Monday, August 17, 2009

Woodstock

Yes, I was there, really. Went up with my future wife in a 1957 VW van with paste-on flowers, a stash of grass on hand and feeling a vibe sadly missing today. Paid $36 for tickets, inched up hills with my 40 hp machine and experienced frequent stops (and conversations) along the way (NY State Thruway) in making the pilgrimage to see a lineup of rockers that constituted a must see for a musician such as myself.

As for the concert, amazing is the only word to describe it. 400,000 plus people existing in mud, really crappy weather and marginal toilet facilities without violence, anger or malice is something impossible to imagine today in this fractured world fraught with fear and a lack of faith in all things political, financial and corporate. Back then, anger at the government and its ongoing disaster of Vietnam was intense but belief in the future and the ability of our generation to make change happen was considered part of who we were while catching Santana, Sly and The Who. We could change the world for the better we thought and Woodstock conveyed that positive feeling for all the world to see.

Does it matter now, 40 years later, when looking at the present situation, where, on one hand we touch the very fabric of reality with tech unimagined back then while at the same time we foster a broken political and financial system mired in greed, incompetence and betrayal while viewing the specter of global warming looming ever larger in our collective consciousness. I don't know but I like to think so in thinking back to what it was like growing up as part of the free love generation of the '60s. (it was, believe me. ) :)

In BRT, much commentary regarding just how dire our situation really is has been written. At the same time, roughly the same amount of commentary devoted to the inventiveness of man has also been written. When looking at these two lines of thought, I feel it (very) indirectly resembles the ratio of matter to antimatter in the early universe where the tiny imbalance of the two determined how our existence would be created just as the difference between success and failure, oftentimes, is also tiny but with end results just as profound.


"Many scientists believe that this preponderance of matter over antimatter (known as baryon asymmetry) is the result of an imbalance in the production of matter and antimatter particles in the early universe, in a process called baryogenesis. The amount of matter presently observable in the universe only requires an imbalance in the early universe on the order of one extra matter particle per billion matter-antimatter particle pairs.[1]"

"80% of success is showing up." - Woody Allen

Addendum: While leaving Woodstock, (could no longer deal with the mud.) I heard Jimi Hendrix playing The Star Spangled Banner. Chills went up my spine because I knew I would be never be the same again, ever.
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