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One of the most literate, entertaining, and sane voices on pop culture belongs to a Washingtonian, but it’s going unheard by the big guns of the capital’s culture wars. Perhaps that’s because Bernard Welt, who repeatedly demonstrates that culture consumers—including children and nonsophisticates—process art as art, publishes his best work in a small bimonthly journal out of L.A., Art issues. For three years, Welt addressed such subjects as Itchy and Scratchy, gay pornography, and Jason Voorhees in a series of regular columns now collected in Mythomania: Fantasies, Fables, and Sheer Lies in Contemporary American Popular Art. Though Art issues. has published such superlative writing as Dave Hickey’s defense of Norman Rockwell and Peter Schjeldahl’s rapprochement with God and Luther, it remains known primarily to art-world insiders. Tonight, the magazine’s publisher, the Foundation for Advanced Critical Studies, breaks with its publicity-shy habits for a reading by Welt and a party in his honor. Whether Welt, chairman of the Department of Academic Studies at the Corcoran School of Art and a one-time Jeopardy! champ, takes on the excremental nature of Seussian fantasy or the metaphysical failure of Star Trek, his originality, authority, and liveliness arouse awe and jealousy in even the most critical pop-crit junkie. Party from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; reading at 7:30 p.m. at 18th Street Lounge, 1212 18th St. NW. FREE. (202) 466-3922. (Glenn Dixon)