Friday, August 14, 2009

Stop ragging on Woodstock.....



Dear Mr. Tyrangiel,

I'm stuck by a comment you made in the article in Time Magazine "Woodstock: How Does It Sound 40 Years Later?"

You said: "To have not been alive during Woodstock, we're told, was to have missed the freest moment in American history.

Boomers do this regularly, of course — make up stuff about how great they are. They're also eager consumers of goods that jog the memory of their greatness."

I am enough struck by your cluelessness that I felt compelled to write. You might be surprised to hear that I wasn't presently engaged in "making up stuff about how great I was". You'd be right to assert (as your article does without directly stating) that nostalgia is indeed a sort of prism, and some of the light it yields is amplified truth, and other light is not refracted at all. It stands to reason that one might encounter or experience an exaggerated sense of justice or purpose in the events of 40 years ago, and in doing so look past the foibles.

My observation to your thoughts is this: in my humble view, pretty much every comment you make in this section of the article, really exhibits a value system existing your personal core beliefs that completely misses the point -- of the event, of the music, and to a certain extent - of life. I'd have more success explaining music to the Taliban.

If I were to try to explain it to that Taliban person, it would to say how music - at its best - uplifts the human spirit, and brings us closer to our essence, emotionally and spiritually.

On a more brass tacks level, I could refute some of your musical judgement, by mentioning - for one example - that contrary to your view, Richie Havens performance is far more polished in terms of intonation, than CSNY's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". To get into that point by point is to wallow in mud I have no interest in being in. The thing that they both have, which seems to be missed by your assessment is the passion by which they are delivered, and they both score highly in that regard for me.

The summary is that the values extant in your viewpoint ultimately exploit different capital than those of the Woodstock generation. Try this on for size: money's good but it's not everything, singing in tune is good, but it's not everything.

The real important stuff is elsewhere...

...but no matter -- I'll bet you have (in a metaphorical sense if not in actuality) autotune installed and hard at work on your computer as we speak....

Welcome to 2009!

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