UGH!!! How did I miss this?!?!? Tom Laughlin, 82, Star of ‘Billy Jack’ Movie Series, Dies
I grew up watching and idolizing him in the Billy Jack movies! Tough to determine who inspired me the most to learn self defense between him and David Carradine as Kwai Chang Cain! Both of these fine actors and their craft are what I credit with helping to turn me in to the man I am today. That is, a rugged individualist, lover of freedom, defender of the downtrodden, patriot, mistrusting of government, and heavily engaged in self defense of my person, property, family, and Nation. No, I'm not a caped crusader by any stretch but I am (as you may have gathered) a staunch Constitutionalists which, by it's very nature makes me leery of government in any form. Hence, the aforementioned description.
The only reason I bring this up is that it's kinda odd that one could credit (or blame) Hollywood for the man I've become. Sure, there are many more external influences responsible (family, experience & education to name a few). But to be reflective on this, I do recall watching the old shows and thinking to myself, maybe I should learn self defense just in case there ever comes a day I run in to bad guys. Even though I grew up in a VERY rural area, I still saw the news and read the papers and understood what sort of bad things happened elsewhere.
It was also parts of these bastions of entertainment that had me thinking that one day... maybe... albeit a long shot, government officials (at any level) could be corrupt and try to take away my liberties. (i know, I know... that's just crazy talk). This could be blamed on the movies as well as a few hippie wannabe teachers I had telling me daily to "always question authority!" "Never trust the government!" Surprisingly, these folks were as liberal as they come! I wonder if they ever thought that any of their students would keep that advice close to heart and use it when the LSD crowd gains the upper hand? Hmmm.... the strangeness of life cannot be measured. "One Tin Soldier Rides Away...."