Trading Peace For Profits

Trading Peace For Profits

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     As the Bible says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under

Heaven”. Woodstock 1969, it was a time for love ... and hate. In a country with race

riots and the Vietnam war a single dove perched on a guitar neck changed America for

ever and brought a new light to the world in just 72 hours. Dubbed “three days of peace

and love” the legacy of Woodstock spawned a sequel...Woodstock 1999. To go into all

the differences between Woodstock 69 and Woodstock 99 is a task that couldn’t be

completed by Woodstock 2004(which is already in the works). From psychedelic fields

to Wall Street; materialistic movers and shakers of the 1980’s and ’90’s; are our parents

really the long hairs of love and peace , half stoned music lovers of the sixties? When

did it all change when did they change? Woodstock and what happened there after

presents the changes in the views of society in a microcosm. The love and peace in 69 to

a aggressive show of “teenage angst” in 99; what has the legacy of Woodstock really

been Free love and communal sharing to the hyper merchandising and materialism;

Idealism to Disillusionment. How we have changed...can we ever “ make our way back

to the garden?”

      In comparing these two event one must realize the decades which separates them

and more importantly what has taken place in the world since 1969. The people who were

in attendance in 69. were not part of the instant access world. computers were for

scientist not a tool for spanning the glob to speak about everything from the latest music to

sex with your cyber friends in Australia. America was the still unquestionable the

champions of the world coming out of World War II and Korea. Every child could

look forward to doing as well or better than his or her parents. In other words America

was riding high in a golden age with only one major pitfall; Vietnam. How does a

generation tell the last generation of warrior that they don’t want to fight. The war

started by the older generation is not their war. They ban together or they come together

in what can only be described as a “happening” the proportions of which no one could

have predicted. The peaceful shock waves of which were heard around the world, the

harmony and love of which we have been trying to recapture since.

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     The two events started the same way producers and promoters getting talent for

the show and figuring how much to charge and how much they would make. The security

was minor at Woodstock “69 who was going to storm the gates and fences installed, little

did they know. They hiked rides they walked they came from all across the country and

down came the fences. This wasn’t going to happen in ’99 they knew word was out

security was tight. No one would get in without tickets. the attendance, Woodstock 69,

expected attendance 150,000 actual attendance 450,000, ’99 350,000 actual 350,000.

One of the most common comparisons made between Woodstock ‘69 and

Woodstock’ 99 is that in’ 69 peace reined and violence was gone, in ’99 the media made

it seem like there were all out terrorist acts being committed and “teenage angst” was the

cause of fires and pillaging of concession stands. This is not entirely true. The only

reason the events at 99 seemed so terrible was because the media was to busy comparing

99 to 69. The original Woodstock was a music festival for peace love and music. It was

during the time that the Vietnam war was going on. Mothers were sending there children

off to war. On the news you would see stories of women being raped and men being

killed. “The war was away from home, there were clear sides...the good guys and the bad

guys” (strawberryfaygo,3). People know who and what to fear. Now today the war is at

home, it’s everywhere you look. “ No longer can we be sure of who to trust and where is

safe, the lines are blurred”(strawberryfaygo,2). We commonly see people opening fire on

innocent people in schools, businesses, and churches. And the sad thing is it isn’t

paranoia, it’s reality. This is what caused the “angst”, this is what caused the fear, this is

what caused the hate. Considering the world we live in today, Woodstock 99, as horrible

as the media made it, was a more fitting Woodstock for our times.

     If Woodstock 69 was about peace and love and it just grew out of the need of the

teens of the time to get together, then it is fitting to say that it can never be duplicated

there came a point ,(when it became a free concert) that it burst forth as a one time event.

Woodstock 99 was about profits the groups were there just for the money and photo-ops.

Everything at Woodstock 99 seemed contrived , less then genuine. Whether

it was the security guards with “Peace Patrol” on their shirts or the girls who took off

their tops every time the Pay-Per-View cameras went passed. “Now instead of a peaceful

dove resting on a guitar neck, a vulture seems more appropriated”(Bederka,11).

Woodstock 99 was all for profit. A 3 day ticket for Woodstock 69 was $150 as apposed

to $18 for a 3 day ticket in 69, or you could stay at home and pay $135 dollars to see the

whole event on Pay-Per-View. In 99 advertisers invaded Woodstock. There where over

150 concession stands. There was everything from Taco Bells to Cinabons. One of the

biggest advertisers was Pepsi cola. It’s logo was on every cup. At Woodstock 69 there

was a shortage of food and people starved for 3 days but stayed because they were driven

by the need to commune. At Woodstock 99 it seems that the people were starving

because the prices were so outrageous. A bottle of water was between $5-$10. The

going rate for food was about 4 dollars. No matter what it was 4 dollars was the going

price for popcorn, hot dogs, churros, etc.

     The world has turned, times and the economy has changed, but most of all the

people are cynical and it is that cynicism which has made it and will always make it

impossible to recapture all that is embodied by Woodstock ‘69. Vietnam is passed the

soldiers returned, but, this time they did not receive a hero’s welcomes. The war was not

won; the war effort had not been supported by the people or the government; our brave

fighter who had fought and died for the first time in our history were betrayed. This event

was perhaps the greatest blow our country has ever receive, and it came from within. We

were with this fragmented into those who were for, those who were against, those who

fought and those who ran. We became the society of “what’s in it for me” and with that

we lost something great. With this loss we lost idealism. The government lies, we saw

this the first time as a people in Water Gate, another show and this time on national T.V.

of how everybody is out for them selves. Drugs, kill! Maybe it’s not news but it is now

common place, you didn’t hear about it so much in the sixties. Drugs were mostly

organic not cooked up in someone's kitchen. Dealers prey on anyone down to the

youngest and kids are even dealing. My piece of the pie? Does this sound cynical? It

reaches us all. This is why the innocents, communalism, feeling of oneness that was

Woodstock can never happen again. It is also why Woodstock 99 is only a name. The use

of the name itself shows an effort to get cover the pure money making goal of its backers.

It’s all money and getting my piece of it. Killer concert yes, truly Woodstock, never

again. Can we ever find our way back to the garden? Hasn’t happened since Adam and

Eve, but keep hope there are a few of us true believers still out here
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