The Trial Of Billy Jack

The Trial of Billy Jack
(1974)

Directed by Tom Laughlin
Starring Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor

Rating: ******
5/6

In Billy Jack, a redneck town
Tries to knock some hippies down.
In that film the hippies were victimized
And Billy Jack had to fight the bad guys.

In this film, however, I will insist
That the hippies are the antagonists.
In the last film they mostly kept to themselves.
While this time, they mostly make pests of themselves.

Billy has a very brief trial and wins,
So he joins an Indian tribe and gets in.
The hippies decide to preach to the nation,
So they start up their own radio station.

It seems like a lovely idea at first.
They’d take their best ideas, and some of their worst,
And preach to the world how right they all are,
And how knowledgeable and how they’ve come so far.

So they start talking, and saying strange stuff,
Like suggesting that child molesters need more love.
Their audience listens with open mouths,
And wonder why anyone would say this out loud.

They can’t believe the things that they’re hearing.
And what gobbledgegook the Hippies keep sharing.
They listen, but they don’t agree with what’s said,
Despite that the hippies are well read.

They’ll read any publication they can find,
And what’s on the page influences their minds.
They read brand-new studies, and world events,
And new-age hypotheses that seem to make sense,
And Jesus, and the message he shared,
And of bleeding-heart liberals who seem to care,
And they discuss all these things, and many others as well,
Well-knowing these subjects are controversial.
In fact, the hippies deliberately provoke
In the hopes that those listening are going to choke
On these words, and give them some thought,
And gain a few listeners, or even a lot.

The status quo thinks these ideas are all fraught
With misinformation, more often than not,
And worse, that the talk is nothing but brash
Nonsense and gobbledygook: in other words, trash.

It starts making them angry, and the hippies know this,
So they push a little harder to further their movement.
They know that though their topics are a bit hard to take
They’ll nevertheless spark some great debate.

Their relentlessness causes people to worry,
And I’ll fast-forward here to the end of the story.
We see a roomful of wounded, distraught people singing.
“Give peace a chance” is the message they’re bringing.
We see disbelief, shock, in their bullet-damaged joint.
They just don’t understand how they got to that point.
Some people lack limbs. Some have bandaged hair.
Billy’s wife is confined to a wheelchair.
They’re mourning their friends and they’re mourning themselves.
They’re aghast and they’re shaking and their eyes are aswell.
It seems that all they can do is cry,
And their eyes keep asking the big question: Why?
Why did this happen? Why’d it happen to us?
We thought the authorities were those we could trust.
Why do the twonspeople treat us like dogs?
Why did the government kill us like hogs?
Why were we all attacked by the Feds?
Why target us? Was it something we did?

Billy Jack gets to the throat of the problem.

Yes. It was something they did.

They made a mistake that has begun countless wars.
They deliberately antagonized the people in charge.
They made them confused, and then angry, then scared—
A bad combination of feelings shared,
And when people get scared, they united at once,
And gave the hippies their awaited comeuppance,
But it was not the response they would have sought,
For they had wanted to change all the people’s thoughts,

A task nigh impossible in any age,
From the Dawn of Time to our modern age.
Just look at the news today and you’ll see
What happens when you speak out at the powers that be
And try to say anything that’s less than accepted.
The world will shun you, and you’ll be rejected,
Or worse, you’ll end up in prison or dead,
And your reputation to the pigs will be fed.

This film is quite lengthy. I’m not going to fib.
Billy Jack had a rather large role in this.
It’s a thinking man’s movie that keeps your brain alive.
I am giving this fascinating film a five.

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