WASHINGTON'S scruffy Ambassador Theater, normally a pad for psychedelic frolics, was the scene of an unscheduled scatological solo last week in support of the peace demonstrations. Its anti-star was Author Norman Mailer, who proved even less prepared to explain Why Are We in Viet Nam? than his current novel bearing that title.

Slurping liquor from a coffee mug, Mailer faced an audience of 600, most of them students, who had kicked in $1,900 for a bail fund against Saturday's capers. "I don't want to grandstand unduly," he said, grandly but barely standing.

It was one of his few coherent sentences. Mumbling and...

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