one leaky roof, sharing a bath and a telephone.nBut Bombay does not suffer fromnpovert}’; it suffers from besHalit}’. If younare a Russian living under Brezhnev onntwo rubles a day, as often as not you willnfind a bucket of paint to make your cornernof a hopeless universe slightly morenhabitable; if you are an Italian living innthe postwar slums of Naples on yournmother’s cooking, as often as not you willnprocure two meters of polka-dot georgettento make a blouse for Sophia Loren; but ifnyou are an Indian living in Bombay undernthe shadow of a Coea Cola hoarding,nyou will do nothing but gaze, attentivelynyet dispassionately, upon a dusty roadnmined with rabid dogs, listening to thenhonking of horns in tin cars and munchingnon a chance scrap of venomous offal.nI fear that modern India is not only thenimmemorial past of Europe, but its impendingnfuture. There was a time whennwe, too, worshiped the Yoginis, and hurricanes,nand flowers, in the distant millennianbefore our civilization becamencentered on man, on God, and on itsnown destiny, yet judging by the Sundaynnewspapers, that time is fast upon usnonce more. For to defend a fish in thenGranta from a barbed hook, and to save anfox in Hampshire from being huntednwith hounds, is not only not merciful,nkind, or Christian, it is an act of pagannsacrilege on a par with the blasphemy ofnthe greedy shopkeeper of Glasgow. Tonelevate beast to the place of man is tondenigrate man to the level of beast.nThe rivers in England, incidentally,nare already the color of overripe bananas.nUnless the taboos of our civilization arenheld sacred—and those who offer us thenlargest range of products available arenstrung up on lampposts as a matter ofncourse—the day will surely come whennthe descendants of those same membersnof Parliament who now east votes for humannrights and animal progress will sitnhalf-naked in Trafalgar Square, amidndysenteric refuse and choleraic waste,nwith the mongrel descendants of theirnneighbors’ ancestral hounds for company.nI cannot say that I am unrelievedlyntearful at the prospect.nAndrei Navrozov is Ghronicles’nEuropean correspondent.nTo Subscriben(800) 877-5459nLetter FromnWisconsinnby David B. SchocknDancing at LaRuenThe stars of the dance floor, a bantamncouple, whirl to the “EE-II-EE-II-OOnPolka,” a tune that would be obscure tonalmost anybody but the Mellotones.nTheir feet, tiny to start with, push eachnbetween the other’s with the precision ofna sewing-machine needle working a buttonnfoot. Around and around they twirl,nnot with the elephantine steps of othersnon the floor, but with an effortiess gracenrefined through long practice.nThey might be 60, but barely. Hisntight jeans reveal legs no bigger than thendriveshaft from a ’67 Buick Electra (lessnthan four inches in diameter). His scruffynbeard is mostiy white, but the red capnpulled tight over his forehead reveals neithernbaldness nor a full head of hair. Hendoes have a little potbelly pushing upnover his belt, but his is hardly the onlynone in this crowd: All the good malendancers over 30 have a littie bulge. Itndoesn’t slow tiiem much.nHis dance partner is swathed in darknleggings, maybe olive, maybe charcoal —nit’s impossible to tell in the uncertainnlight spilling off the bandstand and overnthe dance floor. She sports a rufflednblouse and a hairstyle that was long out ofnfashion before it was pinned up. Her facenis commonplace and unremarkable, atnleast to us. She is happy, content to bendancing. His face is a mask, looking likenthe early stages of Parkinson’s, but morenlikely trained not to reveal the joy that hisnfeet cannot conceal. Men in LaRuendon’t show by their expressions just hownmuch they love to dance—well, not mennwho are middle-aged or above; thenyounger ones smile wildly.nI can tell that something comes alivenin them when they’re dancing. My twonfriends and I have come to watch—takingna break from our work—and to sharenin the good time of a Saturday-nightndance. I look around at all the dancersnon the floor and the other watchers sittingnat long tables. We’ve slipped under thenradar; we’re outsiders, but we haven’t attractedntoo much attention. We couldnnnchange all that by bringing in the bignvideo camera that’s in the van and settingnup some lights. If Jay were to don hisnSony earphones while aiming the microphonenpole at somebody, it wouldn’t takenmore tiian five seconds for the party to gonaway.nWe like things here just the way theynare; we wouldn’t change anything. Inwouldn’t even want the men to smile,nbecause then they would become thenLawrence Welk Dancers.nWitii “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits,”nthe Mellotones conclude “EE-ILEE-ILnOO,” then launch into “Apple, Peaches,nPumpkin Pie”—another polka—to roundnout the set. “Apple, peaches, pumpkinnpie / who’s not ready holler I / let’s go playnhide and seek.” They change the lyricsnfor the next stanza: “I’ve looked here, I’venlooked there / I’ve looked in her underwearn/ let’s go play hide and seek.”nThis polka drives the less able from thendance floor, but the bantams still holdnhonors, even against a stylish couple whonare younger, much better dressed, andnhave moves that flow over with excess energy.nThe man is determined to kickndown his heels as hard as he can. Thenthunder against tiie oak floor reverberatesnthrough the dance hall. It’s a testosteronenchallenge.nThe dance hall itself—a large, opennroom added to a crowded bar—is fillednwith beer)’, cheer)’ voices; the dance is annevent on the social calendar of this tinynhamlet. The walls are festooned withnbig, paper Valentine’s Day hearts. Twistedncrepe streamers —red and white —nradiate from the slowly twisting mirrornball that hangs above the center of thenroom. There’s no light aimed at it tonthrow diamonds on the floor and the fournwalls, but it turns nevertheless. Thendance hall has been resurrected from disuse;nthe plain walls have been paintednoff-white, but the curtains that cover thenhigh windows are dotted swiss. The suspendednceiling gives way over the bandstandnto egg-carton separators stapled intonplace: a homegrown acoustical remedynfor overloud bands. It might work, but Indoubt if it would pass fire code.nLaRue consists of three remainingnbuildings in a sea of farmland, barren,ndotted during this long winter with brownnstubble and patches of snow. The dancenat the LaRue Bar brings out local farmersnand residents of the next small town,nNorth Freedom, some four miles distant.nLaRue, Wisconsin, is no longer even anspot on the map; there is no post office. ItsnJUNE 2001/37n