Carre that was adorned with nothingnbut the accumulated and ennobling dirtnof decades. He established an artisticncredo: Purity, Poignancy and Traditionn— and ruthlessly went about cultivatingnand preserving it. Not too consciously,nI presume, he sensed that there was ancultural treasure in having septuagenariansnplay with syncopated and improvisationalnexcellence, faithful tontheir almost dogmatic canon of musicalnheritage. The generosity of his untiringnefforts, together with his fascinationnwith their results, was what Allan hadnto offer New Orleans, and the city knewnhow to accept it. One must notice thatnit all happened in the ’60s, when Allann— fighting fiercely with his musicians’narthritis or sclerosis and for their elementarynfinancial survival—promotednthe cult of precious oldness. At exactlynthe same time, Mr. Sammler, the greatnphilosopher from Saul Bellow’s novel,nwas cruelly crucified for his age andnwisdom at Columbia University by thenfrantic cohorts of the youth cultists, whoninvaded the American civilization andnmaimed it to the extent which even now,n10 years later, is still felt. And Allannwon: a Yippie of today is a manic-farcicalnoccurrence, while Willie Humphrey,nway into his seventies, gathers piousnadmiration from today’s teenagers, whonsit cross-legged on Preservation Hall’sngrimy floor and inhale “Just a ClosernWalk with Thee.” Apparently, preciousnoldness never ages.nThere are other consequences. Thisntime, I observed a new breed of youngnstreet musicians on the Quarter’s corners.nThe last decade was cluttered withnyouth in contrived attire—from raggednmilitary gear to tuxedo-cum-jeans tonPeruvian bowlers-on-Newport-socialitesn—who spouted their drugged politicalnrock platitudes around St. Mark’s PlacenorHaight-Ashbury. Something differentncan now be seen around the PontalbanBuildings. Young men dressed like hardhatsnat a labor union convention playninstrumental music all around—bluesnand bop and cool jazz—in a joyous butnunobtrusive manner, mindful of smallncontributions, but very much concentratingnon the flawlessness of an improvisationalnsolo. On a Sunday afternoon,nat the corner of Royal and Conti, I especiallynenjoyed a young man in a Pendletonnshirt and Florsheim black dressnshoes, whose rendition of “Frankie andnJohnny” made me stop and listen. Henused a weird sort of electronic zithernwith an amplifier for accompaniment.n”What’s that.^” I asked. “An autoharp,”nhe answered sternly, as if surprised bynmy ignorance. “It’s made by the PennsylvanianDutch.” I must admit that hisnversion of the sinister old ballad soundednquite cheerful, optimistic, and rejuvenatednwith the help of that peculiarninstrument. It became quite clear to menhow much the Quarter is under the swaynof Preservation Hall, Jaffe and theirnunintentional conservatism. DnThe American ProsceniumnThe VisitnPope John Paul II came to Americanfor a visit. He was the central figure inna six-day drama and brought a message.nThe drama turned out to be a projectionnof personal warmth infused with moralnauthority in a manner unknown in thisncentury. Millions of people respondednavidly and, taking into account thenPope’s prior feats in Mexico and behindnthe Iron Curtain in Poland, he hasnclearly emerged as a world leader on anscale yet to be assessed by history.nWojtyla’s message was that purity ofnfaith and doctrine is the most reliablenweapon in the crucial fight for humanncivilization against the forces of totalitarianismnin the East and nihilism in thenWest. American liberals, progressives,nfeminists, Utopians, relativists, sloganeersnand theologian-rock-singers decidednnot to let him get away with this. Thus,nat the prayer service at the NationalnShrine of the Immaculate Conception,none Sister Theresa Kane, president ofnthe Leadership Conference of WomennReligious, sternly instructed the Popento admit women to “all the ministriesnof our church.” Sister Kane believesnthat “the top social ills of our societynare sexism and racism.” This is no smallnprogress from the Scriptures, in whichnwe can find only the dull and outmodednopinion that “Sin maketh nations miserable.”nWe can assume that the contemporaryncontempt for the salvationnnnof souls, an overwhelming concern fornsages and saints throughout Christianity’snhistory, is a social ill of minor consequencenin her scale of things. SisternTheresa, according to the ChicagonTribune, “was smartly dressed in anbrown suit and beige blouse” when shenembarked on teaching the pontiff hernlesson.nThe reporting of the episode sheds anfurther light on the press’ peculiarnmanipulation of democracy, statisticsnand opinion-forming practices. Accordingnto the same Tribune, of 5,000 nunsnpresent at the service, only 50 rose upnto show their solidarity with SisternTheresa’s entreaty. This is 1% of thenaudience. However, the Tribune allowedntwo nuns to voice their supportnfor Sister Theresa and two for the Pope.nThis looks pretty much like a draw innthe battle of canonical views, but onlynto a naive eye. To journalistic sophisticates,nit was obvious that Sister Theresa’snopinions soundly trounced those of thenPope: her supporters were permittednthe space to elaborate eloquently andnat length on the superiority of Catholicnfeminism, while those on Wojtyla’s sidenwere permitted only a limited reservationnthat was made to sound both feeblenand feeble-minded. As the ChicagonTribune obviously liked the drama betternthan the message, its reportorialnmechanism of suppressive censorshipndemanded that those opinions which didnnot fit the mold of liberal-totalitarianni39nIVovember/December 1979n