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Well, let us move on to hear the music. It was being played by the Fugs, or rather— to be scrupulously phenomenological— Mailer heard the music first, then noticed the musicians and their costumes, then recognized two of them as Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg and knew it was the Fugs. Great joy! The were much better than last time he had heard them in a grind-it-out theater on Macdougal Street. Now they were dressed in orange and yellow and rose colored capes and looked at once like Hindu gurus, French musketeers, and Southern cavalry captains, and the girls watching them, indeed sharing the platform with them were wearing love beads and leather bells— sandals, blossoms, and little steel-rimmed spectacles abounded, and the music, no rather the play, had begun, almost Shakespearean in its sinister announcement of great pleasures to come. Now the Participant recognized that this was the beginning of the exorcism of the Pentagon, yes the papers had made much of the permit requested by a hippie leader named Abbie Hoffman to encircle the Pentagon with twelve hundred men in order to form a ring of exorcism sufficiently powerful to raise the Pentagon three hundred feet. In the air the Pentagon would then, went the presumption, turn orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled this levitation. At that point, the war in Vietnam would end.

— from Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night  (1968)

* For more on the on the poet Charles Olson— author of “We drink/ or break open/ our veins solely/ to know”— see the recent Hilobrow.com tribute to Earl Hooker.

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