Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


August 15-17, 1969: 3 Days of Mud and Music.
August 12, 2009 3:19 AM   Subscribe

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, or to give its official name, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, a little get-together held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It's not like Woodstock hasn't been picked apart to death for every year around this time, but since this is the 40th year since it happened, there seems to be more than the usual nostalgia fest going on.

There's the upcoming Ang Lee directed movie (trailer), a VH-1 documentary; a Heroes of Woodstock concert and other stuff going on in Bethel; and various other planned events. (Heroes of Woodstock is also touring the U.S. (warning: auto-playing loud music!)). Want more? The NY Times asks you what your favorite Woodstock song is; iTunes has a page full of Woodstock-and-its-era stuff(iTunes link); and there's this list too. And not to forget the seminal documentary that was released in 1970 (many clips from it are online.)

And of course the reminiscences and analyses. Was it that good for the bands? Maybe not, but Art Guthrie remembers Woodstock, sort of, as a good time. Maybe the generation gap that Woodstock symbolized is no longer. How would it play out in 2009?

Last but not least, a lovely personal illustrated essay by Zina Saunders (previously) about two 15 year old girls from NYC going to Woodstock.
posted by thread_makimaki (117 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
argh, ARLO Guthrie. Sorry.
posted by thread_makimaki at 3:27 AM on August 12, 2009


but since this is the 40th year since it happened, there seems to be more than the usual nostalgia marketing going on
posted by item at 3:29 AM on August 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


In all seriousness, imagine how awesome the world would have turned out if, instead of the '3 Days of Peace & Music' it'd been '3 Days in Praise of Sha Na Na'.
posted by item at 3:41 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always liked quonsar's take on Woodstock.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:58 AM on August 12, 2009


And never forget, anyone that tells you they were at woodstock is a damn liar. The people that were there were too stoned to remember.
posted by HuronBob at 4:14 AM on August 12, 2009


No no no, and f----in' no!

Nostalgia? No way. I was at that Wood$tock '99. The "nostalgia" is nothing more than an opportunity for those still stuck with trademarks, Woodstock merch, and song rights to earn a little more coin.

I remember the 25th, 30th, 35th, and 40th anniversaries, and they were all the same.

In short, capitalism won.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 4:22 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


argh, ARLO Guthrie.

Yeah, nothing more annoying than Republican Hippies.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:22 AM on August 12, 2009


Seeing the Woodstock '99 riots live on MTV felt oddly satisfying. A rebellion of no importance, led by people too dumb to understand they were being ripped off, until it was too late.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:33 AM on August 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


The people that were there were too stoned to remember.

It's getting to the point where they are too old to remember.

A rebellion of no importance, led by people too dumb to understand they were being ripped off, until it was too late.


This is, like, Western Civilization itself, man.
posted by Avenger at 4:35 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to the Ang Lee movie.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 4:43 AM on August 12, 2009


This is, like, Western Civilization itself, man.

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
posted by R. Mutt at 4:45 AM on August 12, 2009


What does it say about me that, musical selections notwithstanding, I'd rather go to the Gathering of the Juggalos?
posted by jbickers at 4:53 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You'll find ME at the superior Philadelphia Folk Festival this weekend, but apparently no other MeFites.

2PM Friday outside the med tent!
posted by The White Hat at 5:03 AM on August 12, 2009



I've always liked quonsar's take on Woodstock.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:58 AM on August 12
t's the distilled end of the sixties.
crap like that is only uttered by people whose knowledge was gained in hindsight by reading what self-serving journalists (and bozos like david crosby) had to say. there wasn't anything glorious about the 60's to end. a lot of smelly people doing a lot of smelly dope and blathering about revolution. woodstock was a giant muddy clusterfuck of an attempt to cash in big-time by some promoters and when it got mobbed and the fences came down they just framed it as a sort of aquarian touchstone. we are stardust, we are golden. what a crock!!!! posted by quonsar at 7:39 AM on December 10, 2006

What was glorious about the 60's was what it did for minorities and women and students-- it gave them a voice in what was happening in America and in its war. The smelly hippies were just one of the groups liberated in that time-- and in turn they and their music helped the nation realize what a stupid tragic war was being fought in southeast Asia.

You say that Woodstock is defined by the actions of the four promoters to make money. I think it is much better defined by the half million or so who walked for miles to join with other members of their generation. If 99% of the audience was there just for the music and the drugs, 1% was inspired by what they saw and did what they could over the next five years to stop the war. If a few people made money off it, so what.
posted by notmtwain at 5:11 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


The brazen outlandishness of the 40-year cashing in on Woodstock is made all the more unbelievable by the fact that we have the cold, hard evidence, on film and tape, that with only the briefest exceptions, the music at Woodstock was absolutely appalling, with every artist being well past his or her peak, and even those who weren't turning in possibly the worst performances of their lives (Sha-na-na and Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" excepted). Any who is forced so sit through that tedious movie, the endless strumming of Ritchie Havens, the tired, draggy playing of the Who and Jefferson Airplane, should get a medal. The sight of John Sebastian in that tie-dyed get-up (tie-die was considered cool for approximately ten minutes in about late 1967) sank his career for all time (unfortunately), the vitality of the mediocre Santana compared to the more established groups actually made their name and allowed them to produce an avalanche of tedious albums for the rest of the 1970s, and the overall paltry display of talent on hand revealed late 60s rock for the Emperor's clothing it had become -- thanks to drugs, self-indulgence and an audience really to wide and too stupid to know the difference between good music and bad. Woodstock was considered an event for squares and suckers even BEFORE it happened. Nobody who was actually cool went to Woodstock. Nothing could have been less hip at that time. (I remember as the event was going on, people saying, "Oh, like wow, Nixon is going to fly the Air Force over and bomb it and get rid of all the hippies." If only!)

If you are a young person and want to get a taste (a sweet, fresh sprig) of the true excitement of the 1960s, I beg you to watch three films: "The TAMI TNT Show," "Festival" (about the Newport Folk Festival) and "Monterey Pop." Destroy all copies of the movie "Woodstock" and crush the pieces into the mud, where that foul event began and ended.
posted by Faze at 5:14 AM on August 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


I remember the 30th anniversary of Woodstock. There was a lot of blather about it then too. Can we just hurry up and enact the Obama sponsored health care death courts so that in 10 years all the baby boomers will have been executed for having arthritis and incontinence and whatnot, so we don't have to do this again in 10 years?
posted by dortmunder at 5:27 AM on August 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ugh.
posted by msittig at 5:34 AM on August 12, 2009


I've had two friends that were at Woodstock and both of them made it sound miserable time even though they were trying to describe it as a magical experience. One of them crapped his pants early on ("I was having so much fun I didn't even care"), which meant that everything else he told me was tainted by the knowledge that he also had a load in his pants. The other guy said that Melanie was, hands down, the best artist to perform - so he's sort of an unreliable witness.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:42 AM on August 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "Seeing the Woodstock '99 riots live on MTV felt oddly satisfying. A rebellion of no importance, led by people too dumb to understand they were being ripped off, until it was too late."

Man I remember seeing that footage and wanting to kick my T.V. screen in. I can only take solace in to probable reality that most of those twats, at some point or another, ended up washing my car, checking my electric meter, getting my dry cleaning, handing me food through a drive-up window. processing a magazine subscription, etc...

I really can still watch the old Woodstock movie and feel a sense of innocence about that time. Putting myself in their shoes, I'm sure they felt a sense that they were somehow moving things forward in terms of promoting peace, love and whatever. I'd like to think that is what they were thinking because it makes the whole thing more palatable.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:47 AM on August 12, 2009


What does it say about me that, musical selections notwithstanding, I'd rather go to the Gathering of the Juggalos?

You're a meth addict?
posted by chillmost at 5:48 AM on August 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm really excited that Demetri Martin, Paul Dano, and the guy from OK Go are in a movie brought to you by the people behind Brokeback Mountain. [/derail]
posted by pxe2000 at 5:50 AM on August 12, 2009


So yeah, there's an entire shopping isle dedicated to woodstock and 60's related "shit" at Target.

I mean, goddamn.
posted by hellojed at 5:51 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Faze: "with every artist being well past his or her peak."

Yeah, those old farts, Santana, really ate balls....

What the fuck are you talking about?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:52 AM on August 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Never trust any anniversary over 30.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:53 AM on August 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


For my 14th birthday, this tri-gatefold album along with Led Zeppelin II, was my first album (thank you Lakenheath Air Force Store) and a portable record player. I will brook no criticism.
posted by tellurian at 6:01 AM on August 12, 2009


""with every artist being well past his or her peak.""

heh... 'cuz hip-hop and 22 year old girls with ukes are so much better...
posted by HuronBob at 6:04 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can only take solace in to probable reality that most of those twats, at some point or another, ended up washing my car, checking my electric meter, getting my dry cleaning, handing me food through a drive-up window. processing a magazine subscription, etc...

Classist much?
posted by item at 6:07 AM on August 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


I never heard of this Wouldstork thing. Someone explain it to me.
posted by scratch at 6:07 AM on August 12, 2009


Never trust anyone over 30 pounds.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:09 AM on August 12, 2009


I’m just happy to see this event finally getting some media attention.
posted by applemeat at 6:12 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


A++++ Woodstock again!!!1!
posted by Floydd at 6:16 AM on August 12, 2009


In 1969 my boyfriend Billy bought tickets for both of us to go to Woodstock at the Different Drummer jean store in NYC n Lexington Avenue between 61st and 62nd Street.

But my dad was dying of cancer that summer and bought me a ticket to visit his childhood friends, Ned and Pam, in Pasadena, who had three daughters my age. I really didn't want to go to Pasadena to stay with strangers. I wanted to go to Woodstock, went to concerts regularly in NYC and hoped to see performers I'd never seen yet, like Dylan or Joni. But my dad had never done anything like that for me before and I wanted to honor his dying wish (he happily went on to live another 9 years).

And on the TV in Pasadena, sitting with the nicest, most loving family I'd ever met, who I'm still in touch with 40 years later, I watched news of half a million fellow hippies heading out to Yasgur's Farm and only regretted it a little bit.
posted by nickyskye at 6:17 AM on August 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


I heard that to mark the occasion they're going to temporarily close the New York State Freeway, man.
posted by Flashman at 6:21 AM on August 12, 2009


"the mediocre Santana"

WTF?

I went to Woodstock '94 and Santana rocked that joint, too. 25 years after their washed-up, over-the-hill performance at the original Woodstock. Got to see the modern rebirth of Dylan, and a spectacular Peter Gabriel performance. Even poor old John Sebastian was good.

I've been to thousands of concerts, as a patron and a stage-manager, and Woodstock '94 was one of the best - certainly the best bang-for-buck show I've ever seen. I personally owe the original concert respect for leading to that one.

( interesting note: An ex-work-colleague-and-friend's parents live on Yasgur's farm. Man, do they have stories about visiting pilgrims.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:25 AM on August 12, 2009


Woodstock is all out of perspective, in a historical sense.

The Summer of Love was in 1967 and Woodstock was sort of the end of the era.

The idealism of the Summer of Love was trampled by the '68 democratic convention the assasinations of Bobby Kennedy and of Martin Luther King. Woodstock was a last-ditch effort to recapture the promise of Peace and Music.

In typical hippie fashion it was a cluster-fuck of epic proportions. They way overpaid for the acts, they had no real way of enforcing ticket purchases, the facilities were inadequate. Three people died, two people were born (who the fuck goes to a festival in the boonies 9 months pregnant)? Four women reported that they had miscarriages.

Only half of the attendees bought tickets to the event, there were a total of 400,000 folks in all. This doesn't include the 250,000 who tried to go, and didn't make it. And for this number of people, the hippies thought that 600 port-a-potties would be enough. So one toilet for 667 people. Idiots couldn't even be arsed to do simple math.

As was typical of the era, Woodstock remains a mythical idea, a Camelot for the furry freaks. The realities were quite different.

I think after Woodstock, people said, "Okay, maybe showering and deodorant are good things. Maybe I should grow up and get a job. Maybe it's time to rejoin the rest of the country and contribute."

And we ushered in the Me decade.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:28 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find the whole boomer "you younguns totally can't understand how awesome we were" shtick really tiresome. The music was noodley and boring, the fashions should have been embarrassing even if you were stoned, and the whole "but we ended the war!" nonsense just doesn't apply to a big muddy non-political music festival. (And if everyone who claimed to have been at Woodstock had really been there, New York State would not have been large enough to hold them all. It's cute, in that tiresome way, how many people now claim to have "totally been there, man," when really there was only 400,000 or so there.)

But 40 years on, you have a bunch of boomers at the apexes of their careers, in positions to write articles, make movies, and publish books about this stuff, and of course there are millions more ready to buy those products and feel all warm and fuzzy about it. It's good business, certainly.
posted by Forktine at 6:32 AM on August 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't deny that the performances at Woodstock were uniformly pretty awful, but this was CCR just before Willy And The Poor Boys came out, Sly and the Family Stone before There's A Riot Goin' On, The Who before Who's Next, The Band before their self-titled and Neil Young before After The Gold Rush (as well as Deja Vu with Crosby, Stills and Nash.)

Calling these guys past their prime is just immensely silly.
posted by Simon! at 6:32 AM on August 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


My father-in-law was living in Toronto, Ontario at the time, and heard from a friend that there was some great party going on in Woodstock. Never one to miss a great party, he hopped in his car and drove the 13 hours, nonstop, to Woodstock -- Woodstock, New Brunswick. By this point, he was too exhausted to drive the additional 9 hours to Woodstock, NY, and so missed the party.

If you remember Woodstock...
posted by louigi at 6:32 AM on August 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Calling these guys past their prime is just immensely silly.

Most of them were fairly unknown or new acts at the time that didn't get big until after Woodstock.

And boy, I though you guys hated on Hipsters but you hate Hippies even more.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was at the 25th anniversary in Saugerties. I remember there was a lot of rain, a lot of mud, a lot of drugs, a lot of good music, and zero sleep. The only interaction I can recall was with these four older hippies who were wearing Depends underneath the US flags they'd fashioned into diapers. I mean the line-ups at the port-o-lets were ridiculous, but really?
posted by gman at 6:50 AM on August 12, 2009


And boy, I though you guys hated on Hipsters but you hate Hippies even more.

I think the issue here is with hype. Lotta good bands at Woodstock then, lotta good bands in Brooklyn (or wherever) now, but the self-promotion and the self-congratulation get irritating. Going to a good party and having fun is its own reward. There's no need to hard-sell everyone else on how much fun it was.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:54 AM on August 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you look at the panoramic shots of the crowd on the first day closely, you may be able to see a young Norm Coleman with a pony tail, and isn't that Nancy Pelosi hot, and that could be Dick Cheny covered with mud enjoying his deferments. And wait there in the front, no it couldn't be, why its Bernie "the hippie" Madoff.
posted by Xurando at 7:00 AM on August 12, 2009


All the hate. Damn. Santana (not just him -- his whole band) opened some sort of portal into another dimension at Woodstock. I was only a kid then, but anyone who doesn't think that original band was talented as fuck has an utterly tin ear.

CSN played their first show EVER at Woodstock. They sure were on their way out. Ritchie Havens fucking WROTE Freedom while on stage. Joe Cocker at least provided fodder for the best youtube send-up in the history of man.

What I've wondered is where is the rest of the audio? The whole thing was obviously recorded, then culled down to the movie. Maybe it was rightly culled due to general suckage, but I'd like to hear it someday to judge for myself. Seems like these would be historical recordings, even if they're not great, yet all I've ever seen/heard is the movie.

150,000 paid -- 250,000 crashed the gate. Nutso stuff. I don't care one way or the other about promoting the anniversary, but I just can't join in the hate for '69.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:02 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


True Story: My father and his college roommates were headed to Woodstock, but as they were leaving, dad realized he'd left his wallet in his dorm room. He ended up engrossed in a poster on the wall by the door and forgot to come downstairs.

His friends forgot that dad wasn't in the car until the realized, somewhere in Pennsylvania, that they'd left him

Years later this story was used as the most benign and least effective parental anti-drug message ever.
posted by thivaia at 7:11 AM on August 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


And boy, I though you guys hated on Hipsters but you hate Hippies even more.

Check out the posts about hippopotamuses.
posted by gman at 7:12 AM on August 12, 2009


with every artist being well past his or her peak.

Yeah, take The Who: they had cracked the top ten once already with "I Can See For Miles", two years earlier, so audiences were clearly pretty tired of them. Or are you referring to the fact that the release of Tommy had happened over two months previously? The money-grubbing cynicism of those guys is unreal: thinking that in mid-August that they can still milk an album that came out at the end of May.


two people were born (who the fuck goes to a festival in the boonies 9 months pregnant)?

Straw men do.

If there was someone born at Woodstock or who gave birth there, they are awfully quiet about it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:14 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Straw men do.

If there was someone born at Woodstock or who gave birth there, they are awfully quiet about it.


Thanks! That's really cool. I love to see this stuff de-bunked.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:18 AM on August 12, 2009


Great post thread_makimaki. thanks for sharing the links.
posted by fatbaq at 7:27 AM on August 12, 2009


I just spent three days at Lollapalooza with the underwear generation, and find it pretty ridiculous for anyone to dismiss the music of 1969. The inescapable, vapid, nonstop genuflecting over all things Boomer, however, is another story. Also, kids: Pull up your goddamn pants. I saw more male bush in the nachos line than in my entire life.
posted by applemeat at 7:36 AM on August 12, 2009


I saw more male bush in the nachos line than in my entire life.

Ew! Just Ew!

I knew there was a reason I stopped going to shows.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:47 AM on August 12, 2009


We sat around in Peter O's family room drooling over a flyer for Woodstock, but we couldn't figure out how to afford the tickets and had no plausible, non-parental way to get there. We had the impression that it would be as much Art Fair as concert. Hendrix was the big draw for us. We were retroactively peeved by the sense that we "almost went to Woodstock."

By the time high school was wrapping up, we managed to get it together for Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. My friends cursed me as we dragged a laden cooler what felt like a mile or more from parking to the grounds. By the end of the trip (ahem) they agreed bringing it was the smartest f*king thing we'd done. We still preferred Hendrix over the Dead, and our neighborhood "band" was a pathetic homage to Captain Beefheart, but given enough freedom and drugs we found the lineup and experience immensely enjoyable, from start to finish. Good times. Insert comment about my lawn here.
posted by cairnish at 8:16 AM on August 12, 2009


...male bush in the nachos line...

That was one of the songs Country Joe and the Fish did, right?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:17 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have nothing to say about Woodstock or hippies or hip capitalism, but this thread reminded me to listen to Credence today, and for that I am grateful.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:17 AM on August 12, 2009


One of the pulls to Woodstock, the sublime Hendrix, here in Sweden 1967: The Wind Cries Mary.

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. The entire concert of Jimi Hendrix performing at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
posted by nickyskye at 8:28 AM on August 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


In short, capitalism won.

no - a small group of people tried to make money from music with a party and a lot of people who thought music should be free crashed the party and paid nothing

i defy anyone to tell me that wasn't a precedent for today's music business
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


From cairnish's link (imagine seeing this while you're peaking on acid):

Although there were no reports of violence at Watkins Glen, the day was marred by the death of Willard Smith, 35, a skydiver from Syracuse, New York. Smith, who dove from an airplane carrying flares. One of the flares ignited his body suit, and he was engulfed in flames. Smith's body was eventually found in the woods near the concert site.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:42 AM on August 12, 2009


Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. The entire concert of Jimi Hendrix performing at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Whoa, great find.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:56 AM on August 12, 2009


I was there. It was great. And Arlo held forth magnificently doing "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" while explaining how Moses got the Children of Isreal out of bondage by employing enough hashish. I've never seen a performer hold his audience in such thrall. I'd love to see that performance again.
posted by ahimsakid at 9:33 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


argh, ARLO Guthrie.

Yeah, nothing more annoying than Republican Hippies.


And now a little perspective on Mr. Guthrie's Republicanism.

I became a registered Republican about five or six years ago because to have a successful democracy you have to have at least two parties, and one of them was failing miserably. We had enough good Democrats. We needed a few more good Republicans. We needed a loyal opposition.

As for ...

the music at Woodstock was absolutely appalling, with every artist being well past his or her peak, and even those who weren't turning in possibly the worst performances of their lives (Sha-na-na and Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" excepted)...

Let me throw Sly + the Family Stone in as a band that, if that Woodstock performance was the worst of their lives, they were clearly the greatest band ever in the history of every imaginable thing. Thanks, Faze, for the perspective. I would never have known.

Finally, I know one person who claims to have gone to a Woodstock, and I believe him. He went mainly because "everyone else was", experienced it as mainly an endurance test and came out of it with a brutal dose of the clap. A decade or so later, he turned me onto Current 93. I'm thinking Woodstock just wasn't his scene.
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on August 12, 2009


What was glorious about the 60's was what it did for minorities and women and students-- it gave them a voice in what was happening in America and in its war. The smelly hippies were just one of the groups liberated in that time-- and in turn they and their music helped the nation realize what a stupid tragic war was being fought in southeast Asia.

...and america has lived happily ever after! the end. dude, not even the brothers grimm could top that fairy tale! tell us another one!

If 99% of the audience was there just for the music and the drugs, 1% was inspired by what they saw and did what they could over the next five years to stop the war.

yes, the view of hordes of stoned, hungry and thirsty folks camping for three days in mud without any sort of sanitary facilities while douchebags like abby hoffman exhort them to 'fuck the establishment' and other gems straight out of political kindergarten has well-known inspirational powers. that shit directly brought the war to a screeching halt. yup.

the war ended when the powers that be (been?) tired of it. when joe and emily homeowner's revulsion at the endless cascade of body bags overcame their fear of the 'commie menace'. so called hippies, revolutionaries, womens libbers, and student demonstrators had just about zero impact on it - and make no mistake - joe and emily homeowner HATED THEIR GUTS.

the hippies, revolutionaries, womens libbers, and student demonstrators grew up and became wall street barons and corporate moguls, moving the manufacture of their upscale clothing offshore so children could work 15 hour days for a spoonful of gruel and all america could revel in the burgeoning service economy. david crosby bought his way to the front of the liver line. we are stardust, man, we are golden. ain't it good to be back to the garden?
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 10:33 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bah, I'm not going to celebrate the 40th anniversary of anything unless it's December 6.
And I'm going to celebrate it by watching Gimmie Shelter, drinking lots of beer and beating on hippies/hipsters/anyone-I-don't-like with a (fake) pool cue while riding on a ridiculously customized motorcycle. Get your sponsorship applications in now!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2009


I prefer to remember Woodstick
posted by phirleh at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2009


Santana's performance of "Soul Sacrifice" with Michael Shreve's drum solo (still one of the all-time best ever recorded, (according to just about anyone whose familiar with these things) and, of course, Hendrix's slot are at least two reasons to watch the Woodstock film again.

The hell with the hippies and the rest of it, if you must. But why is there so much anti-boomer antagonism here on MeFi? Chill out.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:55 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Hovercraft Eel the hippies, revolutionaries, womens libbers, and student demonstrators grew up and became wall street barons and corporate moguls, moving the manufacture of their upscale clothing offshore so children could work 15 hour days for a spoonful of gruel and all america could revel in the burgeoning service economy. david crosby bought his way to the front of the liver line. we are stardust, man, we are golden. ain't it good to be back to the garden?

*uses Gibson SG to shove Hovercraft Eel off the stage*

I can dig it.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:06 AM on August 12, 2009


I think a reason there's anti-boomerism is because MeFi is composed of mainly folks who come from the generations following the Baby Boomers. As a result, we've been cursed to have everything they love or hate memorialized again and again and again all our lives. The 60's are held up in this magical light and shoved down our throats. The news media is obsessed with anything having to do with the Kennedys and Camelot, when I really couldn't give a flip beyond a historical interest. It's backlash, pure and simple, of the following generations who finally see a world ahead that isn't dominated by what their parents adored, which swayed the mass media and everything else.

I'm not saying the 60's and all things from the 60's suck, but too much emphasis has created a stink. Not to mention, the last twenty plus years have been filled with the pains and problems created by that generation.
posted by Atreides at 11:10 AM on August 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


...and america has lived happily ever after! the end. dude, not even the brothers grimm could top that fairy tale! tell us another one!

Hovercraft Eel, though there is validity in your condemnation of all things Woodstock + Hippie, it is utterly drowned by your bile, which kind of sucks if your intention is actually to communicate something. But if you're just trying to stir shit up and come off as deliberately, belligerently unkind and uncharitable, please do carry on hating. It makes me nostalgic for Johnny Rotten etc circa 1976-77... but then they pretty much grew out of it by 1979.

Peace + Love (and violence).
posted by philip-random at 11:14 AM on August 12, 2009


I think a reason there's anti-boomerism is because MeFi is composed of mainly folks who come from the generations following the Baby Boomers. As a result, we've been cursed to have everything they love or hate memorialized again and again and again all our lives. The 60's are held up in this magical light and shoved down our throats.

the boomers suffered through the same thing with their parents, too

the difference being is that the boomers managed to get something of their own together and later generations haven't

it's jealousy

i was 12 when woodstock happened and i sure didn't get anything like that when i grew up
posted by pyramid termite at 11:23 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just wish there was video footage of Pete Townsend giving Abbie Hoffman a Gibson SG to the backside.

I used to work in an audio store that had a laser disc and Woodstock was one of the laser discs we had in high rotation. Sure there were some duds in the performances but man, some of that stuff really held up: Ritchie Havens, Sly Stone, Santana, CSN, the Who, Hendrix... The Sly Stone performance might really be that band's defining moment.
posted by Ber at 11:33 AM on August 12, 2009


There's the urban legend about how many babies were born at Woodstock. But when I was a kid, I had a friend, and we were obsessed with finding out how many babies were conceived at Woodstock. Anybody born in May 1970 was like a holy grail to us.
posted by jonp72 at 11:33 AM on August 12, 2009


the difference being is that the boomers managed to get something of their own together and later generations haven't

What did the boomers successfully “get together” that was not attributable to them comprising a statistically huge demographic of a scale that has yet to be repeated?
posted by applemeat at 11:36 AM on August 12, 2009


Man, when you guys hate something, you really, really hate it. Not just that, but you guys do it so together. It's beautiful. Like a big, angry hateful Katamari rolling around picking up snark and distain for a music concert that, apparently, sucked regardless (or because of) its status as legendary. Who cares about how many outhouses there were or how terribly planned the whole event was - all that disappears for me when I see the footage of kids abandoning their cars to walk to the festival. Maybe it's because I like classic rock and drugs or because I haven't paid any attention to any of the anniversaries or other 'marketing' for it. I'm a little disappointed though - Mefi always has someone who's been to or been a part of whatever we're all discussing. Nobody here went to Woodstock? There's no Mefite who can come forth and tell us some crazy, acid-drenched story? Has all the hate from people (who didn't go) scare off a potentially awesome story involving mud, pooping in one's own pants, or Janis Joplin arm wrestling a bear? All I know is that, at the ripe old age of 28, I feel pretty certainly that my generation is (and was, considering the 1999 Woodstock) completely uncapable of doing anything like what happened at Woodstock. I can't even go to a free Rob Thomas concert without watching inexplicably while a mosh pit forms. Really people? I've seen mosh pits at a Macy Grey concert. Maybe I'm misreading it and they were just people who, like me, hates Macy Grey and decided to beat each other up rather than listen to the show.

On a side-note, I had a dream a few months ago (I think I had just finished watching Wayne's World 2 or something) that I drew up an awesome concert poster for a 3 day comedy music festival. Something like this;

Day 1;

Weird Al
Spinal Tap
Flight of the Conchords
Michael Greggory (auto-tune the news guy)
MC Chris
(random comedians and strange and/or funny bands)

Day 2;

Monty Python
Lonely Island
MC Lars
Holy Modal Rollers
(more random)

Day 3;

Ween
Adam Sandler
Electric Six...

I'm drawing a blank right now, but when I actually had the dream, I thought up a pretty decent list of artists that would totally fit the bill for what I imagine would be the funniest, happiest festival EVER. Maybe somebody wants to head over to Mefi Projects and help me build up a fake promotional packet that looks totally awesome. We could send it to all the music blogs and get people all giddy. If we build it.... they probably won't come, but at least I'll stop being bored for awhile.
posted by Bageena at 11:36 AM on August 12, 2009


@ Atreides: Thanks for that explanation re: boomer antagonism. About as intelligent and succinct an answer as one could wish for, and I appreciate its logic and finesse. At least now, I can put the "why" in a better historical perspective. It's a complicated topic.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:38 AM on August 12, 2009


The anti-Boomerism isn't merely jealousy, it's a sense of having things taken away from you by an older generation. It was called the Baby Boom because they are a large group, and they make for an enormous voting bloc. Here's some of the perceptions, right or wrong, about the boomers:

They voted to lower the drinking age, then, after they got done having their good times, raised it again.

They went to college for peanuts, then turned around and forgot about how it all got funded.

Their parents passed homes and savings to them; they've pretty much blown it all.

A lot of dope and experimentation, but they were right there for "Just Say No!"

They'll be gobbling back the very last of Social Security and numerous other things when they go, and it's all because they're such a large group that they have changed the country as they have passed for it.

The generations after will be stuck wondering where the money went, working in nursing homes and choosing between Superfund sites to clean up and keeping the lights on, but not before we're treated to more boomer narcissism and stories about Woodstock. It isn't that the later generations did not get our acts together, it's that our birthrights and futures were, to some degree, eaten up by a group of people who simply took such things as their due, and will continue to do so until they die.

Here's a joke for you: Why are locusts better than boomers?

Locust swarms never look back.
posted by adipocere at 11:45 AM on August 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


The local paper is predictably dry-humping the memories of that ancient time and what struck me was the age of everyone involved: these people are mostly in their sixties. That means we should doubly not trust them.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:48 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


So one toilet for 667 people. Idiots couldn't even be arsed to do simple math.

At least burning man has finally gotten that right in the past few years. They're actually downright pleasant (for portapotties in 100 degree heat) until saturday night.
posted by flaterik at 11:59 AM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


... maybe the problem here is that generations subsequent to the boomers just haven't eaten enough acid. They can't think paradoxically. They can't see that Woodstock was likely both as awful as many here wish it was and as awe inspiring as those who were there remember it to be.

Me? I'd just turned ten when it happened and was way more interested in the recent moon landing at the time. I didn't even see the movie until well into the 1980s. Coincidentally, I was high on acid at the time. One thing I didn't even remotely kid myself into believing was that I hadn't missed out on something significant and yes, beautiful. Mind you, I also never saw the Clash in small club in 1976, or managed to trip out on ecstasy and dance to the Age Of Love with 5000 other wigged out ravers in 1990, nor have I made it to Burning Man. Yet.

Shit keeps on happening and not all of it is bad.
posted by philip-random at 12:01 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


... maybe the problem here is that generations subsequent to the boomers just haven't eaten enough acid.

I would be happy to hear possible strategies on how to remedy this problem. I am unsure what "enough" might be, but I'll be happy to begin tomorrow and let you know when I get there. Anyone know how to help me out, and how I can expand this experiment to include as may other test subjects as possible?
posted by hippybear at 12:10 PM on August 12, 2009


I didn't go. Some people told me about it and asked if I wanted to go (I think they needed a ride.) I didn't want to go, and I've never really regretted it. I've heard some fine music performed outdoors without the Woodstock ambience, and am satisfied.


Bunny, since you like debunkings, can you give me a source for the "if everyone who says they were there actually was, then..." line? I keep seeing it, but there's never any evidence. Did somebody do a survey, or a study or something? Sounds like made-up snark.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:13 PM on August 12, 2009


The day that the baby boom generation gave us weed.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:43 PM on August 12, 2009


Bunny, since you like debunkings, can you give me a source for the "if everyone who says they were there actually was, then..." line? I keep seeing it, but there's never any evidence. Did somebody do a survey, or a study or something? Sounds like made-up snark.

I think it is made up snark. I did a super-cursory google search, then I got bored. Then I came back to this.

For the record, I was 6 when Woodstock went off. My Dad was a year out of UC Berkely school of social work with his MSW. He worked at the Palo Alto AV Methadone clinic.

So I have an excellent Hippie pedigree. I'm allowed to snark. Members of my family resemble them long haired hippie freaks.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:46 PM on August 12, 2009


I also never saw the Clash in small club in 1976

Truth be told, neither did I. I did buy tickets to a Ramones concert at dump in Tempe, AZ in 1979 or 1980 or thereabouts.

The show took place at a nightclub. I got in and out with no problem (I was 17 and with a drinking age of 19 I started passing for adult at around 12.) One little girl who was with us didn't pass though. So, like a good mommie, I stayed outside in the car with her while my friends partied in the club. Because. I. Am. A. Looser.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:50 PM on August 12, 2009


I saw the documentary on this (forgot which one) and all I remember is the 'Port-o-San' bit, the 'brown acid' and fast-forwarding through most of the stuff as crap.
Crosby, Stills and Nash though really touched me. There is a charm to some of the production stuff that went on in the 60s. I did like the earthy sense of it and the sort of goofy earnest naivete' that they think they're cool. But that was in contrast to - if you watch some of the older stuff - people who seemed more or less like f'ing robots.
I mean, you watch the Stanley Milgram Obedience experiment say, and a newscast, interview, on the scene type stuff - it's all the same really.
So - for all it's faults - there was an overall realness to it. And it's laughable. The people with the long hair that think they're so counterculture.
But hell, wasn't so long ago a man had to venture out in a full-length bathing 'suit' and short pants were unheard of.
All that aside - CSN struck me as very genuine and intimate and that was only accentuated by the amateurish production stuff. They're cast practically in darkness with a blue light or a red light or something.
And that was the thing, some of them were there to do something and speak to people through their music.
And some were there trying to make a buck. And some were just assheads. Some were just trying to get laid.
I think that's what I like about it. All in all. It's just people like anything else.
And I don't know that they had really had that exposure to people just being people with that thick overlay of social mores that you see the country was so steeped in and caught up in otherwise.
Really, 'Mrs. Robinson' as a song is just trite now. Rebelling against middle class values all that, it's just quaint. And soon it will be laughable, like Gabby Hayes driven mad by the expansion of the railroads into the frontier.
One of those things I suppose you had to be there.
And I don't know that we're as bound together by one vision as we were before so anything like Woodstock could ever happen again - or, really, should.
I mean, that's a whole lot of white kids for starters.
But that aside, it's sort of what makes the boomers nostalgia - like any nostalgia really - objectionable.
We're past all that now. And sometimes that can get in the way of seeking the new wine.
Which, I gotta say, we really do need right now. But God only (or Dionysus only) knows what the hell that is.

There's a place out here called Ravinia Park (or just Ravinia). And it's nice. It's outdoors. It's music. But it's all guarded and 'safe.' Which I'm not knocking, I like taking my kids somewhere safe. And I prefer the classical music. But otherwise it's Lyle Lovett or the Doobie Brothers or Steve Miller or Tony Bennett - it's no one who's going to grab your balls/ovaries and put you through an experience like Eleutherios and the bacchae.
I don't know that Woodstock did or didn't do that. CSN touched me, so I can see there was something there anyway. I suppose for some kid trapped in their repressive life in some heterogenous Levittown sliding around in the mud, smoking dope, seeing some tits, could have been a liberating wild time.
But, yeah, I didn't grow up trapped by that, or the era or whatever. So I guess you had to be there.
Shouldn't get in the way of anyone else's discovery tho.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:22 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That link I posted about the generation gap softening is now 404-ing, so here's a link to the Pew Research survey with those findings.

Though, judging from the reactions here, I guess the gap may still be pretty wide after all :)

(fwiw I was way too young for Woodstock or the '60s to matter personally, but I've had former-hippie-flower child friends who were actually pretty cool, so, hey.)
posted by thread_makimaki at 2:05 PM on August 12, 2009


Prior to reading this thread I was expecting to see some antipathy for Woodstock and Boomers, but I wasn't really expecting to see all the Boomer hate. My mistake.

I forget when I became aware of Woodstock -- I was 6 in 1969, and on the west coast, so I couldn't have attended even if I had wanted to -- but I remember seeing a midnight movie double feature at some point in the late '70's that paired Woodstock (the movie) with Gimme Shelter. And let me tell you, for all the earnestness of the hate being dished out here for Woodstock as "amateurish" and "laughable", Woodstock (the event) comes off looking like three days of paradise compared to the grim, brutal reality of Altamont. I think that's one of the takeaway's here that's being overlooked. Yeah, Woodstock is dragged out in mid-August every five years and held up for all to see as the highpoint of Boomer youth culture, but it was a highpoint, especially compared to a lot of other shit that went down in similar-but-different venues. For three days, 400,000 people, some in highly altered states, managed to live together in a farmer's field and not kill one another. Most reportedly had a great time in the process. A few had life-changing visions and epiphanies. I see a lot of blog entries and pictures every year following Burning Man that, dare I say it, come across with a similar vibe. The more things change, the more they stay the same...

I am not defending the Boomers per se -- they have a horrible record of living up to the high ideals they espoused as kids and young adults -- but to condemn them en masse is also neither right nor fair. Every generation struggles to differentiate itself from the one that immediately preceded it. The sheer size and persistence of the Boomer generation means that it casts an especially long shadow, and will continue to do so for the next 20-30 years.

From my perspective, Woodstock looks like it was a pretty damn good time, and fairly trouble-free considering its size and the quantity of mind-altering substances consumed by its participants. It's unfortunate that it's become a nostalgia mill that elicits the same cliched responses every time it's brought up - "stinking hippies in mud!"; "naked stinking hippies in a pond!"; "hundreds of thousands of naked, stoned, smelly white people!"; "the music actually sucked!" -- but whatever. If it were an easy thing to bring 400,000 people together for days at a time without having all hell break loose, we'd see it attempted more often. Turns out, it isn't easy to bring that many people together and keep them from hurting themselves or each other.
posted by mosk at 2:54 PM on August 12, 2009


I worked on the ang lee movie - I look forward to seeing the whole thing. It was pretty funny, everyone in the office really wanted to work on the shots with the psychedelic imagery, and the people who were working on them had a lot of co-workers coming by saying "hey if you need any ideas, just ask, I could.. well.. y'know, I've done a lot of..."
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:53 PM on August 12, 2009


Five years ago I was working on a tv shoot in Jeffersonville, NY - at over 400 people the nearest thing to a real town around the farm - and one of the most interesting things about the town was the way that it was made up of exactly three distinct groups:

1. The Italian-American and Irish-American families who had been there for generations immemorial.

2. The earnest Yuppie families who had just recently moved there to get away from NYC

3. The folks who had come up from Austin and elsewhere 35 years previously for Woodstock and said "fuck it, we're staying."

I actually liked all three groups quite a bit - it was a nice town and I certainly wasn't going to disrespect those who found it and wanted to make a home there, even if they were johnny-come-latelys. But Group 3 was most definitely my favorite.Genuine, kind counter-culturists now gone to seed but with fire in their eyes for revolution, combined with a fun-loving element so missing in activist hippies today.

So as much as the Boomer culture has fucked over those who came afterward, I'm not going to begrudge those at Woodstock - the ones I've met are still trying to fight the good fight.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:24 PM on August 12, 2009


Looking at the performing artists and sequence of events, the weirdest juxtaposition hands-down is Sha-Na-Na followed by Jimi Hendrix.
Which isn't quite as weird as Hendrix opening for The Monkees in 1967.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on August 12, 2009


So, that's why the WJS just ran this item about Bert Sommer. (Link appears okay to me - sorry if it vanishes behind subscription wall in the next 10 minutes.)

"Unless you attended Woodstock, it’s unlikely you heard Bert Sommer’s set, the best of the festival’s first day. None of his 10 songs was included in the official Woodstock albums or in the various versions of Michael Wadleigh’s documentary “Woodstock.” So forgotten was Mr. Sommer’s ­appearance that his name was omitted from the original plaque placed on the festival site in Bethel, N.Y., to commemorate the event of Aug. 15-17, 1969."
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:33 PM on August 12, 2009


If it were an easy thing to bring 400,000 people together for days at a time without having all hell break loose, we'd see it attempted more often. Turns out, it isn't easy to bring that many people together and keep them from hurting themselves or each other.

It's interesting you bring this up. One of the really interesting (to me, anyway) aspects of the Woodstock '94 festival was the camaraderie that was more or less "directed" by the concert organizers.

There were 400,000 +/- mud-soaked people. Lotsa drugs, much tripping. Insanely inadequate toilet facilities because the trucks couldn't get through the mud to empty/change the porta-johns. Food supplies limited because of the mud and the large number of crashers. Really a recipe for potential disaster.

But every hour or so, an organizer would get on the mike and emphasize how important it was that everybody needed to be looking out for each other. They'd say, "Look to your left and right. Does anyone look like they are getting dehydrated? Get 'em some water. Any bad trips? Be gentle, talk 'em down, and bring them to the first aid tent.

I noticed it then, and I've commented on it many times since: The crowd really took to the positive message. People really did look out for each other. I left convinced that people, by and large, live up or down to what's expected of them. A good message from the top can do wonders.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:38 PM on August 12, 2009


I'm wondering what the age profile of the naysayers on this thread is. I'm 27, and for as long as I've paid attention to such things, the year-zero, punk-killed-prog, Pistols/Ramones/Minor Threat ne plus ultra washed up punks have been way more vocal and annoying than the washed up hippies.
posted by kersplunk at 4:45 PM on August 12, 2009


I'm also positive that in 30-40 years youngsters will get off on railing against my generation, with our indie and our blogs and so on, nomatter what any of us does or doesn't do as individuals.
posted by kersplunk at 5:01 PM on August 12, 2009


the year-zero, punk-killed-prog, Pistols/Ramones/Minor Threat ne plus ultra washed up punks have been way more vocal and annoying than the washed up hippies.

this is a compliment, I hope you realize.
posted by philip-random at 5:02 PM on August 12, 2009


the boomers suffered through the same thing with their parents, too


You, who are on the road,
must have a code that you can live by.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:26 PM on August 12, 2009


... maybe the problem here is that generations subsequent to the boomers just haven't eaten enough acid. They can't think paradoxically. They can't see that Woodstock was likely both as awful as many here wish it was and as awe inspiring as those who were there remember it to be.

As far as I can tell, for someone who was born the year after Woodstock, it was quite an event for those who attended. But it wasn't really a great concert, as far as the music goes. Monterey Pop and other shows were much more interesting musically. But Woodstock was a big event, and for some people it changed their lives. Although, I do tend to agree that it was sort of a last gasp at the '60s rather than the peak of it, which obviously was the summer of 1967. Badly organized, but the bulk of people got in free, and the show went on anyway. I don't think it was the real marker at the end of the era. That was Altamont, which was also badly organized but in a way which cultivated violence.

Yeah, there was a lot of bullshit that surrounded the whole hippie mystique, although I personally identified with a lot of it growing up, but also the punk ethos. I do tend to agree with Zappa's take on the hippies at the time, which wasn't all that complimentary, but at the same time, in the mid '80s he wrote "Turning Again:"

Yes, they believed in all the papers
And the magazines that defined their folklore

They could never laugh
At who or what they thought they were
Or even what they thought
They sorta oughta be

They were totally empty
And their lives were really useless
So what the fuck?

They didn't have no sense of humor
Now they got nothing left
To laugh about
Including themselves


but at the end:

We can turn it around
We can do it again
We can go back in time
Through the canyons of your mind

On the eve of destruction
We can act like we are
Something really special

You just jump in the bath-tub
With that other guy Jim
And make him be more careful

We can visit Big Mama
And whap her on the back
When she eats her sandwich

We can take care of Janis
When she gets so depressed
She can't take it no more!

We can laugh at Keith Moon's jokes
And the color TV
He threw out the windum
From the second floor

Everybody come back
No one can do it like you used to
If you listen to the radio
And what they play today
You can tell right away:
All those assholes really need you!

posted by krinklyfig at 6:38 PM on August 12, 2009


The only good thing to come out of Woodstock.
posted by Evilspork at 7:20 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


adipocere, I wish I could favorite that twice.

The Boomers ruined almost everything worthwhile for those that came after. Then they proceeded to look down on anything we tried to do for ourselves. Especially LARPing. Which, when you think about it, is about the same as Woodstock in terms of its level of ridiculousness.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:07 PM on August 12, 2009


Huh, it's so strange to read the contempt, the ridicule for Woodstock and hippies. It hurts actually. I've been thinking about this thread all day.

Each generation pioneers. Mine did, so did the ones before mine and so is your generation pioneering, right now, this minute.

Yes, glorifying or pedestalizing anything is not merely annoying, it's dangerous. Things, people, creations, events, history, stages, need to be seen with a level head, with perspective and understanding.

In that August 40 years ago, it was just another dog days of summertime and there was an outdoor concert going to happen, 7 bucks for 3 days. My friends and I were already thinking about school starting again in a couple of weeks. Going into the 10th grade for me. Nobody was thinking historic, just the way nobody here thinks sharing in MetaFilter is historic, pioneering or something to be put on a pedestal.

But then, zooming out from that mid-August, 40 years ago, I can now understand that the events of that time were significant in ways that I didn't know then. Just as what you are doing this very day will be seen as historic in the future.

The anger in this thread has made me examine the generations that went before mine with more thanks, more appreciation. Yes, like you, I had such blame for the generations that went before. They created awful things too that my generation, the hippie generation, rebelled against. Not much of the rebellion was well thought out. It took place in unexpected pieces and places, often spontaneously. My generation is called Boomer because after World War II humanity automatically procreated, because of the millions who were shot, blown to bits, tortured. Apparently this happens after any war or major crisis, people procreate. In this case it was such procreation, it was an explosion of babies, a baby boom. Boomer.

What hippies were rebelling against was the gross materialism and militarism, the uptight, fat cat, hung-up Cold War, the anti-Communist paranoia mindset that came out of World War II and World War I. What came before us was the Great Depression, two World Wars. The elders who gave us birth started this whole monstrous industrial pollution thing, they created all the cars, the airplanes, the TV, the phony phone, laid all those electrical cables and fuel pipes across the forests and oceans, made all those fake, corny movies, the ugly highways, the ruined industrial landscapes. They made the Ku Klux Klan, MK-ULTRA, the CIA, nuclear bombs, assassinated JFK, started the conniving advertising business, "Madison Avenue"; they wore pill box hats, white gloves, crew cuts, were "squares, invented "the suburbs". They made drinking fountains for colored people, made anybody but white people sit at the back of the bus, lynched black men who so much as looked at a white women, routinely called each other wops, wogs, spics, chinks, kikes, niggers, micks, honkies. They created rednecks, the John Birch Society, girdles, polyester, nylon, plastic everything.

I loathed Elvis the pelvis or listening to classical music because that was the snobbish, educated thing to do. The pop music of the day in the early mid-60's was pretty vulgar and mindless, I did like it, but it wasn't nourishing really, it felt hollow. the agenda was all about little houses made of ticky tacky, being part of a clique or being a codependent female, all the same, rigid, fearful, de-sexualized, de-humanized, Stepford lives.

And then all of a sudden in 1966 it was the done thing to read On The Road, to listen to the blues, to read Ginsberg's Howl, to think about traveling cheap with a backpack, have a minimalist lifestyle, be less materialistic, be non-judgmental, more relaxed, more open minded about other cultures, West or East, hang out with black people, talk about the injustices our forefathers did to the Native Americans, to aboriginals, to poor people, to think about ecology, to be less ashamed to be a human body, to talk about feelings, to cry, to share, to care about others, to learn yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, mysticism, to enjoy astronomy, to learn about health, physical, emotional, social. To have simpler, less competitive, more playful, more childlike pleasures, to play frisbee, skateboard, bike ride, walk, hike, climb mountains, go camping, hitch hike around the world on the cheap, stay in hostels, create student organizations, support groups, to allow people to be different, less defined as grossly male or grossly female. Genders blended more. There was less homophobia. Men wore long hair and women wore pants. Clothes weren't taken seriously as defining class, gender, work or education. Everybody came to know they had rights worth honoring and talking about. It was okay to laugh, to complain, to make fun of ourselves.

Kids, just students, people without any social power or experience, got together to stop the damn war in Vietnam and start having Civil Rights. There was a corrupt president, who was every bit as scary as this Bush nightmare we just survived and his malignant team of civil rights crushers. Nixon and his honchos. Young people took that bastard down by demanding that the corruption he was involved with not be silenced or hidden but outed.

And then there was the soundtrack of this change, uplifting, authentic, emotionally deep, truly creative, raucous, angry, feelingful, overtly sexual for men AND women. Music that gave me a rush, it still gives me a rush, my blood runs hot when I listen to Hendrix and Joplin. It makes me want to listen, get up and dance, move, feel.

Woodstock was a place where elements of the different parts of the soundtrack came together. Not well planned. But enjoyed in spite of the rain, the mud, hardly anything to eat and no comforts. Some 50's Shanana, the new Latin percussion-rock with Santana, the new black-psychedelic rock, black-folk with Sly, Ritchie and Jimi, white blues with Joe Cocker and Canned Heat, dreamy, poetic Crosby Stills and Nash. I wasn't there but the impact of those half a million kids just wanting to listen to some rock 'n roll had an unexpected global impact. It strangely ended up being some sort of a statement of empowerment. The collective youth of the world had power after that.

And when I look at valuing Woodstock as something that happened, then got pedestalized and resented by the present generation for being pedestalized, it makes me look more closely at the generations that went before me, the ones I felt contempt for. Oh yeah, well, it's a good thing neither the Nazis or Stalin took over the world. And I'm thankful to the millions who died so I can live without those particular, vicious brands of totalitarianism. And yes, I do like flying on those airplanes, using the phone, going places in a car. I like TV now, movies too. I benefit a lot from those who went before me. And I suffer from the messes they made too.

My generation helped fix some of the messes of the previous generations, added some other messes.

The people here, this new generation benefits from the good that came from my generation, all kinds of freedoms and creativity and suffers the messes we made. May I apologize to you for the messes I had any hand in creating.

You all, who helped create this internet thing, a weblog where people democratically share their thoughts from around the world, 24/7/365, you are changing the planet with this dialogue, this radical sharing of the truth, science, politics, opinions, caring, knowledge. You brought down that monster, Bush. You elected the first black American president. You did that with your amazing web thing. The world has never known this kind of open communication, even with the limits that occur, the censorship that occurs in oppressed countries. This internet thing, this weblog thing, is revolutionary, evolutionary. Never happened before in the entire history of humanity.

Half a million people came to Yasgar's Farm that August 40 years ago. But nobody thinks anything of it if half a million come to a website, a YouTube video on any given day now. I think the gathering of people all over the world, together on the web, is extraordinary and wonderful.

It's a social rock and roll of a different kind. Your generation will be pedestalized and condemned by your children or children's children for creating this thing, this innovation, this web. This Google, this FaceBook, this Twitter. This surfing the information highway, these LOLCats and viral memes, pirated music. There isn't any way to know where the wave will take it. It's unplanned, as my generation's innovations were and the previous generations' creations. There will be great benefits and messes that come out of it. You will see.

That is the way the generations work, they each create boons and messes, adored and cursed. Hopefully we learn as we go along. Wishing you peace, love and understanding on your journey.
posted by nickyskye at 8:11 PM on August 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Why is it that when people talk about the "Boomer" generation, they always zero in on the demographic aspect? I mean yeah, there were a lot of them, I don't really think that's the point; there have been demographic "baby booms" throughout history. No, the "boomers" were lucky because they came of age at the sweet spot of American history -- an era of unrivaled American power, unheard-of technological advancement, and unparalleled social change. They had opportunities that nobody in the world will ever have. Ultimately, they fucked it up, because hey, they were only people, and that's what people do, they fuck it up. It's been pretty much all downhill since the late 60s. What do we have now? Fucking Twitter. Yay. They got the fucking moon landing, and we get fucking Twitter. We live in a world that's stretched out and dirty like a used nitrous balloon.

Anyway, I could care less about Woodstock; it's a historical footnote and it means nothing to me. I actually think Altamont is far more interesting.

Next time you watch Gimme Shelter, there's a part that I want you to pay attention to. I think it's during Sympathy For The Devil. Mick is on-stage, rocking out (or trying to rock out) in spite of all the crazy shit going on in the audience. There's this moment -- and I swear, this is one of my favorite moments in documentary filmmaking -- where it finally dawns on him that he's created a monster and that the crowd has become completely uncontrollable. He looks out at the audience, and you can't really see his expression because the camera is behind him, but you have to imagine that it's halfway between terror and bewilderment, because you can see the effect it has on the fans. It's so surreal, because just moments ago, Mick was this rock god, the Stones were these rock gods, these Dionysos, these providers of musical energy that they showered down from on-high -- and then suddenly Mick is just this terrified, confused human being. The fans are looking to him for guidance and life support, and he's looking out at them like "I don't know what the fuck to do." The reveling has stopped, and what you see on their faces is genuine concern. And you can just see it, this sublime moment in time, this very moment at the very cusp of history, the exact second when the sixties officially died.

The real tragedy is that we give a shit about "the sixties" at all. They're cultural memories, but they're not my memories. I have absolutely no reverence for it.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:19 PM on August 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


What did the boomers successfully “get together” that was not attributable to them comprising a statistically huge demographic of a scale that has yet to be repeated?

rock music

micro-computers

the internet as we know it

---

The anti-Boomerism isn't merely jealousy, it's a sense of having things taken away from you by an older generation.

but here's where you really miss the point and show your lack of understanding of the boomers - the people who took things away from you were not the people who were hippies, went to woodstock, did all that groovy stuff, man

those people were in the minority

the majority followed the rules, toed the line, put their noses to the grindstone, did what they were told and wanted "their" america to be just like the golden land they remember growing up in during the 50s and 60s - and in many ways, that was betrayed

and they got angry - and they followed ronald reagan's promise of "a brand new morning" - and they voted for george w fucking bush - and they listened to rush and glenn and bill and michelle and want to know when people are going to give them "their" america back

THAT'S the REAL voice of the baby boomers right there - the woodstock hippies were a small and pretty well despised minority

yes indeed, sir, my generation, as i've said before, is a generation of vipers - but it ain't the free love, dope, rock and roll, hippieism and grooviness that made them that

it's the fucking mcmansions, sterile burbs, plastic malls, mindless obedience, money grubbing bastards, practicers of republican whoredom and hypocritical christerism that makes the baby boomers the collection of poisonous snakes that you rightly despise

it ain't aging woodstock hippies who are out there blowing their blood pressured veins out over obamacare, it's the stupid bastards who stayed home

will people get a clue about this, please?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:13 PM on August 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


the exact second when the sixties officially died

The fact Altamont took place on December 6th 1969, would logically mean the sixties were about to be over in a few weeks, by dint of the calendar.

The sixties weren't ended by Mick Jagger's narcissism, the homicidal rage of the meth addled, revolver toting Meredith Hunter or Hells Angels' violence.

The sixties ended with the December 31st 1969, when the seventies came into existence, which was a whole other pioneering time.
posted by nickyskye at 4:34 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kids, just students, people without any social power or experience, got together to stop the damn war in Vietnam and start having Civil Rights. There was a corrupt president, who was every bit as scary as this Bush nightmare we just survived and his malignant team of civil rights crushers. Nixon and his honchos. Young people took that bastard down by demanding that the corruption he was involved with not be silenced or hidden but outed.

I appreciate your broader points. But this, particularly the last sentence, is laughably untrue and is the kind of "boomer rah rah!" nonsense that makes me roll my eyes. Nixon was elected twice. By large margins. In that second election, in 1972, with the Vietnam War raging and the antiwar movement at its largest, he kicked McGovern's ass six ways from Sunday. It was a landslide of historic proportions. He got brought down the old fashioned way, by getting caught red-handed, not by masses of young people.

And the civil rights thing? Yes, a few white (meaning: heavily red-diaper Jewish) students participated in the whole freedom rides thing early on, and even fewer had been down in the south helping with organizing even earlier. And certainly there was some campus organizing among white students. But the heavy lifting was done by blacks, young and old -- they faced the gravest dangers and they paid the price. To the extent that it happened, mass white involvement came very, very late in the process. Giving the hippies credit for this is way out beyond funny into offensive territory, honestly.

And even the anti war movement was built on the back of decades of difficult and lonely organizing by Quakers and other pacifists, liberal priests and pastors, and scattered middle-aged and elderly activists across the country. Again, mass involvement by young people came late, and there is a lot of stealing of credit on this one, too.
posted by Forktine at 5:29 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The sixties ended with the December 31st 1969, when the seventies came into existence, which was a whole other pioneering time.

Interestingly, the new Pynchon novel takes place between the arrest of the Manson family and their trials, arguably a limbo between the "end of the sixties" and whatever came next.
posted by hippybear at 6:45 AM on August 13, 2009


Nixon was elected twice.

So was Bush. Both Bushes.
there is a lot of stealing of credit on this one, too.

Credit to ousting corrupt politicos belongs to the whole mosaic of good people who want a better world, not just one part of one generation. But the hippie movement and the student protesters were very much a part of that mosaic.

Neither the kids, the hippies then nor the internet generation kids recently, voted in these malignant creeps, who were so gung-ho war and corporate imperialism.

But the kids then and now ousted these politicos with their very public outrage that went global. Solid citizens in private, scattered here and there, doing good work, isn't enough to oust a bastard. It takes a swell of mass outrage, like the one that came after the Kent State shootings by students who were too young to vote. Getting a malignant person out of power needs a cohesive group, I think of this as a loving support network.

Odd things in the last election process, like the "Don't tase me bro'" viral vid and the swell of public outrage it caused among students, helped budge the rigidity of the power of the Bush regime that then had a firm grip on the planet. I wouldn't say that student ousted Bush, but what he did, the video and the impact it had, the response, was part of the groundswell that made major changes.

Corrupt powers have a way of keeping a foothold, either by "hanging chads" or repealing civil rights. It's when the corruption becomes public, becomes known widely, talked about, laughed about, cried about, gossiped about and the mass of people who would otherwise have voted for the glib charm of corrupt power, or have been apathetic, then shift just enough for the voting to go in a healthier direction, that's when healthier changes can take place, or at least, the corrupt power disrupted enough for Obama to win.

After Nixon was ousted, Ford stepped in and quietly did massive damage. Carter didn't have a chance. Reagan and the Republican tsunami that had been building during the Cold War swept into power in 1980. It needed a massive uprising to oust that tremendous force. It needed the internet, a global protest.

I do think hippie journalism, draft resistors, student uprisings of the 60's and 70's ousted Nixon. Daniel Ellsberg was so profoundly moved by a draft resistor, he changed the world by publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Ellsberg said: Randy Kehler [the student draft resistor] never thought his going to prison would end the war. If I hadn't met Randy Kehler it wouldn't have occurred to me to copy those papers. His actions spoke to me as no mere words would have done. He put the right question in my mind at the right time.[

And as for your statement:
Yes, a few white (meaning: heavily red-diaper Jewish) students participated in the whole freedom rides thing early on, and even fewer had been down in the south helping with organizing even earlier. And certainly there was some campus organizing among white students. But the heavy lifting was done by blacks, young and old -- they faced the gravest dangers and they paid the price. To the extent that it happened, mass white involvement came very, very late in the process. Giving the hippies credit for this is way out beyond funny into offensive territory, honestly.

huh. I wonder who the hundred thousand marching down Fifth Avenue in 1967 were, all those white folks singing with Pete Seeger? Gee, I didn't see red diapers in the crowd. Was Bob Dylan a red diaper guy? Joan Baez too? Guess JFK (Kennedy proposed what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964), Bobby Kennedy and LBJ's work must have been communist, I didn't know that or that they were Jewish.
posted by nickyskye at 7:04 AM on August 13, 2009


Sadly, pyramid termite, my parents were those hippies. Dad was in a very minor rock band. I played with a Zig-Zag roller as a kid as one of my earliest toys. Some very ... colorful ... options were in the running for my name. VWs of various stripes were the first cars in which I can remember riding. I watched them turn into the very people you describe, with the kind of confusion only children can have when they remember being told one thing, only to see something very different happen years.

Imagine being the kid whose parents had him put together a little grow kit (not knowing what it was al about) because he was very mechanically inclined and they weren't (plus being stoned, a lot, does not help), then, not even ten years later, getting the "drugs are bad" speech from your father, who has now voted for Reagan again. Imagine them getting all teary every July 4th, but recalling their fond chats with friends years back about how draft-dodging was accomplished with the right medications. They went from peace symbols to "bomb Libya" pretty quick. Hearing your "we're all one race" parents casually drop "nigger" into a conversation is fairly shocking at that age.

It wasn't just that your parents are supposed to be better people, it's that they spent a lot of time talking about how they are better: more open-minded, less hung-up, not into all of that money. From that to working in marketing.

I know we'd like to imagine them coming out of some beautiful fog in a battered VW bus, making pilgrimages to Jerry's grave, quietly running head shops and dropping enlightenment on the kids. They've got a commune out there, with a little grow operation underground and hemp jewelry above it. And who knows, maybe a handful are keeping the light on, but as to the rest of them, the hippies cashed in like everyone else.
posted by adipocere at 7:37 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The sixties weren't ended by Mick Jagger's narcissism, the homicidal rage of the meth addled, revolver toting Meredith Hunter or Hells Angels' violence.

just as woodstock was a media creation, so was altamont, except, of course, most of the people you know have heard of woodstock - but if we really want to consider the 60s as a cultural phenomenon, then we're going to have to throw away our calendars and look at what actually happened

they began on nov 22, 1963 with the jfk assassination - the most significant aspect of this was not that a president died but that a country's attention was suddenly riveted on one thing through the medium of television and people were aware of this - think of the protesters in chicago 1968 shouting that the whole world was watching - think of the way that beatlemania spread through mass media or how the fear of urban riots or the disgust with a foreign war was transmitted through television - true, there had been instances before then, but in the 60s, this became the standard operating procedure for the country

it was a time where it was assumed that things were going to change and they were going to continue to change - if you had said to us in 1969 that 2009 would come and we would not have people actually living on the moon i think many of us would have disbelieved it, for example - (and it not happening has more to do with will than technology)

even as it seemed that the country was in shakey, fractious shape, that spirit of progressive optimism continued into the 70s until 3 things happened around 1974

1 president nixon being hounded out of office

2 the first oil shock and gas lines

3 and something that isn't mentioned in the media much anymore but was utterly essential to the psychology of my generation - the later baby boomers - so much so that you can't understand us without taking it into account

it was the year that the factories started closing down

in my high school class of '75, there were people whose plans were simple once they graduated from high school - they were going to go out, get a job at x y or z factory, get an apartment and live the good life - for life

when these people graduated they were met with a rude and life-changing shock - x y or z factory wasn't hiring, wouldn't be hiring for years and/or was closing up

suddenly, life was no longer a journey in which you go "on the road" and see what you can get for yourself - no, it was something where you get what you can and hang on to it for dear life because you might not get anything else

that's when the 60s ended right there - when young people stopped believing in a progressive, advancing society and turned to personal and countrywide conservatism as a sheer survival mechanism - when the american economy tanked and people no longer had the luxury of dropping out, as the society might not have a place for them when they came back

when discussing the baby boomers, people often forget that half of them grew up during the 70s - and the other half were the young adults who were being laid off in droves

there's a dark side to our generational experience, alright, but it didn't come into being on a racetrack in california - no, it happened with hundreds of abandoned factories surrounded by parking lots that were slowly broken up by weeds until they were gravel ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:47 AM on August 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Neither the kids, the hippies then nor the internet generation kids recently, voted in these malignant creeps, who were so gung-ho war and corporate imperialism.

I don't have the full statistics at my fingertips, but according to this book, Nixon got half of the youth vote in '72. Again, that was in an election where McGovern explicitly courted the youth vote, and in the first presidential election after the voting age was dropped from 21 to 18, and in the middle of the Vietnam War, and in the face of mass protests.

And according to this article, Bush also captured half of the youth vote in 2000. (Not to mention that support for Nader skewed young, too, though his raw numbers weren't large.)

So it's really disingenuous, and factually wrong, to say that Nixon and Bush, not to mention other creeps, weren't supported and elected by large numbers of young people. Sadly, they were.
posted by Forktine at 7:49 AM on August 13, 2009


Sadly, pyramid termite, my parents were those hippies.

they may have thought so, but they were really opportunists - and yeah, there's a lot of people who did the same thing, fear being the deadliest drug of them all ...

the more successful of the 60s generation went into academia where they could survive and modify the lifestyle as time changed

another thing that people often miss in these discussions is that the counterculture kept growing until now it's pretty much part of the mainstream - and of course, is co-opted in all sorts of obscene marketing ploys - the new york times selling woodstock editions at barnes and noble?

hippie, please!

i think it may have something to do with the fact that it's impossible to rebel without someone turning it into a money making proposition right behind you ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:58 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


No true Scotman hippie, I guess.
posted by adipocere at 8:10 AM on August 13, 2009


Thanks for that info pyramid termite. I wondered what were the ingredients that went into the seventies in the West. I left London in December 1974, shortly after Nixon was ousted, hoping there would be better changes. I went to live first in Rome, wanted to get a Women's Lib book together in Italian but realized that Women's Lib hadn't taken hold in Italy yet. In 1975 I drifted to a tiny Greek Island for half a year, then hitched across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan to India. After returning West for 6 months, I returned to India in September 1976 without leaving for 10 years, so entirely missed the 70's and half the 80's in the West.

I was stunned returning to NYC in late 1985. The whole Yuppie, materialist, coke addled, Wall Street rocketing up, greed-is-good mayhem at that time was a huge shock. I never figured out how the authentic well wishing of the 60's and early 70's began to crumble. I knew coke, heroin and meth addiction had a big hand in it but couldn't figure out what happened. Ok, so there was disco, Saturday Night Fever but it didn't make sense. Many of what was innovative culturally in the 60's, yoga, health food and health activities, Civil and Women's rights, the Gay movement, Eastern spiritual traditions, alternative lifestyles, underground journalism, World music, casual clothing, people more relaxed about gender bending, the ecology movement, rock music... all became part of the mainstream to some degree or another. That seemed good, wholesome. But the well-wishing had poofed. It hurt horribly to experience that.

Thanks so much for helping me comprehend some of that transition. I know the punk movement soured over the sweetness of the hippie movement but I didn't understand some of the impetus, the money and job issues that had a part in it.
posted by nickyskye at 8:11 AM on August 13, 2009


THRASHER by Neil Young
(youtube)
--------
They were hiding behind hay bales,
They were planting in the full moon
They had given all they had for something new
But the light of day was on them,
They could see the thrashers coming
And the water shone like diamonds in the dew.

And I was just getting up, hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun
When I saw those thrashers rolling by,
Looking more than two lanes wide
I was feelin' like my day had just begun.

Where the eagle glides ascending
There's an ancient river bending
Down the timeless gorge of changes
Where sleeplessness awaits
I searched out my companions,
Who were lost in crystal canyons
When the aimless blade of science
Slashed the pearly gates.

It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
How I lost my friends I still don't understand.

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load
Brings back the time when I was eight or nine
I was watchin' my mama's T.V.,
It was that great Grand Canyon rescue episode.

Where the vulture glides descending
On an asphalt highway bending
Thru libraries and museums, galaxies and stars
Down the windy halls of friendship
To the rose clipped by the bullwhip
The motel of lost companions
Waits with heated pool and bar.

But me I'm not stopping there,
Got my own row left to hoe
Just another line in the field of time
When the thrashers comes, I'll be stuck in the sun
Like the dinosaurs in shrines
But I'll know the time has come
To give what's mine.

posted by Afroblanco at 9:05 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So was Bush. Both Bushes.
George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton in 1992.

posted by kirkaracha at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2009


Afroblanco - thanks for the Neil. a much loved fave, lately misplaced in the memory bank.

But you're wrong about one thing: The real tragedy is that we give a shit about "the sixties" at all.

The true tragedy would be if we didn't give a shit. As I indicated above, I turned 10 in 1969, a child of the 60s but never a player. But even I could see that some serious irruption, eruption and insurrection was going down, equal parts serious and fun, fun, fun. Hunter Thompson probably nails it better than anybody in that "High Water" moment roughly half-way through Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas when he reflects that ...

"No explanations, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant ... "


The tragedy then for me is a simple and profound "What the fuck happened?"

My two-bits? I'd put it down to a failure of resilience. As some have pointed out already in this thread, it's hard to really fault the core 60s hippie values. Peace and love and tolerance and equality and respect and "changing the world". But there was no follow-through. Push came to shove and, for many, these values just got washed away. They were skin deep. Thompson saw it as early as 1971. The culture knew it as FACT roundabout the time that Ronald Reagan was elected for the first time, and John Lennon got shot.

The problem with "changing the world" is that it's a life's work, the hardest work of all. Clearly, not for everyone. Certainly, not for an entire generation.

Lesson learned.
posted by philip-random at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love Thrasher because I feel like it sums up the death of the 60s better than any other artistic work I can think of. Actually, he wrote it about his experience of leaving CSNY, but I feel like it's a good stand-in for the larger picture.

I dunno. I'm unhappy with the state of the world, I'm unhappy with the fact that we have a shitty shitty recession right as I'm entering my prime, and I'm unhappy that we have such an apparently bleak future. But at the same time I'm not so into the Boomer hate. I mean, they're only people. They did what people do. I think history and history alone holds the smoking gun on this one.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2009


But at the same time I'm not so into the Boomer hate.

It's good to mellow out. Did you recently turn 30?
posted by applemeat at 10:33 AM on August 13, 2009


Hah! Well, I am still totally sick of the 60s nostalgia, but I am no longer foolish enough to think that human nature has changed drastically enough in the last 31 years to make my generation recognizably superior to the last.

Hell, I'm not really sure that human nature has ever changed. Perhaps just the circumstances.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2009


George H.W. Bush lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton in 1992.

Thanks for the correction kirkaracha. 'Only' 2 terms of W, 1 of H and 2 terms of him as VP under Reagan.
posted by nickyskye at 2:25 AM on August 14, 2009


Richie Havens singing Freedom, at woodstock, 40 years later
posted by HuronBob at 5:53 PM on August 14, 2009


« Older A giant carnivorous plant found only in Mount Vict...  |  Scott Horton discusses... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments