Church and the anti-communist massesnseem to crystallize under the totalitariannpressures. Thus, Malachi Martin’s premonition,nthough often simplisticallynformulated, that the acute danger of ancompromise between the Kremlin andnVatican is to be looked for in the West,nnot the East, makes sense. There arenmore perils in the pseudo-socio-ideologynof a Graham Greene, the antic “Christiannidealism” of the Berrigans, the supraemotionalismnof the Brazilian episcopate,nthe misguided demogoguery of a Chileanncardinal than there are in the pro-marxistnmachinations in the corridors of anynconclave. Ironically, the most reliablenCatholic bulwark against the onslaughtnupon the Christian soul today is found innthe human minds behind the IronnCurtain, not on the riverbanks of thenTiber. DnWaste of MoneynVidal’snSquirt of VenomnGore Vidal: Kalki;nRandom House; New York.nAnother product, in the form of a book,nfrom one of the most despicable banderillerosnin the arena of contemporary fiction.nIn current American letters, Vidal, whonis the product of an interconnectionnbetween liberal publishing houses andnthe fashion industry, represents somethingnwhich we can safely call a modishnnihilism. This nihilism is being marketednthrough a joint effort by Vogue and thenNew York Review of Books, an organ ofnmesmerizers who have convinced a largenpart of the American academy thatnpartisan indecency in literary criticismnis the equivalent of impartial decency.nMr. Vidal’s “philosophy” propagates ludicrousnphobias and schizoid vituperations.nIt is in the same epistemological vein asncustom-tailored farmer’s overalls fromn16 inChronicles of CulturenBloomingdale’s, and Mr. Vidal is itsnincontestable champion. He perfumes itnwith pederasty and the million dollarnhonoraria he receives for his anti-bourgeoisnwritings. Kalki, his latest novel,ncan best be understood with the help ofnshoddy, post-Freudian stereotypes: in it,nMr. Vidal seems to condemn what innfact he fervently worships, craves andnrecommends in all his literary works.nHis viscera, overloaded with caviar andnpate de foie gras, are so swollen with anpassion for revenge against the Americansnwho provided him with all the richesnhe enjoys that Kalki cannot be read as ansatire, even though Vidal suggests thatnit should be accepted as such. His reverienincludes the destruction and mutilationnof primary human bonds, which he deemsn”unrefined”; he yearns for an “I-told-youso!”nvictory over the “rottenness” ofnAmerica—for which the NYRB lovesnhim so dearly. He thus concocts a “new”nMessiah who gleefully exterminates man­nThe American ScenenPrivates & Privacy:nNotes for a Demi-Jeremiadnby Stephen K. OberbecknYou could start almost anywhere, butnlet’s begin with this new pop recordnalbum’s cover: Van Halen, a recentnWarner release. Heavy metal, with thensweaty lead-shouter rearing back fromnhis crotch-planted hand-mike, an electronic,nmetal-tipped, amp-wired phallus.nA pose similar to one in a tape cassettenad featuring Johnny Winter, I think,nclasping the mike between his thighs.nTina Turner and other rockettes pick upnMr. Oberbeck, a former Newsweek literaryncritic and free-lance writer, runs annadvertising and consulting agency.nJohann Pacbelbel (1653-1706) was anGerman composer and organist of excellence.nnnkind and finally occupies the WhitenHouse. It has to be added, at this point,nthat in his youth Mr. Vidal once plannedna political career which was supposed tontake him in due time to the same digs,nbut his first attempt to run for Congressnwas a total disaster. Ever since then, henhas channeled his amertume into annattack upon the commonality of thisncountry, which he cannot pardon fornendowing its citizens with the good lifenand socio-political fairness. His life andnwork are deeply immoral, not becausenhe idolizes sexual deviation and corruptionnof feelings—a matter between himnand his intimates—but because he obscenelynscorns and scoffs at what othernpeople cherish as normalcy—their modestnbut most prized possession. It can bentaken for granted that thousands ofnAmericans of his ilk will enjoy Kalkinand its message sufficiently to put himnon the best-seller list again. The NewnYork Review of Books will help. Dnthis implication in performance and pushnit: high-decibel fellatio.nOr notice how you can “flick your Bic”n(or “get stroked in the morning”) butnyou aren’t supposed to “squeeze thenCharmin” (Nanny’11 spank hands fornthat). Why is “come” the most used wordnin American advertising (“Come Up tonKools,” “Come to Where the Flavor Is”)?nWhy are the Virginia Slims ladiesn(“You’ve come a long way, baby”), smirkingnsatisfaction in flippy chiffon, alwaysnpointing (with a finger or a digital Slim)nto their privates and putting down “thosenfat things men smoke”?nDo models for Vogue and Cosmopolitannand Saks and Bonwit really alwaysngo through life with their hands in thenpockets of their fly-away whipmasternvinyl outfits?n