PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

DECRYING A CHOREOGRAPHER FOR MAKING VICTIM ART, AN ESTEEMED CRITIC STARTS ANOTHER BATTLE IN THE CULTURE WARS

The phones and faxes are buzzing around the cultural corridors of the Northeast. The bills mount as egos read to patient friends the latest draft of angry letters to the editor. Opposing sides, each consisting of trusty comrades, have lined up and fired. The salvo: You're wrong-and not only that, you're morally wrong.

If Washington plays the naked power game, if Los Angeles spices power ploys with glitz, New York City energizes itself with a workout borrowed from academia: the intellectual war game, clarifying issues by talking them to death. The current fracas is the biggest since the obscenity debate over...

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