Talking Stick Nov./Dec. 2000

EXCEPT UNDER THE MOST ADVERSE circumstances–such as homelessness,
unsafe living conditions, or lack of spouse and child care–child
raising was not meant to be a full-time activity. No culture on
earth outside of mid-century suburban America has ever deployed one
woman per child without simultaneously assigning her such major
productive activities as weaving, farming, gathering, temple
maintenance, and tent building. The reason is that full-time,
one-on-one child raising is not good for women or children.

Barbara Ehrenreich, essayist, Brain, Child (Fall

‘I SPEAK A LOT IN ANALOGIES, and I often use plant analogies and
tree analogies because I lived in a tree for two years. My roots
are in forest activism, but just like a tree with good solid roots,
I can branch out. And because everything in life is interconnected,
I believe that all the environmental social justice issues today
are connected.’

Julia Butterfly Hill, environmental
activist,blue(April/May 2000)

‘WRITERS ARE RESIGNED TO BEING onlookers; some of us actually
prefer it that way. I am reasonably comfortable in situations where
I am the only white person or the only heterosexual, but I can
become irritable and self-conscious when I’m surrounded by
adolescents–maybe because I was never black or gay, but I once was

Francis Davis, writer, Atlantic Monthly (Sept.

‘DEEP DOWN . . . I do not like religious people. I find
religious people to be petty, sticky, small-minded,

John Shelby Spong, Episcopal bishop, Freethought
(Aug. 2000)

‘I WAS DRAWN TO POLITICS before I got into punk. I got into
politics through my mom, who was a ’60s hippie who protested
against the government and stuff like that. . . . You get these
16-year-old punk kids who are already burnt out on politics. And
they’ve maybe only been into it a couple of years! They’re already
like, ‘Oh, please, I’m so tired of hearing about Mumia, I just want
to skate and drink.’ I mean, I like to skate and I like drinking,
but there’s got to be more to it for me.’

Josh Latshaw, guitarist for BoySetsFire, Punk
(July/Aug. 2000)

‘WHEN PEOPLE SAY I’m a political songwriter, I think, ‘No, I’m
not. I’m just an honest songwriter.’ ‘

Billy Bragg, musician,Magnet (Aug./Sept. 2000)

‘I’VE HAD SEX WITH a man with a mullet because I was so shocked
at the hairdo I found it attractive! I respect the mullet. A mullet
worn without irony, and with pride, can be very sexy. But I have to
tell you, the one that’s the most hideous [mullet] that I respect
the most is Billy Ray Cyrus–he’s crossed the line into hairdo

John Waters, filmmaker, Soma (Aug. 2000)

‘VERY EARLY ON . . . I knew the difference between God and
religion. My father went to Mass. I would go with him and be very
bored, but my ears would prick up when I heard something that rang
true. I wouldn’t take in everything, but there were phrases that .
. . gave me a code for life.’

Sinead O’Connor, newly ordained Latin Tridentine
archdeacon,Interview (Aug. 2000)

‘WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE I read a book called The
Psychoanalytic Foundations of Art.
It pointed out that Picasso
was always changing and that Chagall essentially didn’t change. It
really came down to two different personality types. One is
calmer–like people I know who are 21 and married for life and are
completely happy–and then there are the other people who are
restless, always a little bit dissatisfied, a little suspicious and
always moving on. I think rather than dividing into men and women,
the world actually divides into people who are calm and people who
are restless.’

Steve Martin, comedian, BorderCrossings (19:3)

–Compiled by Kelly Harms, Brendan Kramp, and Sanhita

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