ber of units will continue to rise.nAs is well-known and documented,nrecord companies (will they becomenknown as tape and disc companies?)nhave an obvious financial interest innpushing the acts that will sell the greatestnnumber of units. Marginal acts arensimply too expensive to support in anmarket where even a Bruce Springsteenncan sag. The additional expenses relatednto CD’s — for example, it costsnabout $1.50 to manufacture one, asncompared with 50 cents for a vinylnrecord — means that there will alwaysnbe a need to price them higher, whichnmeans that consumers wOl have to wantnthem more in order to part with additionalncash. So the mega-acts are push­nOn ‘Back tonNature’nThose of us who live in the reality ofnfields, barnyards, and backwoods neverntire of reading how outsiders view ournworld. I say outsiders because almostneveryone who writes about rural lifenfalls into one of three categories: (a)ncountry folk who move to the city to donwhat can only be done in the city, butnhope to return after they’ve done it; (b)ncity folk who move to the countrynbecause they like what they see here,nbut bring as much of the city with themnas they can; and (c) city folk who havenno intentions of becoming country folknbut like the idea. Those of us whonstarted out in the country and never leftnare always up to our suspenders innweeds and manure and baby pigs.nThere’s not much time for writingnabout the good life, but we like to readnthe transplants.nSo I opened your “back to nature”nissue {Chronicles, February 1988) withngreat anticipation. I was disappointednto discover “Time to Reap” was aboutncampus 60’s instead of North Forties.n”Paradise” looked good, but why sondry? Prometheus, parrots, propertyned harder and harder. And because ofnthe costs associated with promotion —ncommercial sponsorship for tours andnbackground music for beer commercialsnnotwithstanding — there are fewer andnfewer acts that can be promoted.nThere is a second source for big CDnsales, which is the catalog of existingnmusic. The oldies. It is virtually impossiblento listen to a rock station anywherenin the country and not hear an Eaglesn”classic” or “prime cuts” from thenBeatles. When I replace my 18-yearoldncopy of the first Led Zeppelinnalbum, you can be sure that it will be innthe acceptable form for my tiny littlenSony disc player. No more snap, crackle,nand pop obscuring “Communica­nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnrights — dry. Dry as a drought-soakedncerebrum at the end of a campusnsummer. Mr. Tillotson sounded morenlike a desert-bound college professornthan a muddy sodbuster. Even JanenGreer’s Tarzans were tarnished.n”Real” men who distribute pictures ofnthemselves in peekaboo bathrobes andnlist among hobbies French kissing innthe backseats of cars? Pass thenaspirin — my head hurts!nThen I wandered onto James L.nSauer’s territory. The clouds gathered;nthe rains fell. I read him and wept. Fornthe children, the swans, the writers, thenurban cowboys. The page bloomed!nSoul. Earth. Tears. Guts. What peoplencome to the country for. I don’t knownwhere Mr. Sauer comes from, but hisnheart goes deep into the fertile soil ofnreal life. No beating around dry, dustynbushes. He dared to simply say whatnwas ready to be said, like coaxing thengreen shoot from dark earth. A realnman.n— Charlotte WilcoxnHarris, MNnStephen J. Bodio’s “Why Souls FlynAway” was an interesting perspectivenon conservationism, but Mr. Bodionfailed to identify the true nature of thennntion Breakdown” for me.nSo where does Montreux fit into allnthis? In nearly empty concert halls.nClassical musicians are getting a boostnfrom CD’s because their audience hasnalways cared about sound quality. Hotnrock groups of today are getting the airnplay and other support needed for famenand sales. Aging rock stars are suddenlynfinding new royalty checks as nostalgicnfans review their past. And New Agenmusicians suffer the purgatory of beingnused for transitions and filler on “AllnThings Considered.”nGary Vasilash recently attended anJames Taylor concert and wonderednwhy it was so crowded.npseudoconservationist fanatics. Althoughnhe attributes the fanatics’ positionnto a misunderstanding of biophilia,nthere is no dearth of information describingnthe fate of, for example, deernleft to fend for themselves in the deadnof winter. The “Greens” don’t misunderstandnthe facts but choose to ignorenthem.nThe “antis” have somewhat successfullynarrogated moral superioritynwhile performing the most immoralnacts. Although there may be a fewnnaive souls who, thanks to Walt Disneynand Co., personify the lower animals,nthe movement’s instigators commandnan assault on the West’s will to survive.nIn their view, the tragedy is not thendeath of a few furry creatures butnWestern man’s will to kill and bearnarms.nPerhaps the Tahitian nobility deprivednthe subservient class of meatn(“Mutiny in Paradise”) for a similarnreason: they sought to deprive thencommoners of their sense and meansnof power and, thus, their will andnability to resist oppression.n—Michael B. MangininSomerset, NJnMAY 19881 55n