Sections Above and Below This Page:

the people you're doing it for. And, of course, the police--they always know what you look like, but if you're really slick, they won't know who you are or what you're doing. And if you don't get what I mean, that's your blues, 'cause that's all you're gonna get from me except my best wishes that y'all don't get got."

The younger, hipper ones laughed as Emmett stood up straight on top of the table to stretch his legs. There was some loud movement behind and to the left of him, and when Emmett turned, he saw that Abbot Hoffman raised his stumpy body, instead of his hand, to ask a question or say something.

"Emmett, you know, whether you like it or not, you're going to get co-opted, because you're too together, too singlehanded, and they're gonna make an image out of you and steal your anonymity and sell you across the country as the 'new antihero'! Before this year's out or sometime in 1968, they're going to put you on the cover of Time magazine or Life or Newsweek and sell your charisma as the fashionable way to be. Whether you like it or not, within a year you're gonna be on a lot of posters on a lot of walls!"

It was the same riff that Paul Jacobs used, to try to cancel Emmett and the Diggers out months before at the Theater for Ideas in New York. This time, however, Emmett was determined to handle the always-the-same challenge of his probable co-option differently. He could feel the whole load of the past year's slave labor and solitude swelling up inside of him and taking the love right from his eyes, leaving them dead cold. He was going to blow it, but he was going to do it his way, for his own reasons, and not as an emotional response to a punk's lame remark.

As he squatted slowly back down, Emmett ran his eyes into those of Tumble, the Hun and Billy, giving them the sign that it was time to effect the epilogue to their already disruptive performance at the SDS conference. Then he sucked the audience into the eye of the storm that was squalling inside of him by speaking softly.

"Abbot . . .

"It's Abbie, Emmett!

"Abbot, you're wrong. I'm not goin' to be on the cover of Time magazine, and my picture ain't goin' to be on the covers of any other magazines or in any newspapers--not even in any of those socalled underground papers or movement periodicals. There ain't gonna be no posters of me anywhere, and I ain't goin' to put me on sale this year or next year or the year after that, until I feel it beautiful to stop. [end page 401]


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