Sunday, July 14, 2013

Easy Rider

"Try this." - Captain America

Easy Rider isn't a great movie. In fact, the plot has less depth than a teenage comic strip that gets passed around in the cafeteria. Two hippies cross the South and encounter people and prejudices. There's no plot. A few flimsy statements about culture are made but it's all "Tell" and little "Show". The hippies are free to travel...and the locals are free to be leery. How can you complain? When has this not been the case? America is huge and the idea that you're going to travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans, over 2000 miles across several cultural boundaries, without some difficulties is crazy.


Even in my quest of 1992 when I fled a civil lawsuit in New England for Guatemala and failed to gain entry into Mexico so ended up in San Francisco and then a Trappist Monastery, eventually circumnavigating the entire United States in a 1982 Datsun 200sx, did I not think I'd be welcomed in every town. Indeed, only Waffle House and generic truck stops would serve my long haired hippie ass food. This regionalism will never change and if it did we'd probably be in worse trouble because it would mean a totally generic culture of Fox News and drive-thru dialysis huts. People will dream about the days when racism and accents helped you know what state you were in.

I do think there were about 6 years between 1964 and 1970 when the counter culture almost gained a foothold in the Post War landscape. The drug war has been a total failure in terms of stopping drug use but Nixon's dual vision of bombing Cambodian villages while at the same time imprisoning domestic stoners managed to institutionalize war and condition people to accept the criminalization of the cultural fringe. These two serious precedents continue to this day so you could say that Nixon's plan was a complete success: Americans accept wars that can't be won and that will ultimately bankrupt the country, and they accept a prison system that feeds itself with manufactured criminals. Ike and Kennedy and Johnson and Nixon were smart because they started early and kept the pressure on, they enlisted propaganda experts and never gave up in their war against critical thinking. Each subsequent president was too cowardly to alter an obviously treasonous policy and what has followed is 40+ years of war and incarceration. The counter culture was beaten around the time I was born in the early 70s. It faded into Disco and organized drug cartels, apathy and political masturbation.

I debate the alternative reality that sees the hippie revolution end the war in Vietnam, legalize drugs, advance the cause of simplicity, etc. Is it possible for 400 million people to trust each other? I see the trends of today being gigantic fraud and economic flim flam tempered by disinformation. Propaganda feeds us our own thoughts through a straw. But isn't that the only way we could cohabitate? Order comes from obedience. You can't obey a hippie. While the world of Captain America, sleepy eyelids drooping over mutton chop sideburns, leather coat abstract naked art, all appeals to my wounded pride, I know that people need order more than they can think critically. I haven't met many people as ill-suited for today's putrefied assembly line culture as myself. So imagine a few thousand Oggy Bleachers running around. It would be anarchy. The nature of an inverted power paradigm makes it unstable and easily overthrown by a normal elitist, top-down power structure

But on the flip side the only reason people don't think critically is because order has been manufactured for so long that we rely on it like a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream pacifies the diabetic hunger. We're not making incremental steps toward justice but the score book will always pretend we are because it helps us sleep. We're all sharecroppers on a strip of dry dirt hustling for our cotton seeds but the warped mirror hung on the rented doors reflects a twisted image of pearls and anal beads in deliberate denial.

Again, the continued destruction of our atmosphere will lead to oven like temperatures. Media lies act like static in the debate, distracting everyone while the earth is plundered. People talk but never act. Austin banned plastic bags, LIKE THAT'S GOING TO MATTER~! Crisis builds on crisis and labels of persecution and paranoia marginalize anyone who breaks from the blind herd thundering toward a cliff. It's this perfect campaign to "unite people" in group suicide that Fox and CNN are so adept at. It's like Manson's Helter Skelter except applied by real skilled political magicians who tug pierced nipples of pride-less losers. Start a race war and when the dust settles who will own all the land? Who will come to the rescue but the elite who started the war to begin with. Brilliant. They must've laughed when Manson tried to beat them to it. "Amateur," they thought.

I guess I'm in Captain America's corner. Sorry, CNN and the hoard of buzz cut Republicans. You are going to win the parched land but the stoners had more fun. All I wanted to say was I'd totally smoke a joint with Peter Fonda's character...and then this screed came out. Sorry. I'm really frustrated with the condition of my condition.

Self Portrait of Our Culture
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.