Thursday, October 09, 2008

Remembering Billy Jack

Does anyone remember the 1970's counter culture film Billy Jack?

Last night I took my kids to visit my old high school, an alternative learning environment much like The Freedom School depicted in the movie. We called it The A.P. (short for Worthington High School Alternative Program) but most of the people around town just called it "The Zoo."

My munchkins were flipping out. A school where kids make the rules? Where you can paint on the walls or break out into song on the stage of "The Big Room" whenever you like? Where you call the teachers by their first names? Where every teacher and every student each have an equal say and equal vote on how the school is run? Where nobody locks their lockers, (as that would be an insult to the integrity of your fellow students.) Where kids can teach their own classes, or write up a contract with a teacher, to go anywhere in the world to learn anything they would like?

Yeah babies, that is where mommy went to high school: in a totally non-institutionalized institution, where peace, learning, responsibility and respect all went hand in hand.

Does anyone else still value that?

With politics as it is right now, I drew a number of parallels during my visit to the old stomping grounds. The A.P. is a great example of thinking outside of the box, to create something new and different, and infinitely better.

People fear change, just like the people in town who called us "zooies." way back then. But the old school is still going strong, and has produced some amazing citizens, who have done some pretty cool things over the years.

I don't know about you, but I don't fear change at all. I'm actually really looking forward to it.

You Tube would not allow permission to embed the video from the film here, but if you remember the movie, you will get a real blast of nostalgia by clicking this link. It will take you to the Billy Jack trailer and theme song "One Tin Soldier by Coven. Excellent tune, and a great old independent film with a message that still resonates today.


Gabriele said...

Yes I remember the movie and thank you for the link in You Tube.
I returned from Viet Nam in 1969 and the 70s were a time of great awakening for the US. People took to the streedt to protest the war,
civil rights abuses and womens rights. Now we are faced with a candiate for Vice President that thinks the Iraq war is a "Task from God"
Change is part of life. we cannot stand the status quo.
the only real change will come from Obama/Biden .

Kel-Bell said...

I could not agree more Gabriele.

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