I have seen the movie Bullitt several times. We watched it again the other night and we looked at each other and asked have we seen this before? As pieces of the movie were familiar the whole theme was not and it became the first time we watched and understood the movie.
Now I am a real fan of reading into what I want as critique. I do not follow any one school of thought believing my ideas are as valid as any one else’s. I am educated and was an English Professor for over 10 years before I was black listed …but that is another story. So I am as well versed in the many schools of critique and found each one of them stilted and wanting in depth. So I do my own thing. I was hippie-ish and not a Mod
In these times of Trumpistan and Kafkaistan I now see where these of my age conservatives came from.
In the old days there were the Hippies and the Mods. Our music was different, our values were different, our clothes were different. We did not coexist but ran parallel through the 1960s and 1970s.
There are no Hippies in Bullet even though it was San Francisco in 1968. There are Mods and the then current establishment. The politician was the same as today’s…talk about dinosaurs ! Politicians are the living fossils of the human race. However, it is the Mod who is the most telling in this movie. The Mod is Bullitt’s girlfriend. She wears a kicky mini dress with boots drives a sports car (I could not tell if it was a Porsche or a Carmine Ghia) convertible. The Mods, for the most part, embraced the sexual revolution so GF sleeps with Bullitt but she is strictly an establishment woman. Some Mods could embrace the ideology of Hippies but not many did. She did embrace the Mod ideals of staying aloof from the real world of the poor, the non establishment peoples. She even tells Bullitt after she sees the dead woman in the motel that he lives in the sewer and is becoming calloused by the misery of the real world of the police detectives. She knows it is there but choses to ignore it. She lives her life with out much care for others outside her sphere. These Mods are the young people who later became the politicians they were already establishment. They were fossils with groovy clothes and haircuts. They already felt entitled to their comforts and way of life.
Hippies wanted to change the status quo, to make the air clean, water clean, and love everyone like brothers. They took hold and that is why we have the EPA( or rather had) and the various other nice things that helped everyone not just the rich. We got Medicare during these times and many other social services. As an aside the vaccine for Mumps was the new health thing in 1968.
Even though the mantra for Hippies was tune in & drop out, we all could see the problems in the world as solvable. With effort we could clean the air( we did) with effort we could create equality… we were stopped by the fossils and establishment since that would cost them prestige and money. Many hippies sold out and joined the Mods in spirit but kept the jeans and house plants. Few Mods joined the ideals of a new world nice for everyone. They were selfish then and are even more selfish today.
I can watch the movie a few more times and take notes to expand this essay but what would be the point? Hippies lost the war of life and the Mods took over. Now we live in Trumpistan( I have moved to Kafkaistan)
I just wanted to share this revelation with you. The world would have been a much nicer place if the Hippies had won.