The golden anniversary of the Woodstock music festival is still three months away, but I’m already starting to get sick of hearing about it. And by mid-August, I bet that’s all the media will be talking about. Ugh, wake me when it’s over.
Many people are exclaiming, “Can you believe it’s been 50 years since Woodstock?!”
Yes, I can believe it. After all, 1969 was a long time ago. What I can’t believe is that a bunch of narcissistic Baby Boomers, now in their 60s and 70s, still think Woodstock was one of the most, if not THE most, important event in human history.
Sorry to burst your bubble, guys, but Woodstock wasn’t even the most important event of 1969. I’d put Joe Namath, Neil Armstrong, Golda Meir, Stonewall, and the Mets higher up on the list.
Over 400,000 teens and young adults descended on a town in rural upstate New York and spent three days living like farm animals in the mud. Really? That’s the most important event in human history?
Oh, excuse me. The previous paragraph is an insult to farm animals, who at least have the good sense not to take LSD or believe a guy named Todd from Scarsdale when he says, “Yeah, baby, I’ll love you in the morning!”
In 1969 I was 12 years old, so attending out-of-state music festivals was not exactly on my radar at that moment. I was more concerned during that summer with helping the Clinton Cardinals reach the Little League regional playoffs. (We didn’t make it, by the way, thanks in large part to the grand slam I gave up, the first of many instances where I pleaded with coaches, “Just because I’m left-handed does NOT mean I can pitch!”)
If I had been, say, 21 years old in 1969, I might have journeyed to Max Yasgur’s farm for three days of non-stop partying. But if I had done that, and assuming I hadn’t fried my brain on bad acid, I would not have spent the next half century telling everyone how morally superior I was because I chose “peace and love” over “war and death.”
You see, at the same time all those young Americans were slogging through the mud while being assaulted by brutal sonic attacks from Jimi Hendrix, another group of young Americans were slogging through the mud while being assaulted by brutal RPG attacks from the Viet Cong.
Far too many of the Woodstock revelers proudly proclaimed how wonderful they were because they refused to fight in an unpopular war. But taking a stand back then against the war in Vietnam did not involve any personal sacrifice, such as the risk of being arrested and imprisoned. No, in those days all you had to do was enroll in college and you were deferred from the draft.
In the meantime, all the kids who ended up in Southeast Asia, including the 58,000-plus who never made it home alive, either could not or chose not to finagle a deferment.
I’m not saying all those guys who went to Woodstock should’ve joined the Army. This is not a discussion about the rightness or wrongness of Vietnam. But those Woodstock partiers did not have to act like they were the most wonderful people in the history of the world — an attitude that regrettably still persists with far too many Baby Boomers.
So, in a few months Woodstock will dominate the news headlines. Multiple music festivals are scheduled for that region of New York. Many Baby Boomers will return to relive they youth. And I guarantee they’ll be the first ones to whine and moan if they can’t get a wifi signal or if the Chardonnay is too warm.