Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hitchens on the Sixties 

For me, there are only two really memorable scenes in ''Easy Rider.'' The first is when Jack Nicholson edges in from the side of the screen and we know at once that something has happened to American acting. The second is when Fonda and Hopper pull up at a remote rural commune where, among other things, bearded boys and full-skirted girls are broadcasting seeds into furrows from improvised sacks. (''You can tell just by looking,'' said a comrade of mine at the time, ''that nothing's gonna grow in those furrows except footprints.'') There was always a slight embarrassment to be experienced when these would-be Amish came sidling back to town, to resume work in brokerages and banks and universities. To this day, that especially vile reminder of the epoch -- the graying and greasy ponytail trailing off the balding pate -- is their living memorial.



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