Thursday, March 12, 2009
Kidneys Say Goodbye
This week we watched Easy Rider, a classic on the road movie from the 1960s. This movie was great, and (sorry Dona) a big step up from the last two. The movie shows the trip of two followers of the counter culture of the time Bill and Wyatt, played by Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. The opening scene starts off by the two doing a cocaine deal, which at first gives the idea that they are just two seedy characters in the drug life, but my opinion of these two men changed very quickly. It seems that the two are just trying to live their lives and be free.
This wish to be free is what the counter culture was all about. They wanted to be free from "the man". This idea of being free from society, and creating your own independent community that would allow you to be fully sustainable, do what you want when you want it, that would be a great life and the people who thought of it had a good thought. The idea was a wonderful thought, but the problem was with the execution. Sure, the want to be free is wonderful, but what hurt the counter culture movement is that want to be free of everything. Free from duties, free from responsibilities, free from inhibitions, and nothing takes away inhibitions like drugs. Now I know that when you think of the counter culture you have to think of the major use of hard drugs. In the movie it seemed that the drug use was an every day event, but the use of some had more of a ritual use. The ritual use of drugs would have allowed the movement to have a better chance, if it would have stayed that way, but when the use of LSD and other harder drugs on a recreational basis, this caused more harm then good.
Another thing that is show in the movie is that when someone goes against the norm of society people will look down on them. This is seen when Billy and Wyatt are in the south, and sadly the south is the main place in the nation where different is bad. Being a guy with long hair, I have gotten my fair share of looks and "you need a haircut" comments. Sadly, this seems to be the trend in the southern part of the US. People don't like change and definitely hate different. I wish this was different, but I'm sorry to say that the stereotype is hard to break.