Priest—sexist and paternal. The Angelsrnroll out a stove for the audience’s adoration,rnalong with some saeramcntal Ricea-rnRoni (the Saint Francisco treat). Dorisrnthe grandmother bids last and wins.rnOverwhelmed with The Spirit, she canrnbarely mount the stage and gets lost approachingrnthe host. Alas, Doris loses atrn”Squeeze Play” and the general moralernplummets, but cameras pan the crowd,rn”Applause” signs flash, and spirits soarrnonec more. No place for depression inrnThe temple!rnGeorge ascends next. He sports arnnattv white moustache, white polyesterrnclothes of the retirement sort, and long,rnroguish sideburn,s—the “Fallen Rector”rnlook. In order to gain access to thernChurch treasurv, he must acquire giantrntablets bv correctly bidding and skillful-rnIv drop them into a giant maze. But thernDevil seems to have his paws on thernhuge wafers, for they all fall with a thudrninto worthless slots. The Rector slinksrnoff, hoping for later redemption at thernBig Wheel.rnWith no contests left, the camerasrnpan the losers, forcing them to assumerncourageous smiles while their paltry consolationrnprizes come up on the screen:rnDesscrt-of-the-Month-Club memberships,rnmultivitamins, and Fi-Bars withrnsemidisercdited oat bran. We have onernmore go-around at the Giant PrayerrnWheel and Doris triumphs. This meansrnthe N’latriarch must confront the VestalrnVirgin in the culminating ceremony.rnPriest Barker now presides over the finalrnand most austere ritual of the servicern—the Showcase Showdown. Thernfirst sliowcase is wondrous—Lakers seasonrntickets, a computer, and a car. Willrna bid of $12,500 get Doris into the SanctumrnSanctorum? The second showcasernfeatures the disconnected legs of a modelrnemerging from a huge black bathtub,rna bedroom set, and, finally, a houseboat.rnBy the grace of the Television Gods,rnthe more photogenic Vestal Virgin bidsrncloser to the mark and is declared thernwinner. Canned music swells and, withrnthe bount of the Church treasury asrnbackdrop, we close out the ser’ice withrnHigh Priest Barker gazing out over hisrnflock and joking contentedly with thernnubile Temple Angels.rnWe viewers must now brace ourselvesrnfor a jarring descent from the sacred tornthe mundane—the midday news. Ourrnonly solace lies in knowing that approximatelyrnseven hours later we will be ablernto reconsecrate ourselves bv observingrnhelpless and wheelchair-bound, overboardrninto the blue waters of thernMediterranean Sea. Enough, I said; 1rnno longer cared a whit what nightmaresrnof oppression had been suffered by thesernterrorists from the Middle East. A cheerrnrose froirr deep within me when Reaganrnput a missile through Muammar Al-rnQaddafi’s front door. Ronald Reaganrnand I knew we were looking at the facernof evil, and we both had had enough.rnMy antimilitary, anti-Amerikan-powcrrnstance melted away. This ex-}ane Fondarnwannabe realized that American militaryrnpower could be used for good asrnwell as bad, used preciselv to limit de-rnThe L.A. Riots Remembered struetion, to remove surgically jets carthernaustere rituals involving another SacredrnWheel—this one presided over byrnthe great goddess Vanna White.rnStephen Provizer writes fromrnCambridge, Massachusetts.rnGuerrillas InrnOur Midstrnby Sarah J. McCarthyrnGrappling with the meaning of thernL.A. riots, wondering with RodneyrnKing why we can’t get along, I musernabout days long ago when I was a terroristetternfor the women’s movement. 1rncared so much about violence againstrnwomen that, with a group of my sisters, Irnparticipated in a rampage of windowsmashing,rntargeting theaters showingrnfilms such as Dressed to Kill and HernKnows You’re Alone. I know^ the thrillrnof the brick in the hand that smashesrnthe plate-glass window of the oppressor.rn”I wish we would’vc known about thisrnin high school,” shrieked one of my cohorts,rn”this is fun!” We ran through thernnight spray-painting on streets we darernnot usually walk, mini-looting by rippingrnoff magazines from pornography stores,rnand chanting “We’re together, we’re notrnalone.”rnAnd so you see, I understand the terroristrnimpulse, or at least the terroristetternone, for we would never have carriedrnout such impulses had there beenrnpeople—men or women—who had theirrnfaces or arms or jugulars cut by this rainrnof glass. The brick that crushes the humanrnskull is what separates the terroristettcrnfrom the full-blown variety. Thernrage that fuels the aggrieved rebel canrnbe understood and indulged by societvrnup to that point where the brakes arerngone, restraint is thrown to the wind,rnreason and fair play are smashed, andrnthe oppressed are transformed into monstersrnworse than the ones they arc fighting.rnToo many blacks in America haernreached that point.rnI remember the precise momentrnwhen I first noticed that oppressed peoplerntransform themselves into monsters.rnIt was when Arab terrorists aboard thernAchille Lauro threw Leon Klinghoffer,rnrying terrorists from the skies.rnThe people of this great countryrnshould not be pistol-whipped and hitrnwith a brick in the head by e’cry punkrnwith a grievance. We have been guilttrippedrnenough—we have been sufficientlyrnblamed and held responsible.rnWe have had the word racist taped overrnour mouths like electrician’s tape. Thern’oices raised against black terrorism arernnow just a trickle, people tip-toeing gingerlyrnon dangerous ground. The voicesrnwill rise to a crescendo as the terroristsrnbecome more and more outrageous, asrnthe threats about wake-up calls and longrnhot summers become more disgusting,rnas the excuses and remorse of the “wernare all responsible” apologists begin tornsound more and more implausible.rnMany more will realize there is no appeasingrnthe unappeasable, the permanentlvrnaggrieved.rnA powerful metaphor for black guilttrippingrncan be found in Meridian byrnblack poet and author Alice Walker.rnWritten before The Color Purple, Walker’srnbook tells the story of a white woman,rnLynne, who has gone South in thern60’s to work for civil rights, where shernmarries a black man, Truman. Lynnernand 1 ruman have a black friend. TommyrnOdds, who had his lower arm shot offrnin a demonstration. Because he vas angryrnand people owed him and becausernLvnne was white, he wanted to makernlove to her. But Lynne was married tornTruman and considered Tommy Oddsrnonly a friend. Walker writes:rnFor of course it was Tommv Oddsrnwho raped her. As he said, itrnwasn’t really rape. She had notrnscreamed once, or even struggledrnvery much. To her, it was worsernthan rape because she felt thatrnMARCH 1993/47rnrnrn