For Woodstock: The Five Lamest Hippies In The Movies
Forty years ago this weekend, hundreds of thousands of unkempt youngsters
descended on the town of Bethel, NY for an advertised "three days of
peace and music." Woodstock has since become etched into our country's
history, not just for symbolizing the 1960s, but also for unleashing the
continuing threat to our national security that is the hippie. Popularly
maligned for their (lack of) hygiene and adherence to outdated values
like peace and love, hippies take a particular beating in popular
culture, as we can see by these dirty, dirty examples.
5. Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell (John LaZar) -- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
Who came first? Z-Man or Phil Spector? Co-writer Roger Ebert based the
outrageous record producer, who morphs from mere musical Svengali to
murderous "Superwoman," on the notorious "Wall of Sound" pioneer. That
makes Spector's recent murder conviction seem less like the inevitable
outcome of years of instability and more like...destiny.
Spector didn't use a sword, however.
4. Scott and Ralph (Keifer Sutherland and Robert Downey, Jr.) --
Every time America marks the passage of another decade since the
Woodstock Era, we have to immerse ourselves in nostalgia for our lost
innocence. This is usually accomplished with a slew of commemorative
movies and books reminding us of what a time it was, it was. Some
efforts are less successful than others, including 1969, a
semi-autobiographical effort from writer/director Ernest Thompson
(On Golden Pond) that proves the old saying that just because
you grew up during interesting times doesn't necessarily make you
3. The Stranger -- Easy Rider (1969)
Jesus, answer a direct question already, you weird bastard. And don't
lecture the guys dragging your obtuse ass all over the Southwest about
"politeness" when you're leading them to a commune full of headcases as
almost as annoying as you.
2. Ian "Ray" Raymond (Tim Robbins) -- High Fidelity (2000)
It's all there: the smug tone, the maddeningly even-tempered demeanor
(he works in conflict resolution, after all)...the ponytail. And the
best part is that "Ray" doesn't just personify everything we've come to
loathe about the Baby Boomers, but his scene with John Cusack allows the
latter to continue his streak of somehow working kickboxing into every
one of his movies.
1. Jenny (Robin Wright Penn) -- Forrest Gump (1994)
Jenny Curran embodies the hatred Gump's filmmakers obviously
felt for the counterculture, showing everyone that the reward for
straying far from the comforting confines of "Greenbow, ALABAMA" is
physical abuse, drug addiction, disease, and death. Indeed, the only
hippies we actually meet are the doomed Jenny and the SDS guy what beats
on her. There's a representative sample for you.
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