Picture the set of a late-night talk show, circa 1983.
Allen Ginsberg is fat, bearded, and sitting in the interview chair. Long hair grows in unruly patches from the side of his otherwise bald head. His eyebrows sprout from his forehead like wild hawthorn in bloom.
He’s wearing a tie-dye t-shirt with a hole in it. His fingers are stained from nicotine resin.
Ginsberg, a former marketing researcher, wanted to talk about the generation gap, and what he said about the challenges youth had to face actually made a lot of sense.
But although he certainly looked the part of “legendary poet,” this audience didn’t take him seriously. He simply didn’t appear to be a credible expert who they could know, like, and trust.
What was missing?