We have bonfire. Michael sits by himself. Sarah walks over and says, wow, man, that was really cool how he "kept a lot of people from getting hurt." Yeah, and wasn't it uncool of your stupid boyfriend to send people rushing onto soldier's bayonets, practically? Michael says that "mostly [he] was thinking about one of them," and that it was "crazy" for Kenny to send her and other chicks up front. It wasn't "crazy," says Sarah, because it "gets on the news, and what doesn't get on the news doesn't count." This movie was brought to you by NBC. Michael says her comment was "paid political commentary" and he knows a dozen people like Kenny, who will only ever "care about people in the abstract" and "claim[s] to love humanity except face-to-face." They stare at each other, their noses an inch apart. Oh, go do it already.
You want to know a mean thing my boyfriend said to me lately? As I was slaving over this recap (for you, dear reader), he asked if anyone was going to read it. Oh, snap! What a dis! I was all, SARS asked me to do it, hello, and who has good taste? Sars has good taste. And yes, I have no idea how many people will read it until it comes out, but one thing I'm glad of is that there isn't a big old honking board to moderate.
So, we have the long-time-coming scene in which Julia Stiles yells at Donovan Leitch for being a deadbeat. Carnie Wilson takes the baby away so they can fight with their hands free. Their baby, Rainbow, has pneumonia and Donovan only has $6 because he just bought this dynamite "lid." Does she want some? NO, she yells. Julia? Seriously, just smoke a leetle beet. It's really not bad. Illegal, yes, but not bad. She asks if he's ever thought about getting "a real job." Ha ha ha ha ha! He's an artist, man! A stoned lady says her "shaman said to avoid all baaaad vibes." Hee. There's a Philly band called the Bad Vibes. Check them out.
The blip says, "Northwestern University, 1968." Students assemble in the lawn. Kenny says haltingly to the group that they should "try not to freak out the middle class." Then we get a "please vote for McCarthy" montage, ending with Michael asking his mom to vote for McCarthy, and to please do his laundry. She laughs and says yes. As she folds, he tries to get her to sign the petition. She says, "Not every issue is worth fighting for." Spoken like a grown-up. He says it's about trying to end the war and to bring Brian back home. Dad walks in, and they both stop talking. Mom says there's a letter from Brian, and Dad rushes to open it. He reads out loud that Vietnam "ain't a Hilton but [Brian's] warm and dry." And he'll be home from war in six months. Dad says, "You hear that, Mr. Clean-for-Gene?" Mom signs the petition, and asks that her husband show the same respect for her opinions that she does for his. Woo, go sister!
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Remember that scene in The Breakfast Club
when Judd Nelson does the guitar part for "The Sunshine of Your Love"? Do it now. We have a full-on 1967 Haight-Ashbury montage going on, complete with bong store, mimes, and Donovan Leitch confusing a black man named Emmet for Jimi Hendrix. Julia Stiles, with her tummy all flat now, asks what Emmet's sign is. Scorpio. She says, "Me too! Far out. I knew that." A little kid sits in the lotus position. People smoke weed openly. Emmet gets tapped by a Panther party member and asks why he was dancing with "a white bitch." Emmet "looks like the white man's clown." Wow, these guys are heavy, man!
Michael is packing to go march on the Pentagon -- his dad is mad, because his brother is over there in Vietnam (in the shit, don't you know) and putting his life on the line, and now Michael is going to protest that! Is this what Dad pays his college tuition for, so he can turn into a hippie dropout? He can't have him live in his house anymore, if he goes on this march! Michael says he thought it was their house. Well, you thought wrong, buster! I love how no one mentions Julia Stiles, all a little runaway.
Abbie Hoffman orates about how they're "going to get the Pentagon to rise into the air." People start yelling, "Hell no, we won't go!" Someone burns their draft card. Now, I've studied up on my Time-Life volumes to recognize the iconic imagery, which is surprisingly easy to imitate. They put Michael in a fisherman-knit sweater -- it looks so classic and timeless. Is this stock footage, or is this an NBC made-for-TV movie? Why, I can barely tell. It's just as light as a feather dipped in lead and cement! Hell no, we won't go! Et cetera. Hey, you guys? The winds of change are blowing. No, I'm serious! They totally are! With love, till eternity! Michael sees Sarah, then sees Sarah and Kenny kissing, and he finally grows a spine and concentrates on his protesting. Kenny sends a bunch of his flock toward the armed guards at the steps of the Pentagon, yelling, "They won't hit the women!" How can you be so sure, bozo? Michael screams, "Don't fight! Doooon't fiiiiiight! We're not against the soldiers, we're against the war!" Others join in on the chant, then Michael takes a flower from one of his sisters and puts it in the barrel of a young soldier's gun. See? I told you that the Life
photos were easy to duplicate! Sarah is totally digging his nonviolent vibe, and grooves as she overhears him whispering his chant to the solider boy and sees him changing the world, one person at a time. Soldier Boy gulps, seeing Michael with all that responsibility on his shoulders, what with changing the world one person at a time, some more. "All Tomorrow's Parties" plays. Ooh, VU is gritty.
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