But there is a beauty in this harshness--and when you face it, you become more self-aware and creative. So we are giving up a lot, really giving up a lot, and we might find out that we cannot turn back around. So my perspective is very pessimistic for the short run; however, I feel that the mind is incredibly powerful.

NT: So you think that society can turn things around?
PS: We have to . . . you know, we are telling people that they are ruining things and that isn't very kind, not very diplomatic. But I have to say what I think.

Loose Ends
"Milk," an extravaganza of Mater-related performance and art by a bevy of Phoenix female artists, is at the Icehouse at 429 West Jackson. You can see the artwork by appointment by calling 256-6333 or by stopping by on Saturday for some Primal Stew. The always-gut-wrenching cult heroes Crash Worship and local band LifeGarden will play, and local artist Rose Johnson will perform "Creation--Creation," a performance piece that examines the existential choices confronting the female artist--to make art or to make babies. Rose will make babies--but you have to come to the show to see what kind.

The Shemer Art Center has a very cool show running through June 9. The show features the work of fiber artists Ann Keuper, Bozena Conroy and Barbara Brandel. If you are thinking bargello and macramā, you are in for a surprise. The show features wall hangings, costumes, sculptural forms made of silks, wool, lace, animal gut and stuff you never even imagined as "fibrous." Conroy is even bringing a throne with her, so bring your crown.

While you are there, venture into the sculpture garden to see Larry McLoughlin's fantastic figure sculptures; they make the Venus of Willendorf seem sylphlike. My favorite is the cherub engulfed in swags of fat, sitting daintily on the garden wall. Thunderous thighs primly crossed with a head the size of a chestnut, it is akin to godhead.

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