Liddy and Leary: A not-so-great debate | Columnists

Liddy and Leary: A not-so-great debate | Columnists


Leary had been a Harvard psychology professor who grew to become the poster boy for the “activate, tune in, drop out” psychedelic drug motion. Liddy represented the institution; Leary, the counterculture.

What I didn’t know, however ought to have, was that Liddy and Leary have been longtime pals, a minimum of in a tenuous manner. Their paths had crossed years earlier than when Liddy, as a district lawyer in New York’s Duchess County, encountered Leary in a drug raid. All these years later, the 2 males teamed up for a talking tour of U.S. universities, a type of yin and yang of subversives. Each had been to jail; Liddy for his position in crimes within the Nixon administration; Leary for drug fees.

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With nice anticipation, I went to the occasion. It was, within the parlance, an actual bummer. I anticipated edification, however they supplied leisure. It was theatre. It was clear that any actual ardour that they had for his or her earlier notions of social order had waned, and so they have been on the street to make a buck off their notoriety.

My enduring impression of the night is that I used to be stunned how a lot they cursed. In an impromptu interview in his dressing room, Leary was relaxed wearing chinos and a golf shirt with white sneakers. He appeared like Gilligan, however dodged questions with cagey and provocative non-answers.

I encountered Liddy in a hallway. He wore a conservative swimsuit with a GI haircut and his signature bushy mustache. As I approached, one other scholar handed him a greenback invoice. He signed his title on it and handed it again.



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