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December 11, 1975     The Texas Sun
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December 11, 1975
 

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14 cont. from page 9 PSYCHOTIC IN LAS VEGAS They fussed around like any couple who travels in Holiday Inns across America. Jane was unpacking their elaborate make-up case and mixing drinks, Abbie had pulled off his boots and was rubbing his tender feet. The mini-crisis of the moment was where to secure ice cubes. They could have been the pleasant, moderately hip couple who whole- saled imported jewelry. The wit and ease of the scene belied the struggle that had been waged to reach that psychic point. Abbie propped up his feet and told the story of his heaviest test. He had undergone a painful operation, and that had been followed by some near brushes with getting captured. He described the period as "manic" because he was working on a project as much as 20 hours a day, sleeping little, and conscious of making foolish mistakes. He recalled, "We were in the Midwest--just the two of us--calling for reinforcements, and things were simply not working out. I had the sense to head for Las Vegas. The pressure kept building...until all the plugs were pulled out of my head. I was getting psychotic. And it didn't have anything to do with drugs. It was strictly overload." They made one of those gambling palaces, checked into a room, and then Abbie describes going over the edge: "I flipped out. Which had never happened before. It was crazy. I was yening who I was, and screaming, and ation required the perfection of a bookkeeper. Getting ready for the shower Abbie looked trim; "exercise and veget- ables" he confided, and tripped off to the shower. ON THE ROAD IN WINNEBAGO LAND As a faceless person Abbie was discovering a new aspect of America best summed up by this story: "For 12 years I never heard an "They should take all those Indian gurus and put them in the Bermuda Triangle." knocking down furniture. It just came rushing out of me. Jane held me down. We were fighting it out. She's very survival oriented. She got me through it without getting caught." Then his serious tone changed and he laughed: "That was a good place to be, flipping out in that hotel room, because people are always wigging out and jumping out of windows in Las Vegas." After that trial, underground life solidified. Jane and Abbie traveled, and Abbie improved his "mental agility." Effective underground oper- anti-semitic joke. Nobody would tell one to Abbie Hoffman. Now people tell me jokes about Jews and niggers. I had a distorted view and didn't realize how racist Americans really are." I knew that while traveling from Winnebago Park to KOA Camp- ground, Abbie and Jane visited with types of people we working Americ- ans seldom meet. Only the retired and young runaways are taveling year round, and in their roles the two camoflauged members of the under- ground were interacting with them iiiiii+i+i i i i i476i4i!93iliiiiiiiiili Wild& Cultivated Roots From China Korea Siberia and North America Available at Balanced Way Charlie Broom (454-0176) Exotica Good Food Stores Health Kitchen Herbs Etc. Hobbit Hole 2002 White House Woody Hills JeffWoodruff Wholesale distributor: Sweethardt Herbs Box 12602 Austin, TX. 78711 S tpper Specials Daily Open 7D(lys A Week UT til The Wee Hours inc. IN.IN6 CO tXP/k Y FAST QUALITY PmNTING REASONABLE PmCES Dobie Mall OPEN M - F 9 - 5:30 and SAT. 9 - 2 Business Forms, Stationery Brochures, Flyers, Postecs Books, Reports, Catalogs, Newsletters Free Parking in DObie Garage i"/." constantly. "You know what we learned from being on, the road, traveling like tourists? Abbie asked as he gazed out the window of the car. "Americans are unhappy." It didn't seem like a startling discovery, but I encouraged him to see where the idea would lead; and it led to suicide. ,,v don't know what the suicide figures are for the young...but they talk about suicide a lot. And they talk about their relationships as tempor- ary. Nobody expects long term relationships with human beings. Nobody even considers that a natural form of life. There's an incredible rootlessness now, which probably started with the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the automobile and highway. But in the last few years it's accelerated a tremendous degree." "There is, in a sense, a denial of the spirit of tl~e Sikties. That spirit meant one thing: that people had a hope of changing things through an incredible kind of optimistic energy. Whether it was naive or not, it's a spirit that people felt inside themselves. And they believed they had the power to change the society and affect their own destiny. Whether or not that's.an illusion, it's an incredible adrenalin, and an incredible psychological cure for what ails a person, a genera idn, ,; or a society. Now that Spirit is missing from young people tod.a.y. They're unhappy and they talk about suicide. They take more drugs. Different drugs, more body drugs~ speed, quaaludes." "They're very much into 'What's in it for me?' Some people think that's a much more honest approach to life. If your conception of life is Darwinian--in the sense that we live in a jungle and the strong eat the weak, etc., etc. ,--well of course that's an honest'appraisal of life. But, What am I getting out of it? isn't a healthy way to go through life. If I adopted that idea I'd opt for suicide too. I'd put /t in some form of revolutionary suicide--I mean, I hope I would. But it's sad. Most of my friends are older than me. I'm considered the youngster. And I tend to find them more interesting because of their life-experience. It's just that youth doesn't seem to have that much to offer in the way of ideas or culture, or the spirit to change things. I felt out of touch with Abbie's reasoning on suicide, but I had been to the University of Texas and noticed that the bulletin beards were rife with an incredible number of announce- ments for various yogis, swamis, avatars and gurus. I asked what he thought of the new spiritual trend. That set off an explosion. Abbie appeared like a man with an oversized piece of steak caught in his throat; it was genuine apoplexy. "I detest those gurus. There's people dying in the streets of Calcutta, and they're over here collecting rich followers. How can they be aloof from India's human suffering? They should take all those Indian gurus and put them in the Bermuda Triangle." Abbie, the underground outlaw, was still the energetic jester as before, but he'd added a new dimension. "I want to be wholistic: a Renaissance human interested in athletics, sex, cooking, spiritual matters, politics, psychology..." The list didn't end, it just trailed off. His change came partly from an underground life, partly from Jane. Quietly he said: "I'm starting to see the world as she sees it...She knows where every part of her body is all the time. When she walks through the universe, through space, she's very conscious of her movements, of where her hands are, her feet, her body, and where everyone else is. She's conscious of the world in a way I'm not_which is quite an admission for a man who knew everything."