What the Writer Thought of the Event Essay
What the Writer Thought of the Event
What the event symbolized for America was explicitly stated in the editorial — Woodstock was the kind of success that could be achieved when there is benevolence among people. Everyone saw a disaster out of Woodstock in the beginning. People predicted it would end out a havoc. Even hip radio stations warned people against it. It was easy for the Americans to think that such a large gathering of people in such a place would end up to no good, especially when it’s the youth that is involved.
However, as the event turned out to be a success, America realized that it is not impossible for people to come together and be in a state of harmony at the same time. More importantly, Woodstock became a realization for America that the power of benevolence could do such amazing things, and could rise above such adversities as shortage in water, toilets, bad trips, and even thunderstorms. Aside from these, Woodstock symbolized for the rest of America that their youth is not going down the drain.
Instead, their youth is worthy of respect and emulation, because amidst the prejudice against their capabilities and their culture, is their power to rise above the adversity and to display such a culture of good will among perfect strangers. For the parents of America at that time, Woodstock was a “wakeup call’ that their children did something worthy of their approval , and that this is what is important amidst the drugs and the display of nudity.
The bottomline is that Woodstock, for America, had become as symbol of both the power of the youth and the power of benevolence, and the beauty that comes when these two powers work together. For the writer, not only was Woodstock Music and Art Fair an “Aquarian Exposition of music and peace . It was much more. It ranked among one of the most important sociological and political events of the decade. Not only was it the largest happening that ever was in history at the time, it was also a public announcement of the culture of America’s youth in the sixties. It was a manifestation of their “strength, appeal, and power” (TIME, 1969).
Along the article, the writer pointed out how massive the gathering was, even estimating that had the roads not been blocked, there would have been a million people between the age of 16-30 at Woodstock. And though the writer acknowledged the presence of the largest gathering of rock idols as a bait for the crowd to come, he pointed out a more analytical reason for the gathering. According to him, Woodstock was a kind of “pilgrimage” where the youths sought to discover that there were hundreds of thousand of people who shared their culture, in other words, that they are not isolated, as they have previously thought they were (TIME, 1969).
The writer was also quick to acknowledge the fact that the old generation of Americans initially saw the event as a “squalid freakout,” but had experienced a change of tune, which included even the New York Times . Along with this, however, the writer ran a paragraph that told about both the “deplorable” and commendable things about the event that could be the reason for such a two-sided perception of the event. The bad side of Woodstock that the writer perceived included deaths and illnesses from drugs, as well as the deplorable case of sanitation, accommodation, garbage, and rains throughout the event.
However, the writer exalted in the fact that “there were no rapes, no assaults, no robberies and, as far as anyone can recall, not one single fight” (TIME, 1969). In the length of the rest of the article, the writer presented several analysis of the meaning of Woodstock. Among these was that Woodstock was a manifestation of the youth’s valuation of self over society, and aside from the youth’s total separation from the norms of the past generation, was also a manifestation that the adults could not control them anymore.
However, along with these was the youth’s perception that they are changing the society for the good and that they did not need someone to lead them since they already have each other . In the end, the writer was able to send a message of questioning to his readers. A question of “to what purpose” could the outpouring and extremely powerful emotions of the youth could be harnessed politically. His advice was made implicitly by quoting what a sociologist had to say about the event . Towards the end, the writer’s advice turned out into a warning about the possible negative impacts of the event, instead of a dawning of enlightenment .