Last semester I found myself explaining to a foreign student that the Moscone Center here in San Francisco is named after a mayor who was assassinated in his office, along with America’s first openly gay politician, by a rival politician who later successfully argued in court that he wasn’t accountable for his actions because he’d eaten too many Twinkies. And this was not even headline news in the state where it happened because it was on the same week that almost a thousand people, mostly from California, committed mass suicide after murdering a Congressman and several journalists in a South American jungle ambush. But the part about the cult members drinking poisoned Kool-Aid was an exaggeration. It was actually Flavor Aid.

That’s when I realized the 1970s had a lot of problems.

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