I watched Billy Jack the other night. I first saw the film back in 1971 when it hit the theaters. Billy Jack caused me broken bones and no end of pain. Honestly. This scene caused it all:
If you have not seen the movie, it is about a school, located on an Indian reservation, run by the ultimate Hippie. The school is a non-violent creative wonderland where you can be "you", and learn whatever you want.The Man puts no limits on your creativity, your soul. The nearby town is stocked with cartoon conservative Neanderthals who only want to discriminate against anyone who is not a WASP, shoot wild animals to extinction, and use their wealth to influence the local politics.. Evil Righties clash with good Lefties and only the ex-Green Beret, half-Native American, right-minded (in a lefty way) Billy Jack can save the poor progressives.It is for the Children, you see.
Billy does all of the wrong things -- violence, guns, and fighting -- for all of the right reasons, so all is OK with crazy hippie fanatic Jean and the school kids. Billy Jack is a metaphor for the violent fringe lefty groups of the time like the Weather Underground. Violence and death is OK as long as your underlying motivations are "good" (read progressive) and punishes evil rich conservative white guys.The Utopia will come when the bad people are re-educated or eliminated.
Tom Laughlin, who wrote, directed, and stars as the title character, is as much a Native American as Elizabeth Warren, so his believability factor is a little low. Plus, the mixing of several native American cultures and traditions, like combining the traditions of the Hopi Snake Dance with the Ghost Dance perpetuated by a Paiute and popularized by the Sioux of the 1890's is a little confusing. By the end of the movie I start to hate every character except Billy Jack, and he wears a little thin.
But damn, I love this movie.
Here is a Tuesday dose of Friday Hippie music, because I am a sharing kind of guy: Plus the video pretty much captures the film without having to see the whole thing.