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front page of the citywide weekly and it caused a mild controversy at city hall. There was serious embarrassment for the park station's commanding officers. They were quizzed by other reporters who investigated what became "their discipline problem" with probing questions that disturbed the status quo of the station house for a while. It wasn't much of a revenge, of course, but it did offer a bit of satisfaction. And a week or so later someone fired a few rounds through the front window of Kerrens's house as he sat down for supper. Apparently the bullets weren't aimed at him, just a few warning shots, splintering a glass and the salt and pepper shakers. Emmett wondered who'd done it, and also what sort of a cordial prank he could pull on the swami in his Krishna reservoir of pleasure. But he forgot about all of it when he cooled and resigned himself to the fact that there were more important things to do than begin a religious war.

The Human Be-In was publicized as a "Gathering of the Tribes," but it was actually more a gathering of the suburbs with only a sprinkling of nonwhites in the crowd of three hundred thousand. It was a showcase for beaded hipsterism with only one stage for the assembly to face. On it sat the HIP merchants, their consultants, and several psychedelic superstars, while the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Airplane and The Grateful Dead played their sets over a PA system guarded by Hells Angels who were asked to do so after several incidents had occurred. The turkeys had been made into thousands of sandwiches under John-John's supervision, and the bread was salted down with crushed acid. Gary organized the free distribution of the sandwiches to those who looked like they needed something to eat, physically or spiritually. Afterwards, Emmett walked to one side of the stage and stood below it, watching the socalled luminaries of the alternative culture. He felt a sense of anger and despair over the way the Be-In had been set up and presented. Their advertising had assembled three hundred thousand people, and all they gave them was a single stage with a series of schmucks schlepping all over it, making speeches and reciting poetry nobody could hear, with interludes of music. It was even more incredible to Emmett that the crowd crushed forward for a better spot where they could stargaze at the feeble spectacle. The HIP merchants had invited the Berkeley radicals to participate in the Be-In, as a placating gesture to the left-wing, liberal media. They were more than happy to come, of course, and were represented on the stage by the babyfat runt himself, Jerome Rubin. All made up in the image of a true [end page 274]


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