See America First | The New York Review of Books

Speaking of bohemians, I like this bit from a 1970 review of Easy Rider and Alice’s Restaurant. (via I forget who)

The current generation of bohemians and radicals hasn’t decided whether to love or hate America. On a superficial level, the dominant theme has been hate—for the wealth and greed and racism and complacency, the destruction of the land, the bullshit rhetoric of democracy, and the average American’s rejection of aristocratic European standards of the good life in favor of a romance with mass-produced consumer goods. But love is there too, perhaps all the more influential for being largely unadmitted. There is the old left strain of love for the “real” America, the Woody Guthrie-Pete Seeger America of workers-farmers-hoboes, the open road, this-land-is-your-land. And there is the newer pop strain, the consciousness—initiated by Andy Warhol and his cohorts, popularized by the Beatles and their cohorts, evangelized by Tom Wolfe, and made respectable in the bohemian ghettos by Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey—that there is something magical and vital as well as crass about America’s commodity culture, that the romance with consumer goods makes perfect sense if the consumer goods are motorcycles and stereo sets and far-out clothes and Spider Man comics and dope. How can anyone claim to hate America, deep down, and be a rock fan? Rock is America—the black experience, the white experience, technology, commercialism, rebellion, populism, the Hell’s Angels, the horror of old age—as seen by its urban adolescents.

See America First | The New York Review of Books