Liberal CulturenLove and VenerationnVicki Witt from Lansing, Michigan,nthe August Playboy centerfold special,ndisplays there the treasures of femininitynonce considered precious by dint ofntheir exclusivity. She also has a fiance,nwho—it could be imagined—cherishesnher gifts of love, as everybody so blessednwould do. However, he does it in a peculiarnway, as a partisan to collectivism ofnemotions and shared troves.n”He gave me the push I needed,” MissnWitt announced in an interview. “Inwould have been too shy to do it on mynown. If he thinks something isn’t right,nhe tells me … I feel very honored tonbe in Playboy. It’s an experience I wishnevery girl could have.”nWhat remains to be seen is the firmnfoundation of Miss Witt’s and her fiance’snfuture conjugal life. Will they put thenPlayboy centerfold into the family albumnfor the edification of their grandchildren.”nOr, will they, in their twilight years,nsentimentally muse: “Remember, dear,nthat month of August, back in ’78, whennsix million Playboy readers dwelt uponnand discussed your (my) …”nNew York’s ArcadianNew York Magazine, the Liberal Culture’snlyrical vade mecum, fondly describesnin neo-Baedeker style a part ofnCentral Park where some New Yorkncitizens look for spiritual sublimation andnhappiness:n”… the serenity of the sun-fleckednarboreal mecca the Ramble becomesnfor thousands of gay men throughoutnthe day. The sun, the strolling, evennthe solitude, and the natural beauty ofnthe park’s most bucolic copse—morenthan the opportunity for a casual sexualnencounter in the bushes —are thenmagnets that for much of this centurynhave made the Ramble the city’s bestknownnoutdoor gathering place forngays.”n”The Tunnel is the most active groupsexnscene in that area of the park. Somennights it will be crowded wall to wallnwith men until four in the morning.”n”These men are there looking not forndanger but for a point of contact, anmoment of warmth and touching andncomfort.”n”There, around a large, gnarled oldntree—the ‘orgy tree’—there are littlenconfessional-like spaces created by thenuntrimmed flora.”nRectitude in a Political DebatenA passage from a leaflet distributednnationally by N.O.W.’s Legal Defensenand Education Fund, designed to mobilizenfinancial support for the ERA battle, andnsigned by Ms. Betty Friedan:n”It is becoming clear that the reactionarynforces who are now on thenrampage against equal rights are focusingnon women in order to create a newnright-wing movement in this country.nThey are the same forces who burnedncrosses on lawns in the South andnpainted swastikas on synagogues, whonfomented hate against Blacks and Jewsnand fought the organizations of labornand every other movement for humannrights and freedom in this country.nToday they are trying to destroy thenwomen’s movement, as a whole, bynblocking ratification of the Equal RightsnAmendment. And if they succeed, Inthink we can forget about equal opportunitynfor women in this century.”nblow exciting to know what the house­nnnwives against ERA do in whatever timenthey have left after scrubbing bathroomsnand changing diapers. Of course, theynburn crosses on lawns and paint swastikasnon synagogues.nWhat Price Maturityn”Leslie has grown up . . .” stated annauthority in a Los Angeles court. Whatnhe wanted to make clear was that the defendantnshould be forgiven and live undisturbednamong us, as the pains, anticsnand irresponsibilities of growing up arenalready in her past.nHis client was Leslie Van Houten ofnthe bestial Manson family who slewnpeople at random. In the light of whatnwe read in libcultural magazines aboutncrime and punishment, the lawyer’s argumentationnmade sense.nCalifornia ChutzpahnChutzpah is actually considered a NewnYork term borrowed from Hebrew vianYiddish. It carries a deadly precision inntwo syllables. When a scoundrel claims,nwith shameless intensity, that he is ansaint, when a crook obtrusively insistsnon his lily-white honesty, when a dimwitnobstreperously pretends to be a sage—wenwitness chutzpah at work. This exoticnword well serves the communicativenprocess in America.nWe now have a California variation ofnchutzpah. If the New York version hadnits semantic roots in the urban junglenand the non-stop fight for survival, thenCalifornia brand appears to originate innthe arrogance and egotism of the sunnynand easy life there. So, according to Time,n(itself an inveterate worshipper of chutzpah)nMs. Joan Baez declared after havingnmet Andrei Sakharov in Moscow:n”He is paying a much higher price fornhis dissenting views than I ever had tonpay for mine.”nH H H H H M M ^ S ?nChronicles of Culturen