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Russian theorist complete with a Trotsky-Stalinesque moustache, he called for a marriage between the Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley tribes, proclaiming that "our smiles are our political banners and our nakedness is our picket sign!" He was awed and shaken by the enormity of the crowd and several times he seemed about to wet his pants, ecstatic over his getting to speak to so many at once. But he was afraid to begin sounding like the cornball square he is, so he gave up the microphone after a few minutes and sat down to ask his gooseberry, Stew Alpert, whether he had come on like a hippie or an old straight. Stew Alpert is to Jerome Rubin what Clyde Tolson is to John Edgar Hoover and he was quick to assure him that he flashed everyone with his ability to make hip-sounding remarks and even shocked some with his new image. Timothy Leary followed and he seemed to be a bit juiced, only able to mumble, "Tune-in, turn-on, drop-out," once or twice to the crowd before he sat back down with that same old shit-eating grin all over his face.

Allen Ginsberg, like everyone on the stage, was pleased with the giant, press publicity-engineered turn-out of people. He even appeared to believe that the mere assembling of such a crowd was a superworthy achievement in itself, negating any need for further action. In a way it did. Since the body count of three hundred thousand assured the HIP and their friends of worldwide media coverage, why give the press anything to photograph or write about other than the people who gathered? That way it was one great big fashion show, that's all.

More ham chewers trouped up to the mike and kept saying how wonderful it was with all that energy in one place at the same time. Just being. Being together--touching, looking, loving, embracing each other--that's what it was all about, they said: "The New Consciousness!" Then, the mantra began: "We are one!" "We are one!" Three hundred thousand people shouted repeatedly that they were one, and Emmett just sat on the grass and watched them pretend, wondering how long it was going to take before people stopped kidding themselves.

Someone parachuted out of a single-engine plane into the middle of the meadow and several thousand people began swearing that they just saw a vision of God. Poet Gary Snyder ended it all by blowing on a conch shell and everyone turned toward the falling sun and walked toward the Pacific Ocean to watch the dusk from the beach.

Later that evening and throughout the following week, the mass [end page 275]


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