THIS WEEK MARKS THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MUSIC-DRUGS-AND-SEX-IN-THE-MUD-NEXT-TO SOMEBODY-TAKING-A CRAP FEST COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "WOODSTOCK". What twaddle. We are part of the so-called "Baby Boom" that produced this damn-near disaster. What is being heralded by so many news specials, etc; as "the wonder of 1969" was simply an exhibition en masse of the experience of most of us from that era individually; ie: it is a damn miracle we are around to tell of it.
But never mind, these news specials are replete with old hippies who evidently never bothered to become adults talking about how "everybody helped each other" and how there was like, wow, no racism and stuff. More about that later.
There was on "Dateline" some dude who spoke of staying at a motel outside the concert site and "kissed a man in front of (his) parents" at age 16. We do not know about you, dear reader. But if we had done the same in front of our parents, we would have been sent to a shrink and our father would have sent the man to the MORGUE. Maybe there were miracles at Woodstock after all.
AS TO THE LACK of racism and other culture clash, the reason is as clear as beer piss to anyone who has ever seen pictures or newsreels of the event. The crowd was as homogenous as the 1934 Nuremberg Nazi Party rally. Trying to find a black face in that crowd is like playing a Level 10 game of "Where's Waldo?" It is sort of hard to be a racist when there isn't anyone who isn't your race around to be racist to. I guess the fact that the whole crowd did not leave when Sly and the Family Stone took the stage means nobody was racist?
There might have been Indians - or "native Americans" as the saying goes; although as a 1/8 Cherokee we will be happy to call you a native American if you were born here - but most of them were white boys with feathers in their hair who dollars-to-donuts wouldn't know a tepee from a wigwam.
The whole thing was one helluva mess. We are today astounded by one thing and one thing only: That there were just too many of us kids to deal with back then. Half a million of us at Woodstock and that was less than one third of one percent of us. No wonder our parents, the "Greatest Generation", had a shit hemmorhage at the spectacle. They had literally fucked themselves out of a culture.
The very next year, of course, there were various attempts to re-create Woodstock. This was sort of like bringing in giant fans to re-create a tornado everone miraculously survived, but nevermind, we were kids and we were (and to some extent remain) nitwits. Our personal experience was called "Wrightstock" (on the grounds of Wright State University outside of Dayton, Ohio); where they all but put up neon signs as to where to "sneak in" and if memory serves even hosed down a few acres of dirt to make a mud wallow. Lame? In retrospect, yes.
THEN CAME THE ROLLING STONES CONCERT AT ALTAMONT, CALIFORNIA where there was a truly diverse crowd. And there was bloodshed.
But here we are, 40 years later; and judging from the fawning "news" (40 year old "news"?) coverage some of us have gotten much older but not a helluva lot wiser. Sic Transit Gloria, and maybe that's a good thing.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
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