Too often critics take up polemic stands based on their religion, sex, or race, which then give rise to insufferable contrarians such as Armstrong Williams and Mary Matalin. But Albert Murray is willing to cross all borders and dance on the sacred turf of black nationalists, white supremacists, the religious right, and the laicized left to arrive somewhere near truth in an ambiguous world. The 80-year-old novelist, music writer, and Omni-American talks with Roberta Maguire, editor of Conversations With Albert Murray, at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center, Rm. 3111, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Christopher Porter)