Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
Amid all the protean chaos of 1960s countercultural developments, one of the more intriguing currents was the nihilistic iconoclasm that caused some rather seedy elements in the forces arrayed against the western establishment to adopt the symbols of “hate” as a sign of nonconformity – with bikers such as Hell’s Angels, for example, wearing swastikas. Much of the counterculture, of course, was merely superficial fashion; but sometimes it gave rise to something more. A blue collar manifestation and offshoot of mod sensibility in Britain was the notorious skinhead haircut, which represented a macho reaction against the shaggy hair of the Beatles et al. Many of the original skinheads were reggae enthusiasts, not at all racialist in orientation; but the look also became associated with soccer hooliganism, which in turn has frequently taken the form of racial tribalism. Whatever its origins, the skinhead look had become associated by the 1970s with white supremacism in America. For instance, the greasy gang that attacks Charles Bronson’s wife and daughter and sprays a swastika on the wall of his home in Death Wish (1974) includes one skinhead.
In any revolution, there will be those among its stewards who feel that the work of the revolutionaries has already been completed, while others continue to agitate and pursue further radical measures. Even today there are more or less Marxist Jews in America – “neoconservatives” – who consider the cultural degradation of western civilization to be a completed task and oppose its continued degeneration at the presently hasty rate. An interesting cinematic evidence of Jewish discomfort with the pagan and potentially racist energies unleashed by the 1960s counterculture, itself a largely Jewish undertaking, is Jeff Lieberman’s offbeat Blue Sunshine (1977), one of the zaniest and most memorable horror movies of its decade.
Writer-director Lieberman seems to have gone out of his way to give his hero, Jerry Zipkin, an ostentatiously super-Jewish name, and casts an obvious tribesman, future late-night cable softcore smut peddler Zalman King Lefkowitz, as the earnest progressive protagonist. Even before the terror begins, Zipkin’s disquieting odd-man-out status as a Jew in a gentile world is torturously apparent. Zipkin attends a Christmas party and goes as far as to wear a sweater with reindeer on it to try to fit in; but, as Gene Simmons learned from wisecracking comedienne Totie Fields (Sophie Feldman) on The Mike Douglas Show in 1974, “You can’t hide the hook.” Attempting to join his old friend Frannie Scott (Richard Crystal) in a nostalgic song-and-dance number, Zipkin finds himself the object of a deceptively joking rejection when Scott abruptly informs Zipkin that he prefers to perform alone. Shortly afterward, Scott suddenly snaps, turns savage, and is revealed to be almost totally bald as he attacks his fellow guests and, manifesting either the anti-Semitism of the gentile or (if Jewish) a kapo mentality, shoves one of the startled women in attendance into the fireplace. This scene positively screams the specifically Jewish paranoia of the film’s subtext. Scott has, in short, revealed himself to be a Jew-hating skinhead.
Zipkin, whose struggle with Scott results in the latter being run over by a truck, ends up being accused as a murderer – the innocent victim of a blood libel! – and attempts while a fugitive from the law to discover the mystery behind why Scott and others are simultaneously losing their hair and turning into bloodthirsty maniacs. Zipkin eventually learns that an epically bad batch of acid from the Summer of Love is finally showing delayed side-effects in its users, who have long since graduated from their psychoactive experimentations and gone to work as respectable figures in establishment jobs. One of these is Edward Flemming (Mark Goddard), a straight-laced WASP politician running for Congress. In the course of his investigation, Zipkin discovers an old photograph of Flemming in his hippie days, captioned “Blue Sunshine”, and something about the picture intensely perturbs him. Though nothing of this is made explicit, one senses that what Zipkin sees and fears in this smiling, radiantly blond psychedelic image of the future politician is the ominous possibility of a rising WASP Messiah, a charismatic pagan and hippie Hitlerite awakened by the countercultural tectonic shifts and set to implement a new American order.
Although Zipkin overcomes his immediate challenges, Blue Sunshine leaves the viewer in doubt as to whether the crisis is finished or is only now beginning. Vigilance, Lieberman clearly feels, is necessary going forward. But seriously, folks . . . The Baby Boomers, unfortunately, produced no Aryan Messiah – nor, fortunately, did they give rise to berserking Christmas party pooper cueballs like the ones in this highly entertaining and recommendable movie.