What most people don’t realize, when they read something published under an author’s byline, is that titles, headings and subheads are almost always put on by somebody else. In newspapers this is always so, in magazine articles it’s true more often than not, and even in books, while not as customary as in the first two instances, it’s by no means unheard of to have the author’s own title and divisional or chapter headings replaced by supposedly if not presumably better ones thought up by his editor.
The most recent—and last—edition of The Whole Earth Catalog ($5) is moving briskly, I'm told, with 500,000 copies sold and more under order. No wonder. In bulk alone, it is surpassed only by The Sunday New York Times. Thousands of items are listed and eloquently described, each having to do with the acquisition of power by those who would see themselves in line with the founder’s purpose: “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”
A few years ago, one of the roughest-hewn monuments of the counterculture was a New York-based hard-rock outfit called the Fugs, who were among the first to introduce the Yippie political sensibility into popular music with songs like Slum Goddess, lyrics that we can’t quote in a magazine directed at the general reader, and musicianship that we won’t even try to make you believe.
She didn’t know that he got up every morning with the sun to search out the pockets of fog that the sun beamed through. They met one day at a corner in a small city. He noticed how the street light came through the trees. She was looking at his forehead and reading his expression, or so she thought.
Ethridge Knight, who himself is recovering from heroin addiction, had written these words through tears and reworked the lines many times and now that he had copied them in careful long-hand on yellow paper, he bowed his large dark head and showed them deferentially.
Recently (this is on good authority) Ken Kesey seems to find little to talk about or quote from except the novels of Rabbi Chaim Potok—The Chosen and The Promise. These quondam best sellers are about the relationship between the Hasidic and Orthodox factions of American Jewry during and shortly after World War II; the impact on American Jewish Talmudic scholarship of the arrival here of refugee intellectuals from Eastern Europe; the interaction between spiritual teachers and their headstrong students.
The Comstock lode. . . . It has been a long stretch of Esquire years and perhaps I am set in my habits and preferences. For me the September issue was a huge, brilliant Roman candle, lighting up my vision of the Manhattan sky with Tynan and Polanski, Reed and Williams, Truman and Aurthur, Burroughs Jr. and Burroughs Sr., Talese and Bonanno, Updike and his Rabbit, Styron and the Marines, Greer on Mailer, instead of vice versa.
Among the services television does not deliver to Americans who suffer from different tastes is any continuing effort at serious music. (The reader will have to bear with me this month: I am finishing a book about television, which is thus, temporarily, my King Charles’s head or, in the current fashion, my schtick.)
All you need is the patience to wait and the gall to ask
I happened onto air hitchhiking quite by accident two years ago when I found myself in Nassau with four New York City phone calls to make. I was bemoaning the expense over a noonday drink when someone suggested that I do what a Bahamian might do : go out to Windsor Field and see who was flying over to Florida, where the calls would be cheaper.
All furies ended I live with empty pockets and nurses’ hands. Every object around me is soft. Every hand trembles. Chalk walls give no heat. They brought me back to listen to watch-tick and heartbeat. One is the other. Once I heard voices, the sound of children in a park, swing-creak, the joy of feet, and I walked away.
Esquire seems to be hooked on movies—in both senses of the word. First, you publish a screenplay, Two Lane Black top, which, aside from its dubious literary value, is so replete with errors on the very subject in which it claims to be authoritative that it has immediately become the laughingstock of every knowledgeable car lover I’ve encountered.
<p>As Alabama counties go, St. Clair County isn't especially colorful. With a visible minimum of stately, white-colonnaded homes, sagging grey tenant shacks, and GET RIGHT WITH GOD signs, it barely meets the specifications of the stereotyped Deep South county.</p>
Our way of life in the western world today is endlessly probed; like a hypochondriac endlessly taking his temperature, weighing himself, having his blood tested and his urine analyzed. Sociologists carry on nonstop investigations of everything under the sun; investigators with tape machines pad round asking questions about our domestic economy, our sexual habits, our earnings and our leisure pursuits.
Splendor in the Grass, the camping feature which begins on page 169, reminded me that long before the current camper boom I had a lust for luxurious homes on wheels and an envy of those who owned them. This dates back twenty years or so, when I had just written a European guidebook.
The Tate murders; Manson’s vision; Death Valley days
<p>In the early afternoon of August 8, 1969, Charles Manson arrived at the Spahn Ranch, after a recruiting trip and pleasure jaunt to Big Sur and the Esalen Institute. Someone went on a garbage run for the evening meal. At the back of the movie ranch, they cooked dinner on the Coleman four-burner camping stove.</p>
It all started one Saturday night when me and my old lady Ann were walking past Bob Dylan's Greenwich Village brown-stone and I recalled my visit to “the king of folk rock" the week before. That dude had some nerve throwing me out!
A place for everything and everything, dear God, in its place
James S. Reinbold
<p>Staal was interested in clouds and watched them at different times during the day from his yard. In the morning he set the lawn chair at the far corner of the tiny cement patio. In the early afternoon he moved away from the patio onto the lawn. When he watched the clouds at evening, usually after dinner, he placed the chair farther out on the lawn, on slightly higher ground, so that the sun would be blocked by a line of distant spruce trees.</p>
Play It Again, Sam, Bogie, Harry, Wendell, Claude . . . .
One more time, those good old Forties’ blues
If you were around then, there are three places you should particularly know where you were during the Forties. First, of course, where you were on December 7, 1941. I remember I was up in the attic of a friend's house, helping him screen an eight-millimeter Krazy Kat cartoon on his toy movie projector, when his father came up to announce gravely that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
Ancient Western wise man Vince Lombardi say: “Winning not most important thing. Winning only thing.” If Honorable Lombardi had been the coach of the U.S. table-tennis team that bowed to China earlier this year, the players might well have defected rather than face their mentor’s wrath.
I have always had a great weakness for making off. Shutting the door behind me never to open it again; disengaging myself from a sleeping figure, and tiptoeing away, downstairs and out into the street and the grey anonymous dawn of another day.
In 195 B.C., Cato the Elder gave this advice to his all-male audience: “Suffer women once to arrive at an equality with you, and they will from that moment become your superiors.” Now, two thousand years later, you, as a right-thinking man, realize that Cato was right on the button.
Last spring, early one Sunday morning, a man in a wheelchair brought his guitar to Nashville, Music City U.S.A. He’d saved for a year to make the trip, hoping to sell a song he had written. But Nashville on Sunday morning isn’t Nashville at all, certainly not the musical carnival the man was expecting.
Here beginneth the lesson and endeth most of the learning
<p>When I served in the American Army my trick was crawling by a sentry in the dark of night. No one was ever better at it: inching along, scarcely breathing, rippling a muscle here or shoving off gently there so that my body sometimes passed at an enemy’s very feet in the good strong shadows of a moonless watch.</p>
Culinary Savannah culminates in the $1.50 table d’hôte
Roy Andries de Groot
To dine in Old Savannah can be an enchanting experience. To say this is to say nothing new. Visitors have loved it for at least two hundred years. “Savannah is the most charming of cities . . . the maiden discovered in the greenwood,” wrote a Swedish woman author, with an obvious penchant for pretty girls, in the 1850’s.
The wisdom of Solomon: “We don’t want Richard Burton”
<p>There is a critic’s superstition in New York City that a certain kind of exploitation movie needs to be seen in a Forty-second Street grind house. I believe in the superstition myself—or I believe in what it’s getting at—but I don’t think Forty-second Street is the place to exercise it. The street has the peculiarly New York problem of being <i>too </i>typical: all the grind houses in the world have come together there to make their stand.</p>
Storm warnings sounded from Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, and though the rain had not yet fallen, the winds were pushing thirty to forty miles an hour. From the picture window of his cypress-paneled living room, William Stringfellow surveyed the approaching northeaster with the calm of a native.
Notes on the imminence of quadraphonic high-fidelity
It was just over ten years ago that most hi-fi buffs were confronted with the agonizing decision of whether or not to convert their home systems to accommodate the novel development of stereo sound. Amid the constant barrage of demonstration records that reproduced passing trains and even herds of water buffalo, a lot of people rejected stereo sound as a promotional plot on the part of equipment manufacturers to sell additional amplifiers and twice as many speakers.
A Weekend with Chief Michael Butler and His Inner Tribe
“I live well,” says the producer of Hair
<p>"Do you realize," Bill said, "that there are eighty-six horses in this room?" There weren't really that many, although perhaps after a few joints they seemed to multiply. Bronze horses, silver horses, carved wooden ones, prancing porcelain ones, single and in groups, on top of tall bookcases, low tables, desk, pedestals, and, covering the wails, framed paintings, etchings, lithographs, photographs, all of horses.</p>
Ah, Wilderness! With life in the big city increasingly savage, the noble American family is increasingly restless. At the moment, there are about 9,500,000 family campers, each spending about $25 a day getting away from it all. There are over three million recreational vehicles in the land, ranging from fancy mobile homes to humble DayGlo painted vans (average price: $2,500).
Anti-Americanism is always just under the surface of European life. In the southwest of England, where your European correspondent has his English home, there is no great affection for motorcars or for their manufacturers, since the countryside is despoiled by both every summer when overpaid car workers from the industrial Midlands take their holidays in the playground counties of Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.
I have come across the place of stones To the listening tree, and climbed in To its highest branches. If I cup My hands over my ears I can hear The Witch Doctor chanting somewhere In the distance, back in these few Remaining trees. From here I can
You are short, soft, & in Philadelphia, talking to your favorite cousin. Soon, you will reach the point of sleep. You will think how mad I was last night, the demonic son of a bitch, telling you you knew nothing. You remind me of the orange way, I have with everything.
Talking to oneself at night To another self who isn’t there About the loneness of the world, And about this quest in space For companionship (which a bird Or a beast might ponder), I wonder if man is past it. Let the creatures make the pace, Responding to our signals:
(“Out-patient 04066066 continues to experience frequent nightmares concerning actual presence of inoperable grenade fragments considered migrant and minimal. Surfacing particles have been removed, by patient, without incident.
Tête-à-tête: André Malraux and General de Gaulle Two of the Greatest talk about Greatness. In English (no subtitles). What my F.B.I. File says about Me by John Kenneth Galbraith, Barbara Howar, Godfrey Cambridge, James Michener. Who discovered The Beatles and where?