normative codes. If people behave like Larry Clark Kids, any hope of a
sane order amounts to foolhardy expectation. Oh God, what have we made
Shame is a revolutionary sentiment, said Karl Marx. Our awareness of
its causes and the corresponding responses to those factors will determine
the outcome of a democratic transformation. Knowledge, empathy, shame,
responsibility, and action (KESRA)--I theorize--constitute the elements
of an aesthetico-axiological praxis that can universally liberate the Mulis
of the oppressed world. In the absurdity of being, feelings and things still
An Indian untouchable named Muli "was a gaunt forty-year old with betel-
blackened teeth who wore his hair long swept back. His once handsome face was
pain-lined, his cheeks were sunken, but his eyes were bold and piercing, not
submissive," introducing his subject, writes James Freeman ( 1979: 3). Even
though untouchability is officially "abolished" in India, 16 percent--about
100,000,000 people--are untouchables; and "any gains in their situation have been
sparse and uneven" ( Freeman, 1979: 5).
In Tamilnadu, India, the account of a "mother of all weddings" ( Shekhar, 1995: 128-131) reads like an entry from the Guinness Book of World Records.