Deconstructing Woodstock

We’ve reminisced over the past many weeks about the “good” times associated with Woodstock. How about the flip-side of this conversation? I’ve often looked back on the event that I wasn’t even alive for through rose colored glasses and simultaneously looked over/past/around the other consequences. The other consequences that didn’t necessarily change everything for the better, and the other consequences that weren’t as important as your baby-boomer storyteller would have you believe.

From The Detroit News on August 15, 2009, John O’Neill’s article titled “Blame Woodstock for America’s cultural rifts,”

“An irony of Woodstock, both the event and the generation, is how much it had in common with the forces it pretended to oppose. Truth be told, Woodstock was a boon to corporate America. It inspired more daring advertising and personified selfish consumers.”

And from Pete Fornatale’s NY Daily News piece “Out of the mud of Woodstock grew a huge tree of greed,”

“In economic terms, Woodstock was the end of the innocence. One of the anomalies of watching the Woodstock documentary in 2009 is that there isn’t a single moment where a performer is caught performing in front of a banner promoting a beer, a car or a soft drink. It’s no coincidence. One of the ideals proffered by the festival and its participants was anti-commercialism…So it’s a Woodstock paradox that its unprecedented success did not acheive the goal of stemming the tide of commercialism and exploitation. To the contrary, it accelerated.” 

According to The Huffington Post’s Nathan Hegedus, in his story, “Why Can’t the Boomers Just Shut Up About Woodstock?

“Enough with Woodstock. Please. Put me out of this baby boomer misery. I have lived with this generation’s self-absorbed false sense of grandeur long enough. I can not take one more day of Woodstock nostalgia, of both crass commercialism and well-crafted gooey reminiscences. I can not stand another thirty years of pats on the back, of admiration for a short lived burst of rebellion forty years ago (by a small fraction of the population) followed by a systematic destruction of most things good in America.”

While I continue to stay on the Woodstock topic, it’s no longer for unbridled music history geekdom. The hope is to now learn more about reality associated with the after-effects of that weekend 40 years ago. 

A lot changed.

All we can do now is try and not let it get any worse.


3 thoughts on “Deconstructing Woodstock

  1. Interesting blog. Arguably, the biggest legacy of Woodstock is its huge impact on the real children of the sixties: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). This USA TODAY op-ed speaks to the relevance today of the sixties counterculture impact on GenJones:

    Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report forcast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

    Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

    • Great stuff. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I will most certainly be blogging on this, hopefully sooner than later.


      John Clore

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