August 5 Ali

BZT IS NOT SUCH A FAR CRY FROM LSD. All the hype around the latter makes it sound like there's one such thing as a mind-freer, another called a bummer. Now that's a hummer! "Bad trips" are just as eye-opening, only they require (and, when unexpected, tend to engender) a chrome constitution. Feeling groovy (or even mediocre, an ambivalent trip) only closes eye to ubiquitous danger, begets the false sense of having won the battle. Psychotic and psychotropic are not qualities, but measures part and parcel of the same scale--it's just whether you choose to apprehend the infinite at the expense of sensing the panther about to pounce, or allow in a little buzz and schiz like electrical impulses, as a means to remain alert, keep strategic, and win wars.

Oddly, it is here outside the Huntington, a home base of the Wells Fargo-style militancy that has kept capitalism king in the Golden Bear state, that I first hear of the starry-eyed idea for an all-American rock festival: quite the proscenium for an oracle . . . and I have just the catalyst. So, too, must the truth be swallowed in the shape of a shrill pill. I'll come down off the crookedest street and disguise myself as a radical to gain acceptance to their idle rites and unbridled rituals. Some--the bleeding-heart among you, even patriots who don't understand at what cost we've had to win freedom--may say it's unethical to be pushing young people a surly imposter, no matter what the motive. But they don't know the abandon by which these youngsters have blindly devoured the idea of this sinister substance acid. And I don't even expect to have to call it acid before the foolhardy, voracious hamsters go gobbling it up.

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