Three Days  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

How many of you remember 1969? I remember I was fourteen years old and having my ass wiped by a very mean lady by the name of Camille. She came ashore on the Mississippi Gulf coast and rearranged things. She parked tugboats in peoples front yards, bent whole pine forests over in one direction and tore huge oak trees right out of the ground, and removed peoples' houses altogether. No, Camille wasn't a particularly hormonal bitch, she was the strongest hurricane ever to hit the North American mainland up to that point (that we know of). At the time I was a "welfare kid" living with some salt-of-the-Earth foster parents in the back woods and bayous of the MIssissippi Gulf coast area, just east of Bay St Louis. That I am even lucky to be alive is what I remember most about 1969.

However, two even more remarkable events happened that year, one being the Apollo moon landing, and WOODSTOCK. Apollo was just hurling three men into orbit around the moon and setting them down on it without killing them, even getting them back here alive, but Woodstock, now THAT was something downright amazing! For three days, over HALF A MILLION people, mostly young people that worried the old people to death, crammed into a large pasture together to groove to some pretty good music, smoke some pot, make some love, play in the mud, and as far as I know, not one of them tried to kill someone. Even the cops thought it best NOT to wade into THAT crowd and hassle anybody. Imagine that.......

They only charged you $6.00 a day, $8.00 at the gate to attend. You can't even see a movie at the theatre these days for that, especially if you want popcorn. Of course, a lot more people came without tickets OR money than did, but by that time it was too late to worry about it. It didn't matter because something like this hadn't ever happened before (this many people coming together and NOT overthrowing a government or something) and the whole thing just wasn't about money when all was said and done. Subsequent efforts to repeat the experience never really measured up, and they cost a lot more money than the original. Yea, you can BUY a war, but you can't BUY peace, now can you?

We were a different breed of human back then, full of alternative ideas, and hope for a much brighter future than our parents had prepared us for. They fought a terrible war and raised the standard of living for all of their offspring, and we threw it back in their faces, preferring instead to try and get around this idea of money and killing and hating each other for stupid reasons. Only we all grew up. We got jobs. We couldn't stop war just because we wanted to, and many of us became our parents, carrying on this insane need for money and status and petty power politics, poisoning the planet and insulting Mother Nature instead of protecting her. So here we are, heading nilly-willy for an extinction event, forty years after proving to each other that we COULD play nice together, if only we wanted to.

We apparently don't want to, at least not badly enough.

But for three days in August of 1969, we did. I wonder why...........

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Wednesday, August 26, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 slick comments

Why? Who knows. I do know that when I was growing up we had less than kids demand now. There wasn't as much to sacrifice at the time and as long as the basic needs were taken care of everything else was gravy. Not everyone had private pools (we swam together in public pools), video games (too expensive and for a long time too big), televisions in every room (gathered together in one room to watch Walter Cronkite), phones they could carry around with them and separate from the rest of the world (yeah, you could stretch a cord around a corner but your family could still hear everything you said) - not to mention the mp3 players that complete the shutting off process...

I bought the re-release of Woodstock. Watching everyone rally together is so beautiful. They all did it. There was no glorification of one particular hero saving the entire population of people. They were all in it together. Maybe that's why it won't happen again. People want few things today but they are far different than they used to be - money, power, recognition vs. simplicity, peace, compassion.

August 27, 2009 at 4:23 AM

I've often pondered on the irony that the Woodstock genreation is the genration that brought UP the subsequent generations of money grubbing, entitlement seeking, narcissistic self absorbed people that we all know and hate, including many of our own generation.

Having said that, I think the whole Woodstock era can be vastly romanticized.

yes it was an incredible event but there have been others and if you look at the rest of what was going on, it wasn't such a great time. We were alerady trashing the earth, recyling was unheard of, distant countries that we now try to help were simply 'third world' and send your uneaten dinner to them, women were INCREDIBLY second class citizens, very few animal rights were apparent, ... I could go on.

I challenge all of you doomsayers, stroll into your local high school. You will STILL find kids who care, kids working for change, kids raising money for wonderful causes, kids with dreams in their eyes and hope in their hearts.

Plato descried the young generation too ...

August 27, 2009 at 5:54 AM

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