Do It, Scenarios of the Revolution, by Jerry Rubin, will probably be the most widely read unassigned text of the year. Even before its official publication on March 30, Columbia's Paperback Gallery couldn't keep it in stock. The publisher has already committed to print 160,000 copies. The only existing advance review is from the Virginia Kirkus Service, offered to libraries. According to the Kirkus Service, some of the book is funny, except for the last chapter—"that's scary!" Right on, Virginia!
The true brilliance of Rubin's book is that it makes fools of everybody, starting with his agents, his editor and his publisher, Simon and Schuster. A very straight outfit.
Jerry says in his book that revolution is profitable, so hip capitalists like to sell it. He's right on again.
Rubin explains it very simply in his book. "Beware the psychedelic businessman who talks love on his way to the Chase Manhattan Bank."
"A Hip Capitalist Is a Pig Capitalist."
Carl Brandt, Rubin's agent, is on the phone. I read him a page from Jerry's book. Does he consider himself a Pig Capitalist? He laughs, thinly.
"No, I'm just doing my thing, which is being a literary agent."
"It was a conventional narrative when I first saw it," explains Rubin's editor, Daniel Moses. "Jerry started shortening the sentences. Then he decided it should be treated graphically, with a combination of pictures and cartoons." Quentin Fiore, who designed McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, was hired to subvert the type. Next . . . Eldridge Cleaver for the introduction. "I had no problem convincing Simon and Schuster to use Cleaver's introduction," says Moses, "and to pay some good money for it."
Here comes the OK sign from Algeria to Babylon . . .but first, Eldridge has to give Jerry the quick, bloodless clawmark that all guilt-dragging honkie rad readers have come to love.
"The first chapter of Jerry's book is entitled Child of Amerika. That's another one of Jerry's trips. It is impossible for him to be a child of Amerika . . . He is a descendant of the invaders."
But! The ritual wrist-slapping over, Cleaver actually gives the OK sign to our Yippie hero . . .
"I can unite with Jerry Rubin around a marijuana cigarette . . . around being cool . . . I can unite with Jerry around hatred of pig judges, around hatred of capitalism, around the total desire to smash what is now the social order in the United States of Amerika."
. . . and all of a sudden a whole nation of high school kids with sensitive white skins can relax.
Be a Yippie. Ride the Panther handlebars. Forget Marx and his old long ponderous words. You don't even need to be able to read! Lookit the pitchas.
The really new politics is a comic book.
If you're reading stoned, as Do It suggests—but a little over-stoned so that your eyes are jumping around, you know—then get your mummy to read you to sleep with the last chapter: "Scenario for the Future." She'll get a real bang out of it.
Every high school and college in the country will close with riots and sabotage. Yippie helicopter pilots will bomb police positions with LSD gas. Revolutionaries will break into jails and free all political prisoners. Kids will lock their parents out of their suburban homes and turn them into guerrilla bases, storing arms.
Who would ever take a thing like that seriously? Except a high school kid. As Rubin's editor says, "We haven't even reached our primary market yet—the high schools." Right on! Some primary market creep reads the book. Or maybe a junior high groupie. She tells her friends about the last chapter . . . all those Miss Weather plastic color-form kids with their press-on clothes. Put it together with the politics of prerationality and what have you got? A Mattel war toy. —G.S.