Sections Above and Below This Page:

tions in the first place was that it wasn't entirely up to him. Theothers, like John-John and Gary, all dug the idea of themselves in the benevolent roles, giving away free acid to the people they knew on the street. All the street people were handed five hits of LSD apiece, and were asked to share them with others. But if they dealt the five to someone, for some needed cash, or swallowed all of them, or flushed them down the toilet or whatever, that was okay, too. It was free, it was theirs, they could do what they wanted with it.

The ironic part of the bribe was its total unnecessity. The HIP merchants didn't have to worry about Emmett's talking to the press and exposing the dreg of casualties in the Love Ghetto because he was cultivating his anonymity as a line of defense; a first line of defense against being devoured by a glut of cheap, fashionable notoriety; self-protection from arrest, prosecution and anything else that might impair his ability to perform. He wasn't denying his leadership by doing this, he was just seeking to maintain a distinctly low profile of himself as a leader. The Haight-Ashbury was jampacked with reporters from every medium, and Emmett never said a word to any of them about the "Love Generation." The only scribe he did speak with was Poet Allen Ginsberg, who came to the city to counsel the HIP merchants on the structure he felt the Human BeIn should take. He invited Ginsberg over to the Frederick Street Free Frame one evening to hang out with the people there. He came, bringing Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert along with him. Many things can be said about Allen Ginsberg but only one really matters and is completely deserving: he's a good person and there aren't many around. The same didn't seem to be true of Leary or Alpert; and the young street people sitting close together around the floor in the Free Frame of Reference seemed to understand that. Especially one very young girl whose eyes were flirting with vacancy. As the two LSD shamans pitched their psychedelic banter, riffing about the transcendental importance of an inner life, this little girl stood up and announced, "You don't turn me on!" She held her ground and kept repeating the same accusation: "You don't turn me on!" And the others agreed with her and also began to chant, until everyone was shouting--"You don't turn us on! You don't turn us on!"--forcing the two of them to leave with a good man who should have known better than to squander himself on a pair of charlatan fools.

That's what the young street people were bitching about. They weren't worried about what either of them were saying or particu [end page 268]


Creative Commons License
The Digger Archives is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0