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VOLUME 88, No 11 A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that fve agree with them, because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Publisher: Geoff Rips Managing Publisher: Rebecca Melangon Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Michael King Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Circulation Manager: Amanda Toering Editorial Intern: Katy Adams Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Brett Campbell, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Lars Eighner, James Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, James Harrington, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Paul Jennings, Steven Kellman, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Brad Tyer, James McCarty Yeager. Contributing Photographers: Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Arlington, Mass.; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Development Consultant: Frances Barton Business Manager: Cliff Olofson, I 931 -1995 SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $32, two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zech Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981,The Texas Observer Index. copyrighted, 0 1996, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] World Wide Web DownHome page: http://www.hyperweb.comibtobserver Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. ANTI-TYRADE File this under “I’m tired of Tyer.” Brad Tyer’s review of Marion Winik’s First Comes Love \(“Days of Whine and Poses,” same book. I loved First Comes Love so much I volunteered a backcover blurb, and I meant every word. I’ve been a Winik fan since the days when she was publishing with Austinbased Slough Press. For a long time I thought of Winik as a well-kept Texas secret, someone whose work I would read aloud to my writing students and friends. When she finally made it to NPR and later landed a major publishing house contract, I was thrilled. It confirmed my belief in poetic justice in the universe. Like Winik’s previous work, I read this latest text as the clumsy route a young woman takes to invent herself as an artist. La vie boheme isn’t romantic, it’s just plain shitty, and Winik isn’t afraid to say so. Again Winik writes about a woman’s indulgence in self-destructive behavior. This memoir is wacky and memorable because Winik survives the catastrophe of her unwise choices and writes about it not self-indulgently, as Tyer claims, but bluntly, with an unflinching eye to her own foibles. Winik’s success doesn’t come from a New York agent, as Tyer suggests, but from hard work, or, as writer bell hooks so aptly put it, from “a lot of fucking hours spent alone.” That Winik survived her own passions, wrote about them accurately, and achieved success as a person and writer, sometimes draws the contempt of other not-so-happy writers. After two pages of unrelenting snideness, I can’t help but wonder if Brad Tyer isn’t one of these notso-happy beings. Sandra Cisneros San Antonio THEORY OF ALIENATION? As an off-and-on subscriber since 1960 \(my first subscription was paid for by Jimmy Strong, one of the founders of the East TeXas Democrat which merged into the I think you’ve been doing a great job lately. I do wish you would devote an entire issue to the question of affirmative action, and that you’d open it up to all corners. As a lawyer, I agree with you that Dan Morales’ position is obnoxious and contrary to his duties as a lawyer. But I think an excellent case can be made that affirmative action, at least when it comes to college admissions, entry-level white collar jobs, government contracts, etc., is the wrong approach. My kids are eligible for favorable consideration, for example, because they are one-half Hispanic. This overlooks the fact that their mother, an Ecuadoran, has a master’s degree, that their father is a lawyer, and that they grew up in a whitebread West Austin neighborhood. We’ve all read about fake corporations, with female and/or minority part owners, set up strictly to get government contracts. This alienates whites who lose out, justifiably, loses votes for Democrats, and doesn’t serve the group that really needs it, the urban poor, who never get close to getting out of high school, much less into college or grad school. A complete rethinking of education policy at the local, state and federal level, and vastly more money, is obviously a better solution in the long run, though politically not feasible at this time. But at least that’s what the debate ought to be about, in my opinion. Terry Weldon Austin FIESTA MORALES Thank you for the article about Victor Morales. After hearing him on May 11 at the swearing-in fiesta of the Bexar Democratic party, I was impressed, but wanted more information on his stand on all issues. I do appreciate Louis Dubose’s courage in braving downtown San Antonio during Fiesta, something I, a native, avoid whenever possible. Corinne Sabo San Antonio EXPOSE LUNATIQUE We need someone to expose the utter lunacy of the Religious Fanatics taking control of all levels of government in the state of Texas. Keep it up! Cherie H. Moore [email protected] WRITE DIALOGUE The Texas Observer 307 West 7th Street Austin, Texas 78701 p DIALOGUE 2 MAY 31, 1996