What I Learned at the World Economic Crisis

Roger Odisio rodisio at igc.org
Tue Apr 11 01:25:02 PDT 2000

Edward E Skiba wrote:
> Michael Pugliese wrote:
> >
> > From the New Republican. Other stories are excerpts of a hagiography of
> >Al Gore. Pg. 100 talks of his pot-smoking in the 70's at The Farm in
> >Tenessee, the Emmett Grogran commune. Was the farm where Tracy Nelson and
> >Mother Earth communed near there? Anyone have the run down on Emmett, have a
> >vague sense of his notoriety in hippie lore. There is a long out of print
> >book from either Ramparts Press or Straight Arrow, the RS imprint, entitled,
> >"Mindfuckers, " on those characters, no?
> > Michael
> >Pugliese
> >
> I don't know if Emmett Grogran ever wrote a book entitled "Mindfuckers" but
> he certainly wrote "Ringolevio" published, I think, by Avon Press and which
> is indeed long out of print. I read it in the early 1970's when I was very
> young and it was my first exposure to radical ideas. At that time my BS
> detector was not so finely tuned and I remember reading with amazement how
> this dude from the ghetto became a master jewel thief and safecracker, went
> to an exclusive NY prep school and screwed all the rich women, became
> addicted to heroin, went cold turkey, went to Northern Ireland to hang with
> the IRA, then wound up in California where he founded the Diggers and
> screwed all the hippy chicks. I don't recall anything about the Farm so I am
> thinking this is from a later period. I am indeed interested in what ever
> happened to him. I do seem to remember reading somewhere about a falling
> out with some of the left's luminaries of the time (Jerry Reubin perhaps??).

Emmett (real name Eugene) Grogan OD'd April fools day, 1978 on the Coney Island subway, after a period of mostly aimless drifting. Ringolevio was reissued by Citadel press in 1990. In that edition, you'll find an introduction by Peter Coyote, yes the actor who was the announcer on the most recent Oscars, but who also was one of the original Diggers in San Francisco with Grogan.

It was Abbie Hoffman, not Rubin (who was nothing but a media created charlatan, while that was only part of who Hoffman was), with whom Grogan fell out.

As Coyote writes in his intro, don't believe everything you read in Ringolevio, but don't be too quick to doubt either. Here's Coyote: "As Emmett disclaims in his Author's Note, 'This book is true'. But that doesn't mean it all happened."

Ringelevio is an indispensible book about the 60s. It's about transformation and limits.


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