Re: Beginning of the sixties

Kent Manno (
Sun, 23 Jun 1996 23:13:52 -0400

At 08:46 AM 6/23/96 -0400, you wrote:
>My impression of the movie, for me in the South, when it first came out,
was it's
>flagrant capitalizing on an increasing paranoia of those times. In the
Southeast at that
>time, the 'hippy' scene had been composed almost exclusively of
middle-class liberals
>from the more ethnically diverse North. The most extreme 'red-neck' element
of the South
>was still too preoccupied with the notion that, if they tolerated the
hippies, they
>could eventually cash-in on their misperception of 'free-love'; and it had
yet to occur
>to the 'silent-majority' of not so extreme rednecks that they too could
become hippies.

I would think that the most extreme red-neck element would not be from the
liberals...more from the working class that might not be as tolerant and
aware of the
possible cashing-in.

>Their was, however, tension (bad vibes). But, like foreigners in a foreign
>long-time residents will have, surprisingly, far more tolerance than one
would suspect
>and absolve whatever friction with: "Well, they're just too stupid to not
know any
>better" --and leave it at that.

This would have been my impression...growing up in southern Florida in the
there was quite a bit of tension....and tolerance...

>'Easy-Rider', not only, showed that rednecks can become, at least
pseudo-hippies, and
>that such so-called hippies can be shot, but also, that doing so could be
>The quasi-rednecks then began to flood the ranks of 'hippies' telling their
own that
>they were not like them. By the droves they high-tailed it from Marty
Robbins to Bob
>Taking their cue from the movie however, the extreme rednecks then, with
all tolerance
>or hopes for free-love forgotten, counterclaimed saying: "No you're not,
you're still
>us. You think you are better than us? Well this is what traitors get, and I
don't give a
>damn if you think you look like white Indians. We shot them squatters too."
>That the prospect that the 'hippie' movement would itself be diluted by such
>quasi-rednecks was disheartening in that it guaranteed its eventual doom. And
>'quasi'-rednecks was exactly what they were. The utter ridiculousness of
>is anathema till this day. VW Van hippes yes. Biker-hippies, no. Having
capitalizing on
>the general paranoia of the period, I think the film ended up doing for the
70's what
>"Clock-Work Orange" did for the 80's.

So you are saying that bikers and hippies just don't mix...and that maybe
Fonda and
Hopper should have been in a VW bus...:)....You would think they thought
about this
before writing the movie.

Unfortunately, I think there are still some that believe many bikers were

Let me assume that you are saying that Fonda and Hopper would be the extreme
redneck element of the hippie movement.

>Why did Fonda say what he did? After that first time I saw the film, when
it first came
>out, I thought that he was simply recognizing the 'vapidity' that this
>participation in such a movement would have while merely playing out the
>delusion scene made encumbant for box-office by James Dean's roles, while
also making me
>more paranoid than ever. The bucket was tipped.
>Having seen the film since, I do not think there was any greater message,
if even that
>one. Though it might be fashionable to read into his script an unconscious
>that they were doomed because they had become traitors to their own kind,
yet having
>done so, were too peace-oriented, disestablished, or mindless in face of
the hardest of
>the hardcore-established to not survive, if not their own mindlessness, I
think more
>than anything else, Peter Fonda said what he did because he was being paid
to say it,
>without much, if any, of a second thought. The whole country was being
railroaded to
>eliminate any opposition to the war in Viet-nam. Whole hippy neighborhoods,
such as
>Atlanta's, long-gone "Tight-Squeeze" were being besieged by police using
>"No-Knock" laws. They were being burned to the ground. And those who didn't
get drafted
>were being killed anyway. That film helped dupe and mobilize a whole
segment of the
>population to help effect such. And when the bikers finally arrived, they
were not

I think I need to find out more about the biker scene of the sixties(can you
any sources)...or maybe change my concept of bikers and hippies...Can it be
that some bikers were hippies? Or was this not acceptable in the biker realm?

As Fonda wrote the film...I don't think he said it because he was being paid
to...I think there
was a message here...maybe I'm wrong about this.

>Well excuse me if it sounds a little heavy, but those were heavy times, and
I think the
>film, as a film, was over-rated then, as it is now.
Point well taken.

Kent H. Manno, Chairman 201-538-3231 Ext. 3372
Department of History 201-538-3231, 3371 FAX
St. Mary's Abbey/Delbarton School
230 Mendham Rd. Webmaster / St.
Morristown, NJ 07960 Joseph's Parish