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Books Susan Stern: With The Weathermen Doubleday, 1975

Books Susan Stern: With The Weathermen Doubleday, 1975 image
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I rcnicniher meeting Suste Stern, is she was known in Movement cireles, the day shc was rcleased ftom ('ook Cbunty sil foi her adivines dunna the Weathei Days of Ruge in 1969. Sh" seemed groKarious, extrcmely talkatrvc, pctitc and. lo use a icrm which one used before to use 11 was to label one i sexist dog, "cute." I rom reading her autobiographical masterworV.Susie theught of herself in much the same terms, and was regarded as such hy the myriads of Weatherdudcs, junkies, speedfrcaks, bikcrs and frotskyites whom she fucked. Fucking, in fact, along witli the ingestión ot every imayinable drug taken in combmation wiili everj othei imaginable drug, is the majoi ingrediënt of her seif-described odyssey. Nothing too degrading. apparentl) . tor hei tastes. and l'm suré thal the John liiixh Society uill have ,1 field day reciüng verba tim passages Irom her sterling memoirs. s ioi politics weü, politics seems to be a function of those activities, Hy her adniissicm, she seldom had anv idea of what anything meani she looked around her and saw sufferiiil1. and i" overeóme suffering, she becarne a streetüghter. A tueetfighter, mind you, who aiways wore the sexiest garb, Durinj "theoretical discussions" o! tactics and ideoloe was usualh too strung oul on %ome drug to comprehend anything, and besides, il was all so boring. She yearned lor act ion, man, and fuck it it therewas no meaning to lite. Indeed, her book captores in lts essence the mindstatc ol man of her Uk durinu the heady days of l68-197O. It aiways seemed to me back then that general niindlessness was a pnmar charactenstic of inany Movementoids who uerc the l'irst to go squealinu at the top of their lungs into a phalanx of policetnen and, upon being busted. were the most vocal ín decrying the "fascism" of society as they gjeefully demanded bail Iroin their parents or any "guilty liberáis" who couid bc masochistically coerced into putting up the bail lor these "revolutiotiaries." Now, lest we be accused of historica! oppottunism, 1 should admit that back in those das. the fervid pace of events anti the rhetoric of the timos caught up many people, mysell' included, as well as thosc with whom I wus associated politically. The essential difTerence between oui attitude, however, and Ihe altitudc that Susie presents in hor hailowed pages is that, at the risk risk of seeming naive, I and most of my associates actually believed in the ideology wc were promulga ting, and tried uur best to bc consistent with iis data. Susie, however, presents hersclt as wise in ihe ways of revolution, and as such was a total cynic about such mat Iers. separating such thinps as se and dope trom her revolutionary pursuits indeed, she presents them as a refuge, a relief ifyou wfll, from the tediom of politica) struggle. Ah, yes. with such nostalgia does Susie recount her exploits in the counterculture. Those five-day ' riticism sessions" vvhere all the alienated white college students discussed the dialectics of armed struggle, the smashing of monogamy, and the general counterrevolutionary nature o! anybody who had the temerity to question their rubrics of revolution. fvverybody knev, then that the Apocalypse was to occur within si nionths, and that befóte It arrived, there was a hole lot of Smashinp of the State to do. The ptevailing sentiment was that the tuture held hut three possibilities: death, Ufe in j.iil, or, most romantkally the Underground. Wlui among us revoiutionaiy luminaries then could have perceivcd ihat there was yet another option open to tis: autooiographies. 'lelling all the temtïed paients all the sordid details: that their wildesl iinafmiiniis were in fací true. I rom readtng between the Unes, however, i detect Ihat Suste has lett out smie important details, which she is nu doubt saving lor Susie, Part Two, 1 oi instance, the picture section shows her lovingly nuzzting vith her coeker spaniel, and l'm sure we can look forward to the seque] describing the hefetofore untoM joys t pansexuality I mean.cockei spatuels are the neelected vanguard, man. Fot that matter, we tan all await breathlessly the titillatinii revelations of l'atty Mearst ome she negotiates her tieedom by snitching on her 'Vomrades" and lells us. alter beingjilted by "laseist mseets," the joys ol malcing love to a cobra.