Taking Woodstock

Well, we went to the movies Sunday afternoon. We'd seen the preview, erm, trailer, for "Taking Woodstock," and thought it looked interesting. I sort of hoped it would shed some light on something I'd heard about for forty years and never really understood.

We sat there watching this re-enactment of thousands of people of our approximate vintage experiencing this cultural phenomenon. I kept waiting to understand. But that didn't happen.

I couldn't stop thinking of exactly where we were when Woodstock took place. My husband -- whose college education had unceremoniously been interrupted by the draft board -- and I were living in substandard enlisted housing on a military base in Florida, waiting for orders that more than likely would send him off to Vietnam to quite possibly give his life and our future together for his country. While these clowns -- thousands of them -- were doing drugs, rolling in mud, dancing naked, and, in general, acting like idiots.

I didn't understand it then. And I don't understand it now.

A Facebook "friend" writes, "My ex was there and still considers it one of the high points of his life."



Lori said…
Sheesh it right! I have no desire to see that movie.
LoieJ said…
I'm not going to that movie, but I have watched some of the TV shows about the anniversary of Woodstock, people's reactions, etc. It was like: "Where was I?" Well, I was just done with my freshman year in college and keeping house for an elderly man and woman, and not watching much news. Even back in school, we didn't have TV's in our dorm rooms in those days.

But it was interesting to see the interviews with some of the participants, people whose lives were changed. People who met their future spouse at the festival. The people who hated that kind of thing didn't stay. I wouldn't have stayed. Hate noisy music; hate mud; hate sleeping in informal places, etc. I doubt that I'd "suffer" that much for an ideology or non-ideology. I'd make a horse-shit soldier, I guess.
Nancy said…
I understand what you are saying. I was only seven at the time and lived less than 70 miles from where it took place.

As a teacher, I look back on that time as a great upheaval.... so many were trying so hard to preserve our nation and its freedoms in the same way their father's had during WW II.... but times were different, and I think Woodstock is a reflection of the changing times..... an extreme reflection but still a reflection.

I don't agree with those that dodged their responsibilities (draft or otherwise) and believe me, standing around in a muddy field is not my cup of tea.

I think what is amazing is all of those kids that said "Don't trust anyone over 30" are now the people they were telling each other not to trust.

Just musing away.... thanks for sharing this!!!

Micki said…
I remember Woodstock very clearly. It was wonderful!
I enjoyed your post!
*karendianne. said…
Well, not having been there obviously I can't say with any authority. However I would submit from a cultural perspective Woodstock was a seminal event musically and perhaps as important an event socially.

Musically as it loosely provided a framework for events such as Live Aid and Farm Aid (meaning here: Large Musical Events can be held outside & improved upon) and socially. Socially because it was an expression of the young people for Peace during the Vietnam War. There's much more to the meaning than the drugs, sex and mud - I would submit.

Altamont (Calif.) was going to be something similar but was marred by a murder committed by the Hells Angels. I think if you were to compare to the two events and possibly include the Monterey Pop Festival you could see the social significance (or not).

...Thanks to my Dad for some of this. *karendianne.
The Viet Nam "war" was based on lies, fought by young men at the behest of lying old men and was next to the Iraq war, one of the emost disruptive, destructive events of the 20th century. THe impact of Woodstock was trhat thousands of young people got togetther for the music and formaed a peaceful community. It was messy, there were drugs, and there were people acting like idiots, but it was a significant event - not something I would like to have been part of, but then I was an old lady of 42 at the time, but I had been in quite a few anti war demonstrations during this time, as well sd civli rights marches. We kept our clothes on.
carole ann said…
I do remember this time, even looked for some people to go. Was not going this alone, when people started out it was for the music and the get together. No one knew it was ever going to be as hugh as it was. I never understood the war in Viet Nam but was very proud of the men who went and fought, as I am today of all of our soldiers.
Would have loved to have been there, a little mud never bothered me. In my opinion it was how big it was and the fact that most got along that made it the event that it was.
Lynda said…
I'm with you....Sheesh! I didn't understand it then and I certainly don't want to see it reenacted now.