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Concert’s message lost on today’s teens

Woodstock of 1969 was a concert based on a call for free love, peace and a world where people of all nationalities and walks of life could live in harmony.

Monday, August 09, 1999

Woodstock of 1969 was a concert based on a call for free love, peace and a world where people of all nationalities and walks of life could live in harmony.

On that farm in upstate New York, thousands gathered to enjoy the bands of the day and to talk about issues. There were folk singers and activists as well as those who were just there to hear some music.

But it had a different feel. It was a gathering of a generation that wanted to stand for something and include everyone in its quest.

The ticket price also reflected that desire to make the event open to anyone. All you needed then was a tent and $20 bill. A stop at the grocery store bought enough food to eat and share.

There were plenty of naked people walking around – that was one of the themes of the 1960s – people unfettered by convention. Free love was a natural byproduct of that philosophy. It was not for show or the cameras. And it should also be pointed out that there were drugs, too – another consequence of the era.

Contrast that experience with the Woodstock of today.

In 1999, the ticket price was substantially higher and few, if any, were going for any reason other than a chance to party.

In 1999, there was nudity, too. Except, this time, it was for the cameras. There were probably sexual assaults in 1969, but this year’s event was marked by the large number of reported rapes.

In 1969, there were out of control teens, but this year, the AP is suing the police organizations in the area because they are using news photos to try to catch looters and arsonists.

Woodstock ’99 proves that style has replaced substance for many of today’s young adults. They don’t search for meaning. They dogged pursue prestige. They don’t stand for anything.

How depressing that must be to those who were there in 1969 and hoped for a world that put people and dreams first, for those who believed in the power of youths to make a difference.

This new generation seems to have missed the message once again.