Woo, Chicago! This Democratic Convention is not going to go well, I can tell. Kenny hands out flyers and rushes Bobby Seale. Seale's lackeys pat Kenny down, but Kenny latches onto Jerry, who followed Michael to check out "democracy in action." It looks like Kenny's yelling. Then Kenny says he's going to put Jerry on the mic to let the people hear the voice of a vet. Michael is all, uh, I don't know if that's such a good idea. Jerry ahems and says, "Uh...none of us want to be there...it's hard to explain very well...my dad, he was a Marine...I thought it was going to be like football, I thought that we could win!" Then he makes a face like crying, but looks like constipation. He just squeezes up his face like a baby making a poo. No tears, no quivering lip, no nothing. Just a squinched-up face.
Footage of the actual convention. It's not good. Smoke, troops, chaos, tear gas, billy clubs. People chant, "The whole world is watching." Jerry O'Connell walks up to another vet (the army jacket is a great tip-off), bums a light, and asks where he was. Then he smokes and says, "Crazy."
Nixon wins the Republican nomination. Hooray for him. He wants to "bring an honorable end to the war in Vietnam." Hooray for him! But more boys are being drafted. Michael, wearing only boxers, walks up to an army guy and says he burned his draft card. The army guy gets pissed and says his "brother died in 'Nam for scum like [Michael]." Michael says his, too, but "they haven't buried his body yet."
Oakland, CA. It's Fred Hampton's breakfast program. James Brown plays. Can you guess which song? That's right. "(Say it Loud) I'm Black and I'm Proud"! Little kids, mostly boys, sit around eating. Charles Jr. Serves up food stoically until Fred Hampton, played by David Allen Grier, asks the kids if food tastes better when served with a smile. The kids yell, "YEEEAH!" Charles Jr. smiles. David Allen Grier is all, your dad was great. "Feed the people, we'll all get strong." Beautiful, baby.
Finally. What everyone's been waiting for. Bong...bong...bong! Bong-bong! BONG-BONG-BONG-BONG-BONG! Yeah. Michael and his brother smoke out of a bong (bamboo, no carb) and watch the moon landing. Far. OUT. Michael asks his brother if he thinks he can handle "desolate, uncharted territory." Jerry is all, I can handle the moon. After all, he did handle the you-know-what. But Michael wasn't talking about the moon, man.
He meant WOODSTOCK! Woo! People fuck in tents, get muddy, and dance wildly with bad sunglasses on. "Somebody To Love" starts up. People dance in the rain. Jerry can't decide between the reefer or the brown acid.
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The cops come and bust up the protesters, sitting on the steps like birds on a wire. The cops beat everyone savagely. Whack whack go the nightsticks! Kenny gets hauled off, and Sarah yells that "this is an illegal police action! They assaulted
us!" Yeah, isn't life unfair? Did no one tell you that? Oh right, Sarah's an Upper East Side liberal. My bad.
Woo, we're at the Hog Farm. Carnie waves at the bus as Julia Stiles and her baby get off the magic bus and are welcomed. I hate hippies.
Mom rustles around in the kitchen and says she's "been holding her breath for the last three years." Jerry O'Connell is finally coming home. He was in the shit, you know. There's a bunch of high school friends assembled on the front lawn, and when the yellow taxi pulls up, everything goes into slow-motion. Jerry O'Connell gets out and looks, well, less than happy. He brushes past everyone, including his mom and dad. Michael can see something's wrong. So can Mom and Dad. Jerry just rushes in the house, loosens his uniform, glares at Michael, and disappears into his room. Dad shoulders his son's duffel bag and waves at the confused crowd. Oh well! He's back from the shit and in no mood to party! See y'all later!
RFK campaigns from the back of a train car. Aww. So cute! They still do that today, too! Dad comes out of Jerry's room and says, "Another nightmare." Mom asks, "Do you think he's going to be all right?" Woman, he was on the shit! Does that sound good to you?
Black Panthers pump their fists like they mean it. At the Black Panther Headquarters in Oakland, Charles Jr. argues with other people about whether the Panthers should go to the Democratic Convention or not. One says, "It's the big time. You can meet Fred Hampton." Plus, I think a lot of white people get the shit beat out of them, so that might be fun for the Panthers to check out.
RFK headquarters at Northwestern. Michael is -- surprise -- campaigning, and they watch RFK on TV making a speech and then getting shot. Wow, that's not often shown. Michael looks really sad. Duh. Buffalo Springfield starts up. "For What It's Worth." I do not dig that band. Why, ain't exactly clear. Oh my god, they actually showed RFK on the ground in a pool of blood! Oh, NBC. Shame on you!
Dad gloats, all decked out in his Humphrey campaign finery. He asks Michael who his candidate is this week, because if he doesn't watch out, he'll "end up with Nixon." Ooh, how spooky and prescient -- not. Michael says he just came to the house to take his brother down to the VA. Jerry O'Connell comes out of his room, shaggy and in his army jacket. Dad asks him to come down and support Humphrey, even though "it's kind of a zoo, but it's democracy in action! It's what you fought for!" Jerry takes a long draw on a beer, then says he "need[s] [his] appointment today." Don't fuck with Jerry, man. He was in the...oh, you know.
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