Essay: The Dance of Negotiation

The negotiating process: our man (George Steinbrenner, let us say) and their man (Leonid Brezhnev, perhaps) approach a dance floor that is covered with a layer of wet cement. The tinny band strikes up a slow, interminable version of One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Steinbrenner and Brezhnev come together and lock in a sort of oafish sumo embrace. Slogging, they circle the floor, glaring at each other. They mutter into each other's ears: "Not that way, you clumsy idiot! This way, you capitalist (or Commie) dog!" They wait for something to happen between them: for the music to...

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