60's radicals

Thu, 25 Apr 1996 08:07:57 -0400

This discussion takes me back to two distinct memories: One,
when Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA and for a year or so
this drama played out. At that time I was reading a good deal about
the Russian revolution and it suddenly dawned on me, 'revolutionaries
who are committed to their beliefs do exactly what the SLA has done.
That is, rob banks, kidnap, kill people, shoot it out w/police and so
forth. Stalin, in fact, was an excellent bank robber whose success
brought him to the attention of Lenin.
These paper tigers reliving the '60's' are simply staving
off the ravages of approaching retirement in their soft jobs at
the university. In fact, if you look objectively at that time
what was occuring on campus was only a fragment of activity. However,
since most people in media and culture come from the campus there
is this false picture of the campus being the center. It was a
center of exciting ideas and ferment but was burnt to the ground
by the very people who now occupy positions of authority in it.
It is very clear to me that their time will come; that they, too,
will have to protect their unwritten manuscripts and careers as
the irrationality comes spewing in from the other direction. That is
none of my concern.
Soon after the Jonestown tragedy (another precursor of the fate
of extremists) I was living w/ a good Berkeley woman who knew Angela
Davis among others. She was manic-depressive and decided to stop
taking her Lithium. She went nuts and for one day and one night
I had to bring my full rational powers to try and convince her that
(a) China had not fallen into the ocean to the very bottom, (b) that
space beings were not coming down to earth and (c) that nuclear
weapons were not blowing off all over the place. I used all my
rational ability to try and convince her but I couldn't fight madness.
And madness is one of the most powerful of intoxicants. When I
left that night I realized it was over.
---Good luck