Woodstock: Was it something, or was it nothing?

Woodstock '69. Was it just sex, drugs, music, and wallowing naked in the mud, or was it a milestone in American cultural history? Ask a hundred people and you'll get a hundred different answers. This weekend's 40th Woodstock Anniversary Celebration brings back the memories and questions about what Rolling Stone calls,

"...one of the most significant concerts in rock history."

 "Woodstock is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll," writes Wikipedia.

Was the unique experience of the Woodstock Music Festival a culminating event of a decade of radical cultural transformation, and the legacy of the Sixties?  Or was it just a music concert with a lot people trashing up a farmer's field in upstate New York? 

My God.... can we stop this nonsense? Hippies were not revolutionaries. Not radical cultural transformers. I was there, before Woodstock...  in the middle of the whole deal, ground zero in San Francisco. From its genesis in the mid-60's until it overdosed on Methedrine at the end of the decade. We were hedonists pure and simple. Well meaning, most definitely but absolutely self indulgent, self centered and delusional.

The counter culture was about chicks and partying. It was about getting high and goofing off. Yes, everyone at first was very polite and mostly kind, but stealing and liberating what others had worked for was the norm. Woodstock was noteworthy for the broken down fences and free (stolen) admission.

I loved the hippie days but let's not lie about what went on. What do you think all the 60's rebellion was about? There were a lot of unhappy Baby Boomers, dysfunctional families, but the 60's didn't solve that. It just redirected the unhappiness. When the media blared across the land that Haight Ashbury was the place, and the Summer of Love was on the top of the menu, a lot of confused and unhappy people decided to take off for San Francisco. Unfortunately what they mostly did was bring all their unhappiness with them. So, 40 years later we're hearing how revolutionary Woodstock was, how world changing, yeah, yeah. What did Wavy Gravy say in the Woodstock movie? "We showed the world how to live." Woodstock was five hundred thousand or so young people getting high and watching some bands. That's about all there was to it. They got high, goofed off, made a mess, and then went home and left a pile of trash for someone else to pick up. A real new world creation.

Somehow, the fact that The New World that was being created was totally dependent on the Old World's sanitary, transportation and economic structures was totally ignored by the media and the "Counter Culture." For the Boomer generation, it hit high gear when Life Magazine sold millions of extra copies each week that featured the Beatles or some youth oriented story on the cover. The Woodstock generation had it rough, though. They were manipulated and slyly, subconsciously coerced, and the world confronting them as they grew out of their 1950's adolescence was frightening as all hell. By the time Woodstock happened they had plenty of fears to confront. Duck and cover. Nuclear war. The Draft. Assassinations. Urban riots. Desire. Despair. Confusion.

Can we blame them for their grasping for meaning? While LBJ got up every morning and had the fun of deciding which Vietnamese targets to bomb (never mind that he had no war expertise), every 18 or 19 year old kid got up and worried about whether he would have to leave home and go to some god forsaken jungle, while others were already waking up in the jungle. Woodstock left its imprint. Joanie Mitchell wrote a song about it. She viewed Woodstock as some major spiritual awakening.  Really? Like your first night at the drive-in with that cute neighbor girl from down the street? These days, Lefties seem loath to give up the visions and face the realities of what happened, but again, there were half a million different stories and different memories in those naked mud baths.

Woodstock was a great "political" product. Leftists, being the simpletons that they are, tend to make life-long friends with their basic assumptions about the universe rather than continually updating their thinking as new data become available. They lock in on a mindset and never again question it, like grade schoolers deciding on their favorite color, or flower, or ice cream flavor. Woodstock imprinted strongly on the non-thinkers. They imagined this magical world of fairies and elves and LSD and pot and Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and this big evil edifice that is America.

Of course the scamming still goes on, and the "scamees" soak it up. Today's Woodstockers have their god, Barrack the Magnificent. But you know... everyone had a good time I guess. Mostly. Evidently. Lets leave it at that and forget the hype. Or... whatever dude...drink some Bong water.
Woodstock '69. Was it just sex, drugs, music, and wallowing naked in the mud, or was it a milestone in American cultural history? Ask a hundred people and you'll get a hundred different answers. This weekend's 40th Woodstock Anniversary Celebration brings back the memories and questions about what Rolling Stone calls,

"...one of the most significant concerts in rock history."

 "Woodstock is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll," writes Wikipedia.

Was the unique experience of the Woodstock Music Festival a culminating event of a decade of radical cultural transformation, and the legacy of the Sixties?  Or was it just a music concert with a lot people trashing up a farmer's field in upstate New York? 

My God.... can we stop this nonsense? Hippies were not revolutionaries. Not radical cultural transformers. I was there, before Woodstock...  in the middle of the whole deal, ground zero in San Francisco. From its genesis in the mid-60's until it overdosed on Methedrine at the end of the decade. We were hedonists pure and simple. Well meaning, most definitely but absolutely self indulgent, self centered and delusional.

The counter culture was about chicks and partying. It was about getting high and goofing off. Yes, everyone at first was very polite and mostly kind, but stealing and liberating what others had worked for was the norm. Woodstock was noteworthy for the broken down fences and free (stolen) admission.

I loved the hippie days but let's not lie about what went on. What do you think all the 60's rebellion was about? There were a lot of unhappy Baby Boomers, dysfunctional families, but the 60's didn't solve that. It just redirected the unhappiness. When the media blared across the land that Haight Ashbury was the place, and the Summer of Love was on the top of the menu, a lot of confused and unhappy people decided to take off for San Francisco. Unfortunately what they mostly did was bring all their unhappiness with them. So, 40 years later we're hearing how revolutionary Woodstock was, how world changing, yeah, yeah. What did Wavy Gravy say in the Woodstock movie? "We showed the world how to live." Woodstock was five hundred thousand or so young people getting high and watching some bands. That's about all there was to it. They got high, goofed off, made a mess, and then went home and left a pile of trash for someone else to pick up. A real new world creation.

Somehow, the fact that The New World that was being created was totally dependent on the Old World's sanitary, transportation and economic structures was totally ignored by the media and the "Counter Culture." For the Boomer generation, it hit high gear when Life Magazine sold millions of extra copies each week that featured the Beatles or some youth oriented story on the cover. The Woodstock generation had it rough, though. They were manipulated and slyly, subconsciously coerced, and the world confronting them as they grew out of their 1950's adolescence was frightening as all hell. By the time Woodstock happened they had plenty of fears to confront. Duck and cover. Nuclear war. The Draft. Assassinations. Urban riots. Desire. Despair. Confusion.

Can we blame them for their grasping for meaning? While LBJ got up every morning and had the fun of deciding which Vietnamese targets to bomb (never mind that he had no war expertise), every 18 or 19 year old kid got up and worried about whether he would have to leave home and go to some god forsaken jungle, while others were already waking up in the jungle. Woodstock left its imprint. Joanie Mitchell wrote a song about it. She viewed Woodstock as some major spiritual awakening.  Really? Like your first night at the drive-in with that cute neighbor girl from down the street? These days, Lefties seem loath to give up the visions and face the realities of what happened, but again, there were half a million different stories and different memories in those naked mud baths.

Woodstock was a great "political" product. Leftists, being the simpletons that they are, tend to make life-long friends with their basic assumptions about the universe rather than continually updating their thinking as new data become available. They lock in on a mindset and never again question it, like grade schoolers deciding on their favorite color, or flower, or ice cream flavor. Woodstock imprinted strongly on the non-thinkers. They imagined this magical world of fairies and elves and LSD and pot and Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and this big evil edifice that is America.

Of course the scamming still goes on, and the "scamees" soak it up. Today's Woodstockers have their god, Barrack the Magnificent. But you know... everyone had a good time I guess. Mostly. Evidently. Lets leave it at that and forget the hype. Or... whatever dude...drink some Bong water.