Remember, all, that change comes from the fringe. The excesses of the '70s led to several justice movements that have transformed the world we live in. Sort of what was intended, I think, although we certainly thought the transformation would be to a world of love and peace. Those are not bad qualities to be part of a society! Not that I think we'll ever have that world, but it is nostalgic to think about the innocence of that time and the belief that we could change the world. The concept of individual freedom arose from that time.
The term is pleasure seeking and narcissism. There was and still is no grand motive the 60s kids took to communes and the streets and got stoned. The music followed and came from them. But just as the left-wing today assigns themselves grander purpose and higher thinking, they are in fact none of that.
Hippies, long hairs, acid freaks, and groupies were after pleasure and escape. And they have grown up and ruined the country since then.
Willie Weeks driving on the bass is all you need to know about the song. Counter position that against the train's best harmonies in the business. Its the subconcious reason you think the song is cool. Nobody takes lyrics seriously, they are metaphores for subconcious feelings. They could have been singing about Jello pudding with that musical arrangement and it would be cool.
A little perspective perhaps? | Reviewer: David
Funny how we stumble across these conversations and then feel compelled to add our own thoughts & words in the hope that it might “help” someone out there. So here I go:
The song Woodstock, penned by Joni Mitchell and popularized by CSN&Y summed up better than most the dream of a generation. The concept, if you will, that we could live together in a world without getting lost in the superficial consumerist society that has taken over western culture.
IMHO, the seed of the “Hippy” movement arose from the observations of young folks that their parents had become pre-occupied with acquiring material goods. This in turn arose out of the new found affluence of the post war generation who believed that they had the opportunity to enjoy the rewards of having made it through both the depression and WWII. Both were completely understandable responses to prevalent conditions.
Those who were born between the two WW’s had many struggles that they overcame and had good cause to feel like they earned the benefits of the consumer culture that was arising.
The Boomers who followed were understandably disenchanted with a world where they could see, on the one hand, their parents being preoccupied with getting the latest refrigerator or TV while the struggle over desegregation was taking place in the South and the so-called war on communism was involving us in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese halfway around the world. Additionally, the “liberal” attitudes towards drugs – many of which became available because of vets bringing them back from VN (often used as a tool to cope with the burden of PTSD) and which also arose out of the observation that their parents were taking mood altering prescription drugs (the Rolling Stones song “mother’s little helper”) (If my parents are taking drugs, what does it matter if I take them too?). The sexual “revolution” also arose, from the advent of birth control pills and the increasing participation of women in the workplace (meaning that women were much less dependent on having to get married to survive in the world.)
You could also make an argument that Eisenhower’s creation of the Interstate highway system was instrumental in undermining the extended family structure which provided much of the social control on families and children – you had to conform as a child because even though Mom & Dad might not be right there, the adults who were there were related to you (or at least knew who you were). Even more so you had to conform as an adult. Ease of transportation undermined all of that (for good and ill).
All in all, Woodstock was an expression of the desire of many of the Baby Boomers to find a life with more meaning than to just buy the latest “toy”. This desire (on the part of the Boomers parents) similarly arose out of other perfectly logical circumstances. You can argue about the good and bad manifestations of that desire on the part of both generations. Good and bad expressions arose in each case. To make broad characterizations of either generation is just overly simplistic. What is more important is how each of us will take the lessons learned to improve our own lives and our impact on the world around us.
while I, as "liberal" accept and celebrate your opinion, and your agreeing with someone who's opinion you feel mirrors your own. I feel obligated to point out what I feel are contradictions in your moralistic tirade.
You say you agree with Dandi about the ills that the "hippy generation" has led to, abortion, marriage stats, absentee fathers- moral degeneration. You then go on to focus in particular on abortion. Do you think the world would be a better place if there was no abortion?
In my opinion the very ills to which dandi refers would have sunk your country a long time ago! people forced into marriages (cause don’t Christians love doing that?) doomed to fail, woman having babies that no man will have the desire to father and raise up, leading to crime and poverty which would escape the confines of the ghetto- god forbid that happens.
Let me guess hippies are also responsible for the absentee fathers in South Africa?
You say own up. So I shall- my girl friend and I had a pregnancy aborted 8 months ago. the prospect of giving birth to a child, with 2 24 year old parents who do not earn enough to support themselves despite working three jobs, having only one drivers license between us and no place to raise a child. We thought it wise to override instinct and theologians who in the end of the day would not have to account or take responsibility for that child and we had an abortion, the hardest and biggest choice we have ever made, that continues to affect us in ways we are yet to comprehend.
More than hippies- I would posit that consumerism (read capitalism) has led to the culture of selfishness and worship of the individual which I’m sure you would agree is at the heart of the protestant ethic and the very rugged individualism frame work which is the foundation of American culture. The very culture that this song seeks to counter.
Own up! | Reviewer: Fred | 10/15/11
Carl Sagan, an avowed atheist who also said that "the universe is all that is, all that was, and all that ever will be" (there is no God) made the "we are stardust" statement. Now that gets mixed in with "and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Huh? What garden? Does this refer to the Biblical Garden of Eden, where the created man Adam lived and walked with God? What a mixed and confused message!
And Dandi has it right - I was born in 1950 and a dope-smoking hippie by the time Woodstock happened. I would've loved to be there, but I was stuck (against my pacifist will) in Navy boot camp when it went down. However, Woodstock was the subject of some of my artwork, and I looked forward to the Age of Aquarius my brothers and sisters were promoting in New York.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the New World Order. We said "make love, not war" and somehow all that love making, amongst people who had no commitment to each other, made a bunch of unwanted babies that we ended up waging OUR war against.
But the war on babies was a "successful campaign . . ." Being bigger, more technical, with a gazillion weapons at our disposal, we didn't have too much difficulty cutting the ranks of those little blobs of baby (50 million of them) to pieces . . ! The score : us bigger folk, 50,000,000 - babies, zero! Wow. Aren't you impressed? Isn't that just a "love you can feel?"
But they weren't really babies after all - just some of "mamma's tissue," right?
Are you sure? If that's mamma's tissue, then how come it doesn't have mamma's DNA? If that's "part of mamma's body," then how come it has its own heart and circulatory system that doesn't share its blood, which is often a different type (!), with mamma? If it's part of mamma's body, how come it has its own nervous system that feels pain (like that of having its limbs ripped from its body) that mamma doesn't feel?
WE enlightened westerners have staged a holocaust that far outstrips that of Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Stalin's Russia, etc., all combined! And you (children of the 60's in particular) and I have had our heads stuck too far into the cloud of pot smoke to even notice or care! We like to think that we were idealists, ushering in the "Dawn of a New Age" of peace, love and understanding, echoed in our music, such as this song. But those of us who have ever been "pro-choice" - as much as any Nazi sympathizer - are murderers, or at best, co-conspirators to probably the greatest holocaust the world has ever known. Don't even try to excuse your "innocent" heiny - we are as deserving of hell as any Nazi.
Open your blind eyes and OWN UP TO IT - and understand that we can't "get ourselves back to the garden!" Only God can perform the miracle needed to redeem our mess, and get you and me "back to the Garden." But repentance (which literally means to change your thinking and thus your actions) and the honest desire to accept the redemption Jesus offers must come first. "There is NO OTHER name . . . by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). We need to be saved from our own deception and arrogance, and save he - and he alone - can!
A Song for the Ages | Reviewer: JohnnyO
Mr "Dandy" is a buffoon and probably a total bore at a party. The world was and continues to be quite completely screwed up and good old "Dandy" couldn't have any idea what the sixties were all about. If he is old enough to have known about the sixties, he probably was working in the White House typing up explanations of why the "body count" was "acceptable".
Basically, to me this is a song about getting in touch with what is real and important. Just listen to the music, feel the vibe and take your politics and shove them up your backside.
Even Funnier How Things End Up True Over Time | Reviewer: Belle | 7/17/11
Would also like to add that Dandi is making a complaint and leap of illogic common among conservatives and traditionally religious folk, namely that somehow the social changes in the sixties opened the floodgates to immorality, that the loss of "God" and blind adherence to existing power dynamics meant that everyone started running around doing whatever made them feel good, at the cost of a sane society.
I can see why it appears that way if you're wedded to a particular view. I would offer another view: that in the 60s, thanks to liberation movements, America actually came closer to fulfilling its promise and its founding principle of liberty and equality. The exposure of the military-industrial complex meant that even though it's gained power, we are not nearly as complacent about it. Women now had the option to live their lives as human beings rather than adjuncts to or lesser version of men. Yes, it did mean that straight white males no longer had *unchallenged* unearned privilege, which is intolerable to some, guess why.
The song is right, and that's what Woodstock was about: "We are caught in the devil's bargain, and we've got to get back to the garden." The devil's bargain is the myth of progress that relies on accumulating more and more things, and it leads us away from true spirituality.
Even Funnier How Things End Up True Over Time | Reviewer: Belle | 7/16/11
Dandi's right about the terrible destruction caused by casual drug use in the 60s; most people had no idea how dangerous they were until it was too late.
And I know how everything the counterculture stood for terrifies some personality types, to this day. I was one of them and hated everything about the counterculture.
But the fact remains that most of the counterculture's claims were absolutely right, and proven by time. Our culture is too materialistic. We should never have been in Vietnam (everyone acknowledges that now, few acknowledge that, just like the war in Iraq, there were voices of sanity saying this very early on). Our society is incredibly hypocritical in regards to its founding principles of freedom and equality - look at how women, African Americans, and the GLBT community have had to fight for equal rights. We are overtaxing the planet and need to have more respect for it and be a lot less greedy. Our nation is 6% of the world population but consumes have its resources. Government is far too corrupt and nowhere near transparent enough.
All of this was protested in the 60s. It is no less true because the majority of the movement were along for the ride, and even the most dedicated ended up going Establishment.
Interesting reviews - love the song & lyrics | Reviewer: Sandy | 2/17/11
I'm sure much of what Dandi says is true; just depends on your perspective. No doubt the area where Woodstock was held was not "set up" for the huge turnout they had (with toilets & trash disposal) as it would be today. Probably only one in fifty who attended even understood what it was all about. And, unfortunately Joni Mitchell was not among them - she declined the invitation, and regretted it. Anyway, it's a great song. We ARE carbon - now discovered billions (plural) of years old. Some things have changed for the BETTER since the 60's. Some things have changed for the worse, but it is what it is. I think todays youth are better than we were back then, but it's a generation no one will ever forget. Pretty cool to have been a part of it, although I was more of a hippie wannabe than a true hippy.
Spot on Dandi! | Reviewer: Dave | 12/24/10
Wow, Dandi, you have summed up the times brilliantly! The older I get the more all I crave for is the truth, even though sometimes it's a hard pill to swallow. Thanks for your insights.
Nice tune though.
Dandi hates her 60/70's heredity | Reviewer: 3qtrtym | 11/3/10
Dandi .. Sorry for your pain about the sixties .. Wishing I could reach out to you beyond these few words .. The time when this song was released was truly was a time of extreme pain and joy for an era if both individuals and an nation .. We rebelled against " the man" for many causes from allowing girls to be able to wear pants to school to being allowed to hold hands with a friend (in school) to equal rights for blacks on a bus or in a public building .. So lighten up! You live better because of hippies/ drugs / free sex/ war and war protest/ and don't forget the openness of unconditional love.
Funny how things become romnaticized over time | Reviewer: dandi
Good tune and catchy lyrics, but...
Woodstock was a mass of sheep, wallowing in the mud and imagining in a drug-induced stupor that they were somehow making a difference in the world just by being there. They left the place trashed, with garbage, torn-up earth and human excrement everywhere.
Someone above mentioned, "It was the beginning of a new era. Love and peace." Please. No doubt there were some peace-loving folks there, but the VN war continued for years afterward. The glorification of drugs turned into a boil on the face of humanity that has existed now for three generations. Society became increasingly violent.
The relaxed social and sexual mores led to tens of millions of illegitimate births, abortions, and single parent homes. The moral relativism and "if it feels good, do it" attitude contributed to breakdowns of the social contract and eventually the near-sociopathic behavior we see from so many individuals nowadays. Elders and their wisdom were disrespected, laughed off as being "out of touch with the times." People replaced God with New Age religious beliefs which ultimately tout Man himself as a god and furthered the hubris and me-ism.
What we're left with is the sorry state of affairs we are now stuck with in society: 50M abortions, a 50% divorce rate, 80% of black homes having no father, rampant drug use, drive-by killings, education devalued, the end of the American "melting pot" and apathy towards our fellow human beings.
This is what the '60s wrought. A bunch of stoned, unwashed, jobless, amoral hippies thinking they were changing the world. Well, they changed it, alright. It was fun while it lasted.
these lyrics are indeed deeply spiritual. | Reviewer: Robert
"We are stardust", the song says, "billion year old carbon" it also says. When the big bang happened the future was set forth, everything that's in our universe is from the big bang. Our very own microbes (carbon) came from god's big bang, thus god's creation, therefor humans literaly are made of stardust. the black hole will lead to a white hole, this is heaven. We cannot travel to far in to space because we would travel in time, then you might travel past the time of our existence and shatter the future.
Uptight, Religious and Unsophisticated thinkers | Reviewer: Ellen
The message to this song does not take rocket science thinking. Going back to the garden merely refers to a closer walk with God. So a message to all the religious well-meaning folk: Stop splitting hairs and clinging guiltily to man-made concepts. All great religions approve of a closer walk with God. It's so sweet, clean and peacefully simple. Break out of your guilt and renounce your addiction to religious doctrine and follow Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, etc. the way they stressed we should do in all the great books. And if you use the Bible to try and argue your stale points, just remember the Dead Sea Scrolls. They're part of the the monotheistic tradition too. In these you'll learn that Christ was more interested in each man knowing his own heart than emphasizing Christ's death and resurrection for salvation. All that theory came about during the Nicene Conference (early Catholics---they were looking for ways to control the masses). To all you youngsters, I was at Woodstock and it was beyond anything else I've experienced. Hope you'll be reading my book about the 60s that will be coming out soon. Blue Jeans in the Sky. Peace.