From the July 2010 issue of the Socialist Standard
The actor Dennis Hopper died on 29 May. Together with Peter Fonda he wrote the script for the 1969 cult film Easy Rider in which he also played Billy. Here’s a couple short extracts from the film:
GEORGE: You know this used to be a hell of a good country, can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
BILLY: Man, everyone's got chicken that's what happened, man. Hey, we can't even get into a, like, second-rate hotel, a second rate motel, you dig. They think we're going to cut their throats or something, man. Like, they're scared, man.
GEORGE: They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent.
BILLY: All we represent to them, man, is someone who needs a haircut.
GEORGE: No. What you represent to them is freedom.
BILLY: What the hell's wrong with freedom! That's what it's all about.
GEORGE: Yeah, that's right. That’s what it’s all about. But talking it and being it, that's two different things. I mean it's really hard to be free when you're bought and sold in the market place. Don't ever tell anyone that they're not free because they'll get real busy killing and maiming to prove that they are. Oh yeah, they'll talk to you and talk to you and talk to you about individual freedom but they see a free individual it's going to scare them.
BILLY: Man, it don't make them running scared.
GEORGE: No, it makes them dangerous.
* * * * *
BILLY: Oh, wow... what... What’s that, man. What the hell was that?
BILLY: No, man, like, hey man, wow! I was watching this object, man, like the satellite we saw the other night right and it was going across the sky, man, and then it just suddenly, yeah, it just changed direction and went whizzing right off, man. It flashed . . .
WYATT: You're stoned out of your mind, man.
BILLY: Oh yeah, I'm stoned, man. But like, I saw a satellite, man, and it was going across the sky and it flashed three times at me and zigzagged and whizzed off, man, and I saw it.
GEORGE: That was a UFO beaming back at you. Me and Eric Heisman was down Mexico two weeks ago. We seen forty of them flying in formation. They've got bases all over the world now. They've been coming here ever since 1946 when the scientists started bouncing radar beams off of the moon. And they have been living and working among us in vast quantities ever since. The government knows all about them.
BILLY: What are you talking, man?
GEORGE: Well, you just seen one of them, didn't you?
BILLY: Hey man, I saw something, man, but I didn't see it working here, you know what I mean.
GEORGE: Well, they are people just like us, from within our own solar system. Except that their society is more highly evolved. I mean, they don't have no wars, they got no monetary system, they don't have any leaders, because I mean each man is a leader. I mean each man... Because of their technology they are able to feed, clothe, house and transport themselves equally and with no effort.