a partly personal story, and it’s only fair to say that Stone’s limitations are shared by most American commentators. liberal and conservative alike. Certainly heaping further praise or blame upon American veterans is pointless by and large, they were neither heroes nor villains, but victims themselves, of lying politicians, barbarous rulers, a dismal tradition of American hegemony. In telling well their story, Stone has told, however, less than half that of the War that still bedevils the conscience of his generation. The truly “untold’ ,’ story, at least in America, is that of Vietnam and the Vietnamese. For even the honorable among Stone’s soldiers, there is only “The Nam” \(a euphemism for dinks, gooks,” etc. After so many years, they remain invisible to Americans, and in Platoon, as in all American films, they remain by day interchangeable victims, by night the silent, faceless onrushing hordes. Perhaps if they are ever granted the reparations that they won, heroically, on the battlefield, they can rebuild their shattered economy, their bombed-out villages, even nominate some likely young screenwriter to begin telling their story of that terrible time. Outside the Great Wall of the Empire, there are voices clamoring to be heard. SOCIAL CAUSE CALENDAR HELPING NONPROFITS PROFIT The Grantsmanship center will host a workshop aimed at helping nonprofit agencies develop successful business ventures in order to supplement their existing programs and services, February 23-25. Radisson Plaza Hotel, Austin. “Business Ventures for Nonprofits” will focus on how nonprofits can select the right business venture, how to find capital for it. and how to develop realistic income expectations and move toward self-sufficiency. tax implications, how to do feasibility studies, and appropriate organizational structures. The Grantsmanship Center is based in Los Angeles and is the nation’s largest fundraising training organization. The workshop is co-sponsored by Laguna Gloria Art Museum. For more information call 1-800 421-9512 . EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION The Austin Women’s Center will offer Assertiveness Skills Classes on Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. beginning on February 26. Classes will be held at the Center. 1700 South Lamar, Suite 318. For more information call .Maydelle Fason at ART FOR WOMEN’S DAY Encountro Femenil, an art exhibit to recognize International Women’s Day work and contributions to current society, will open Friday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.. at the Galeria Mexico, 300 San Antonio, San Antonio. The exhibit, sponsored by MexicArte, is free and will continue through March tion. LAS MUJERES Las Mujeres of Laredo will sponsor a conference “Primavera V Women on the Border: An International Perspective.-” March 6-8. The activities will include a presentation of “Women of Their Word” by The Drama Lab . from Houston, a “Brindis a la Mujer” on Saturday night after the conference. and a literary “Tardeada” in Nuevo Laredo on Sunday. There will also be art and book exhibits. For more informaFESTIVAL MARC CHAGALL A major festival and symposium in celebration of the 100th birthday of artist the University of Texas at AuStin, March 6-8. The festival will open at 1 p.m. on Friday with a special exhibit of Chagall’s illustrated works at the Huntington Art Gallery; the exhibit continues through March 15. On Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Jessen Auditorium there will be a double concert of classical Jewish music by composers who were contemporaries of Chagall in St. Petersburg performed by the Southwest Chamber Orchestra and a dramatic poetic recital by Dina Halpern. On Sunday, March 8, an international art symposium on “The Role and Contributions of Marc Chagall in the Avant-Garde” will take place at the Art Building Auditorium from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The festival is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Gale Chair of Jewish Studies in conjunction with the College of Fine Arts. All events are free and open to 5531 for more information. RAUSCHENBERG IN CORPUS The Art Museum of South Texas will. sponsor “Robert Rauschenberg. Work from Four Series: A Sesquicentennial Exhibition” from March 11 through June 7. The exhibit is organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston as part of the TEX/ART 150 series and will include 39 works completed since 1971. For more information SYMPOSIUM ON WOMEN’S ISSUES Political activist Frances “Sissy” Farenthold will speak on “Images of Women in Texas” at the annual Spring Symposium cosponsored by St. Mary’s University Women in Business and Humana Women’s HospitalSouth Texas of San Antonio. The Symposium will be held, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at La Mansion del Norte in San Antonio; admission is $5. The event will focus on issues that affect Texas women professionally and culturally. Proceeds will go to the Women in Business Foundation which funds advanced study in finance, marketing, accounting. and management. For more information call Kathleen CENTRAL AMERICAN SUMMER The Central America Peace Initiative will sponsor a 14-day trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua this summer from June 27-July 9. The trip’s cost will he $950 which will include round trip air fare from Houston, food and lodging, airport taxes and informa5318 for more. information. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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