The Hitler in Every Generation
"From anyone else- on that day, in that scene, or anywhere else, for that matter- what he did would have been a simple kindness, but I looked into his teeth and knew he was trying to tell us that he could have run us over or not and it would have been the same thing."
John Henry Days, 93.
Since when did it become alright to inflict sheer, unabridged terror on other human beings? It is this sort of basist thinking that led to tragedies such as the Holocaust. Whitehead didn't even need to mention that one Angel, "with his long dark greasy hair and dingy club leather, astride this massive chopper" had a "little square of black hair underneath his lip that was almost, but not quite, a HItler mustache" (93). The fact that the Angel could have run the kids at the Stones' concert over but chose not to is a distorted "mercy," actually not mercy at all. It shows a disregard for human life that places the Angels down at the bottom of the humanistic totem pole.
Also, it didn't help that the Angels' pets were German Shepherds or something, and that one of the primary Rolling Stones songs during which they terrorized the crowd was "Sympathy," a song that described how listeners should have sympathy for the devil and during which Mick Jagger strutted like the devil himself. Whitehead was obviously making a correlation between the evils of the Holocaust and this prior rock 'n roll Holocaust. Whitehead describes how the children in the rock 'n roll counterculture had to pay a sacrifice "to the culture. The kids had brought a new thing into the world, but they hadn't paid for it yet. It had to be paid for" (99). This can be compared to the Holocaust of World War II. The Nazis attempted to bring a new, purified race into the world and eliminate other races. The sacrifice that the Nazis "paid" was in the name of the people they were killing. With the counterculture of the 1960's, the "Angels" were deified killers, murdering the innocent in the name of 'rock 'n roll.' Also, like the Nazis, after the Angels killed the young black man (ironically nameless), they "split" (100).
Hitler killed himself, escaping the horrific crimes he'd committed. Initially, he thought that he possessed power over those he killed. Likewise, the Angels thought that they had power over the crowds, but they didn't at all because they ended up fleeing.