Woodstock still sounds golden 50 years on, by George Pierpont at the BBC.
This summer marks 50 years since 400,000 people flocked to a field in upstate New York for “an Aquarian explosion” of “peace and music”.
The Woodstock music festival, held at a farm in Bethel, has come to symbolise much of the idealism of the 1960s. It is seen by many as the nexus of freedom, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll which fuelled the countercultural movement of the decade. …
Then follows a long article telling you how “cool”, “life-affirming”, non-conformist, legitimizing, doped-out, fabulous, and — well – righteous they felt Woodstock was. All lovingly photographed.
He hopes that the spirit of Woodstock can be “rekindled” and calls on his generation to “join forces with the young” to tackle issues such as climate change.
Nasueating. History as written by the victors in the culture war.
Finally, down the bottom of the article, we get to the more banal truth:
American journalist Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in 1989 that the only true ecstasy to be found at Woodstock was “getting the hell out of there”.
He recalls traversing “a thick, slippery, brown river of boots and muck”, spending hours queuing for the toilet and dodging “chemically disoriented” passers-by.
This sentiment is echoed by Mark Hosenball who wrote an article in 2009 titled “I was at Woodstock. And I hated it”.
Rather than an attendee at the centre of a hazy hippie haven, he sees himself as victim of a “massive, teeming, squalid mess [of]… colossal traffic jams, torrential rain, reeking portable johns, barely edible food, and sprawling, disorganised crowds”.
Yep, a real leftist-organized event.