Although I know this film hasn’t changed in 48 years, watching it showed me how much I have changed, and most of my changes have taken place since moving to rural Colorado. For example, when the riders pick up a hippie on the way to a commune, they eventually ask him where he’s from. His answer is simple and so true: “A city.” When pressed for more he says it doesn’t really matter what city, because cities have the same effect on us as people.I so agree now. And if you don’t, I challenge you to move to the country for a few years. Then we’ll talk.
I have also learned a lot about my biases and judgments of people I don’t know. For some reason, moving here has lightened my load of judgments on those who don’t look like me. I know in ‘Easy Rider’ the country people in the south hate hippie-types. There’s a great line in there from George, the local drunk played wonderfully by Jack Nicholson, who tags along with them on their journey to New Orleans. He says many just don’t appreciate the freedom these two bikers represent. When they see it they want to kill it. Nice foreshadowing.
Mike rode a Gold Wing when I first met him. Before I fell in love with him 12 years ago, I judged those who rode motorcycles, especially if they had a tattoo. When I first set eyes on Mike I thought, oh no, he has a tattoo. My next thought was but it’s nice dragon! So much for that judgment… I have learned quite a bit about how to experience true personal freedom by living with Mike and by moving away from cities.
How do we benefit from judging ourselves and others? We don’t.