In this country, two big illusions get people through the night: the Mighty State and the American Left. Some folks enjoy the idea of a Big Brother keeping them safe from the masses; others sleep soundly imagining a Left Opposition keeping them safe from Big Brother. But the "Rodney King"uprisings in L.A. (and here in the Bay Area) have exposed us all, leaving both sets of people cringing in the firelight, our precious myths melted by the heat of L.A. burning.

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