PRINT January 1984


AS A CHILD OF THE media, I had thought myself trained to its anesthetizing effects. But the Central American events of last July, as broadcast over TV and radio and published in the newspapers, could not numb me, or others, to acquiescence. On one hand, it was the events that pained, as the Reagan administration placed gunboats along the coasts, loaded with weapons and ready for invasion. But on the other, it was the shrill and belligerent rhetoric, which hinted at the most rigid of political reductions, speaking of the “Evil Empire,” of the “enemies of democracy,” of the protection of “our own backyard.”

Those actions—now explained, elaborated, and joined by more horrific events—failed to escape an artistic community similarly schooled to the media’s stupefactions. Already last May the organization Artists Call had begun planning for the massive protest against United States policies in

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