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JUNE 29, 1999  4:03 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Utne Reader
Andy Steiner Utne Reader (612) 338-5040
"Changing the World is Hard. So Why Bother?"
 
MINNEAPOLIS - June 29 - If changing the world is hard, figuring out how is harder. Even avid volunteers feel the cynicism tug; it's enough to make a person give up, shut up, and let someone else take over. But author Paul Loeb claims that the obstacles to involvement, from unreachable goals to performance anxiety, are universal and can be overcome; Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. had their doubts, too. Even a hermit can be an activist, adds poet and essayist David Budbill, and writer Sven Birkerts makes no apologies for being a nonpolitical man. Pie- throwers can make a difference - maybe. And doctors who risk their lives in war-torn lands may be more selfish than saintly -- just like the rest of us. By Paul Rogat Loeb/Sven Birkerts/David Budbill/Ana Marie Cox/Elliott Leyton. Beginning July 12, conferences in Cafe Utne will feature online discussions based on this and other stories in the July/August issue of Utne Reader: The Best of the Alternative Media.

HOME SWEET SWEATSHOP... For every high-profile twenty- something who makes a million in new media, a hundred others toil as net slaves, logging long hours for little money and less security. But it's not just the promise of dough; it's the hip and playful trappings of a workplace that tempt worker bees with their own exploitation. By Clive Thompson.

GRASS SALVATION... Every year, more farmers go broke, more topsoil washes away, and one Kansas geneticist hunkers down to prove his radical solution is the right one. For 22 years, Wes Jackson has been experimenting with prairie grasses, claiming that these perennial plants, plus sun and rain, can sustain us and our land. By Scott Russell Sanders.

PLASTIC PROMISES... Nose jobs, boob jobs, facelifts -- they may not be PC, but that isn't stopping people from getting them. Read why one woman underwent the knife and another didn't, and how more men are getting the snip-fix, too. By Laurie Stone/Lisa Miya-Jervis/Laura Fraser

CRICKET: A CRIME-STOPPER?... In L.A.'s Compton, the drive-by shooting capital of the world, the famed game of British gentlemen is rescuing kids from a likely life of crime. By Edward Smith.

ALSO IN THE JULY/AUGUST ISSUE of Utne Reader

-Sexual pharmacology
- Boys wearing tutus
- A carnivore's bloody education
- An inventors' whimsical workshop
- Barefoot hiking o Mortgages for non-car families
- Poop
- Church of John Coltrane
- Mary Chapin Carpenter, and more.

Beginning July 12, conferences in Cafe Utne http://www.utne.com will feature online discussions based on these and other stories in the July/August issue. Utne Reader is the nation's leading digest of alternative ideas. Launched in 1984, the bimonthly magazine has been nominated three times for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. According to the Forum One Report, Cafe Utne is the nation's most active online discussion community, with more than 1.8 million page views per month.

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