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cult skullduggery he put himself through to make it happen forwhat was really only a second.

It was immediately after Emmett completed that Free chore that William Bendix was replaced in the leading role of America's favorite pastime of "Kill the Umpire" by Sirhan Sirhan, who fired a bullet into the brain of Robert Kennedy with almost exactly the same demeanor and in much the same way as Saigon's police chief fired a round from his revolver into the temple of a Viet Cong suspect and commented afterwards on television that "Buddha will understand." Sirhan Sirhan had Allah on his side.

The chicken also came home to roost in the cold hype and media scam of the Haight-Ashbury, when it became the only truly racially integrated neighborhood in America to riot in July, '68. It all began with the cops, of course, who tried to arrest two brothers on suspicion of selling LSD, and it ended three nights later after what the newspapers headlined as a "Fiery Riot." The truth of the matter was that there were about two thousand people in the streets, most of whom were either just watching the five or six guys who were doing all the rock-, bottle-, and fire-bomb throwing, or trying to stop them with such sophistical statements as, "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent!" But three nights of that large a crowd, and that small a group of violent activists, was enough to smash every shopwindow on Haight Street and burn out the Bank of America building, before the squad of tactical cops got wise and launched a sweep in two directions, quelling all the action and emerging from the contest victorious.

After that, most of the Haight Independent Proprietors threw in the towel and boarded up their stores for good. As it turned out, many of the Head shops and hippie boutiques that closed had been owned by a corporation with a Nob Hill dentist for chairman, which only used the bearded longhairs as managers for their storefront.

Another result of the "Fiery Riot" was that the media began to include explosives as a part of the terms of hipsterism, while also looking back longingly to when the district was the home of the flower generation. The epilogue to the Haight "riot" came from a group calling itself the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Development Corporation, which proposed a hundred million dollar plan to resuscitate the district with an ambitious face-lift to make it the most attractive business area in the city, hoping to hide all the ugliness with the paint of success. [end page 476]


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