Sections Above and Below This Page:

and the phone suddenly quieted down. By using Richard Alpert and his psychedelic logorrhea, he got himself dismissed as a cracked pothead, and nobody was writing stories about them this late in the game, giving Emmett the pass he wanted and needed to take care of his business.

But it already seemed too late. His name was the only name the straight press knew that was connected with the Diggers, and they were going to keep on using it whenever their stories referred to the "mystery-shrouded group," no matter how much he played the psychedelic buffoon. A flood of articles began to appear in the New York press about the San Francisco Diggers, using the Ram parts portrait of Emmett as their "well-known figure" profile and putting imaginary quotes in his mouth without even pretending to have met him.

It was really getting him down, "all this image bullshit!" and he decided it was mainly because he was separated from the reason-- the work in San Francisco--which made necessary the Salvation Army cover, and he became anxious to get back, to return to the unshakable reality of Free Food and, at the same time get away from all the image-persona hustle of New York where talk was substituted for action and people were measured by their list of credits.

By now he had given away all of the acid he brought with him from Frisco, and had gone to so many meetings on the Lower East Side where he saw the same faces, that he began to feel that meetings had replaced relationships and organizations had replaced the community. He no longer went to them, but rather casually toured the neighborhood visiting the friends he made in the few weeks he had been there.

It was during one of these late afternoon walks that Emmett was invited by a friend to accompany him to the Theater for Ideas, "for a look at the city's star intellectual radicals, as they sit in a salon, like a forum, and discuss the chosen topic, 'The Enemy Is the Liberal.' " Since he had nothing really better to do, Emmett went to the studio apartment that evening to gawk at the gathering of New York's chic circle of radical superstars. But it backfired on him because he became the star attraction and center of attention and got himself dumped on and hissed at by the glib, pompous audience.

There were about seventy-five persons sitting on rows of wooden, folding chairs facing a dais where a panel of Ramparts editors sat behind a cloth-covered table with a pitcher of water and glasses. One of them was old one-eye himself, Warren Hinckle III, and Emmett [end page 358]


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