worshipful; Babitz’s view, especially towardnthe end, seems almost wistful. It’snas if she’s disappointed that what seemednso lovely turned out to be so foul: “It willnnever be the same again.” It’s an echo ofnwhat every adult feels when biddingngoodbye, sometimes reluctantly, tonchildhood; even the worst aspects arentinged with the rosy glow of innocence,nnow lost—and one knows that realitynwill never be quite as perfect or quite asneasy as those childish illusions.nSubtitled “Advice to Young LadiesnEager for a Good Time,” Babitz’s messagenis clear, her portraits stark. Shenmakes a good case for normalcy, for lovenand self-discipline rather than “sex andnrage.” Let’s hope it comes out in paperback:nall the young ladies to whom Ms.nBabitz speaks will undoubtedly buy it,ncaught by the title, and perhaps a fewnlives will turn toward the nourishmentnof sanity instead of the glamour ofnlunacy. DnProphylactics as Mediumnand MessagenMarge Piercy: Vida; Summit Books;nNew York.nby Gary S. VasilashnIn the fall of 1969 the Rolling Stonesnperformed in Detroit’s Olympia sportsnarena. The crowd was standing roomnonly, composed of a broad section ofnthe area’s youth: rock-concert ticketnprices had yet to hit the current extraordinarynrate—which is still eagerlynpaid. (It’s interesting to speculate onnhow these same people react to the increasesnin gasoline prices: how manynpapers are being written for compositionnclasses that flay the money-grubbingnoil companies?) The final numbernof the evening was “Street FightingnMan,” the lyrics of which are a defiantnlament (an admitted oxymoron) aboutnhow there is nothing for a “poor boy”nto do but to becojtie a rock singer becausen”in a sleepy Detroit towri, there’snjust no place for a street-fighting man.”nAs Mick Jagger, the group’s multimillion-dollarnpoor boy, bleated outnthose last words, he began to dancenacross the stage, showering the crowdnwith red rose petals, which were heldnin a construction-worker’s helmet, pop-nMr. Vasilash is assistant editor ofnManufacturing Engineering magazine.nChronicles of Cttltorenular demonstration attire. At the samentime, flyers fell on the crowd. The message,nconveyed in a graphic shriek withnthe obligatory clenched-fist design, wasnfor the youngsters to become streetnfighters in the cause of the Weathermen,nthe militant offshoot of the Studentsnfor a Democratic Society. Rosesnand revolution. Heady stuff, that.nSince that time, much has changed.nThe Rolling Stones are richer, thanksn”We believe Vida . . .”nto the market system that didn’t gondown in the blazes of a street-fightingnrevolution. Young people still throngnto concerts, literally packing the stadiumsnlike so many cattle, often with nonprospect of a seat. But what of thenpamphlet-packing renegades?nSome answers are provided by ex-nDetroiter and ex-SDS member MargenPiercy in her new novel Vida. Insteadnof the SDS, we are shown SAW, StudentsnAgainst the War. And the WeathernUnderground (the Weathermen andnwomen on the run) is transformed intonthe Network. At the center of all thisnis Vida Asch (a.k.a., Davida Whippletree,nVinnie Rapaport, Peregrine, etc.),nage 36. We see her in the present, onnnnthe lam from the authorities, and in anseries of flashbacks to the period fromn1967.nThe first thing one notices about thenso-called revolutionaries that populate”nthe book is that they are all incrediblynbeautiful or handsome. Take Vida: “shenlooked good . . . Yes, she was lookingngood . . . .” That’s her own opinion.nAn ex-admirer—one whom Vida is certainnwants her body—tells her, “Younwere really a beautiful girl, Vida, younknow that?” Her husband, Leigh Pfeiffer,nthinking back says, “Girls new innthe Movement that spring. You werenthe best looking . . . .” Another tellsnher, “Vida, you never age. I think you’renmore beautiful now . . .” than in thendays of flyers and roses.nAnd Leigh’s no slouch himself:n”Sometimes she could wish he werenless striking in appearance.” Leigh isnthe “Movement’s media star,” whichnmeans that he is a disc jockey on a radionstation (WBAD, of course) who makesndocumentaries on chic issues. He attractsnwomen like a rock star, and isnalso the radicals’ “resident gourmet andnwine expert.” A third important characternis Joel White, 26, an Army de-n—Jdhii 1 fdiKiriln.Vt ;/• Ynrl^ I hill Xnserter at age 19. Vida describes him asnhaving “a small slightly puckered arrogantnmouth, beautiful ivory teeth, anwell-modeled flairing nose, archednbrows, a perfect lightly cleft chin.” Thenlist could go on; although the book isntouted as a work of political art, thencharacters are straight out of a gothicnromance readily available at any supermarketncheck-out counter.nIjefore looking at the politics in thenbook, a quick sketch of the relationshipsnof these acid-rock Jacobins is in order.nLeigh is Vida’s second husband. Hernfirst, a Greek, is mentioned, just whynis never made clear; a gothic romancenrequires a touch of the international.n