The people's uprising was a brief and hilarious failure, as I expected, although the sweet scent of tear gas now drifts over my garden, suggesting what might have been. It was mostly kids, and while charmingly earnest, they mostly didn't understand the most basic principles of protest or cooperative action, and so they were easily and swiftly dispersed by the police. We may lament the gaudy police state in which we live and chuckle ruefully at the loudspeaker warning, "This is an illegal assembly"--the fuzz no longer even bothers to change the constitutional language in propounding orders that directly contravene the rights that language is meant to guarantee. Puts a man in a mordant mood. Anyway, you know, a great deal more might have been demonstrated if they'd held hands, sat down, and sung spirituals. If you'll pardon me, their problem is just as much aesthetic as it is political. They are not compelling.