Hope for Humanity?

As all of you can gather from my previous blog-post, and comments on other’s blogs about this last weekends multiple mass shootings and massacres, I was much more effected by them than in others past. That is not at all to say that the long, long list of all our country’s prior mass shootings, going as far back as 1966 at the University of Texas, Austin tower massacre, are any less crushing to me. They are! Every single fatality, every single wounded survivor scarred, perhaps permanently maimed, and those families having to deal with the life-altering aftermath and long, long, road of recovery, are all remembered and they all deeply effect me. This past weekend was especially gut-ripping heart-piercing because of how quickly they occurred in about one week. That is extremely disturbing for me. Actually, beyond disturbing.

But as luck would have it, in a small way, I was fortunate to catch last night on PBS American Experience their excellent documentary about Woodstock 1969. How timely it was. However, as I watched, my own memories of what took place at Woodstock were clouded, not like this show. It was different in some/many ways compared to what these actual attendees, band members, event coordinators, and journalists (actually there the entire 3½ days) interviewed and they interviewing fans, filming, photographing were saying in 1969 and was now made into this documentary. Clearly, I had been shown and told a distorted version and reports about the festival from what I now suspected were anti-Woodstock people, anti-Hippie people, anti-freedom people, pro-Warring people, all of whom would’ve had me believe their perceptions. Their presupposed conjectures while, ironically, not even there or within 5-miles of the ’69 festival. Imagine that.

I was determined to watch every single second of Woodstock: Three Days that Defined A Generation! Why? Because I wanted to know with all the major potential disasters I was foreseeing, I had to know the end results, about the injuries, the utter failures, Mob-panics turned into sheer chaos to survive, and therefore, probable casualties/deaths. What was going to happen and how bad was this going to end?

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

If any of you plan to watch it—and I highly recommend you do—then I won’t give too many spoilers. But there were two segments I found deeply profound, spiritual in the sense that had one been there, in those days and nights, by early Sunday you would have known beyond any doubt… you were part of something incredibly monumental, uplifting, and proof of what a half-million or so decent men, women, young boys and girls, and children, toddlers and babies, were all capable of doing, having received, and gave, helping… because it was just the decent thing to do. All these human virtues were undeniable, unavoidable as told by every person there.

When Jimi Hendrix came on stage Monday, (calm down Arkenaten!) toward the end of his set, he played The Star-Spangled Banner, a once-in-a-lifetime version of the national anthem. Spectators said it was an artform beyond verbal description. Hendrix had added his styled sound-effects dispersed throughout the anthem, like ‘rockets and bombs bursting in air.‘ Many fans picked up on his guitar-violence, death and carnage of war, the Vietnam War, and broke down in tears. The thousands there had lost dear ones, family members, brothers, husbands over there in the jungles and rice-fields. Other fans were speechless for several minutes after he finished, frozen in their postures their mouths gawked by what they just heard, felt, and witnessed.

Jimi’s encore song was Hey Joe. Perhaps one of his greatest songs ever.

As the end of the festival was drawing near, much of the crowd wanted to see/meet and hear from the owner of the farm and land they were on:  Mr. Max B. Yasgur. He was politically Conservative and had had serious reservations about what he had approved and more so when he saw how so much bigger and challenging the event became in just the first day! In the end, even he was astonished:

Today, in our current state of affairs in the 21st century, I would have been dumb-founded by what happened and more… by what did not happen! I would’ve been speechless given those 1969 events and what happened between July 28th and August 4th, 2019… and too many other times since 1966 on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin. Amazed would be an insane understatement.

Woodstock 1969 showed me that even during one of our nation’s most turbulent, bloody, violent two decades in the Cold War, the 1960’s and several major assassinations of peacemakers—John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert Kennedy—that about 400,000 to 500,000 “people” (labelled derogatorily Hippies by pompous Conservatives) CAN INDEED conduct themselves exemplary over 3-days and 3-nights crammed onto one little farm to share music, fun, love, drugs (of course), and peace—only one accidental death during the 3½ days—and exhibit kindness to total strangers.

Yes, humanity’s best is absolutely possible! Half-a-million people packed into a few acres, outdoors, with security/police named “Po-lease” (i.e. hospitality) not legitimate police officers, and so potentially volatile to panic and countless other possible flash-points, proved it does happen, and ended instead with no violence whatsoever. Better yet, no serious problems to the chagrin of Conservatives who prior wanted to shut down the festival or were hoping it would have horrible injuries and fatalities! That is what they had warned to newspapers and TV reporters.

What really moved me was that when natural weather-forces moved-in coupled with the opposition of bigoted, arrogant, slandering Conservatives labeling the event a pending or complete disaster and certain subsequent humanitarian rescue… the Hippies of Flower-power, cannibus, and LSD helped each other for FREE! They worked together, volunteered to resolve many arising problems! Apparently it was contagious. The tiny town of Bethel’s residents pitched in to provide food for all the festival-goers! Are you FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME!!!?

People… WordPress readers… THAT is what an intelligent species does full of compassion, unity, selflessness, understanding, and embracing pure HUMAN connection. You don’t even have to belong to any nation, any charity, any political party. It’s JUST. NOT. THAT. COMPLICATED.

What a spectacle. What an epiphany those four days must have been… intimately amongst 400,000+ others you had not known before that Friday! Wow. My hope in and for humanity, decent caring people—if any Woodstock-goers would’ve ever been called that by 60’s ultra-Conservative Americans—but human beings being very human, were part of something bigger than self, glad to help each other while having fun openly, loving freely, dancing, smiling and never once considered gun-shots to be a fix, ever. YES… my belief in humanity’s finest virtues were restored, are restored. At least from Hippies in 1969 they are.

However, I think there are some/many today equal to those good Woodstockers who were grossly stereotyped and wrongly judged as useless before anything started Aug. 15, 1969. Because there are many of us today, many decent people like them in 1969, who know violent-hate or verbal-hate can be stopped and will not be tolerated, ever. Let’s not forget we have many, thousands, millions who know what the right thing to be, say, and do is really about, what it actually looks like, sounds like, and behaves like… for anyone from anywhere on this beautiful planet.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always — Stop Stereotyping & Hating

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20 thoughts on “Hope for Humanity?

  1. It was unfortunate that much of the crowd had left by the time Jimi appeared on the stage and he played to a paltry few tens of thousands, so the story goes.
    He was also the Festival’s headline act and was paid $18,000.
    Santana – who you will remember Ems and I saw not too long ago, and at that stage were yet to release their first album were paid the staggering sum of $750!

    Max Yasgur’s story is interesting – you should Google him. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Yasgur
    Apparently, he was ostracized by the local community for allowing the festival to go ahead on his land.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Are you as happy about 7:00pm tomorrow (2pm here) as I am Ark? I’m quite sure you’ve been in the stands at Anfield during a season-opener. What’s that like? Please give me plenty details as you KNOW I’m a footballing fanatic. 🙂

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        • Oh man. I bet the game there you attended was more than a life-altering thrill, yes? 🙂

          Ark, when I was down in Rio de Janeiro the first time, I was able to watch inside the original Maracanã Stadium — that held more than 190,000 dancing, singing, drum-beating horn-blowing fans — Flamengo with Júnior, Adílio, Tita, and Zico in two different games beat Botafogo and Vasco de Gama. In both those games Zico scored 2-goals, one of which vs. Botafogo was a volley, bullet from 30-yards out that pinged off the crossbar and in. Never in my life then or since have I been lost in a sea of humanity and screaming joy while Maracanã vibrated underneath me. Then the serenades began for Zico. Man, I’m getting goose-bumps just remembering that now. LOL 😛

          I bet you fully understand all that I’m trying to convey, don’t you?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Woodstock was an amazing and uplifting historical event. I was just about to enter high school at the time. I remember Richie Havens singing Freedom. Watching it again still gives me goosebumps.

    The establishment hated our generation back then because we represented so many things which it was not – peace, love, and togetherness. Our passionate opposition to the Vietnam War greatly angered the people in power, and they turned law enforcement and the military upon us. I still have images burned into my memory of police batons cracking down on the heads of my friends, and I will never forget the brutal killings at Kent State less than a year after Woodstock. But, our efforts were not in vain. We stopped the Vietnam War.

    People who weren’t there to experience it have difficulty understanding. I was there, at least for the last few years of the movement. We were far from perfect. We “escaped” society through drugs and sex. We were young and naive about a great many things. But, we had the courage to stand up for what was right and just. That we did so purely and so honestly will be our enduring legacy, and hopefully it will set a good example for generations to come.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Robert, I concur completely with everything you stated. Thank you. 🙂

      We were far from perfect. We “escaped” society through drugs and sex. We were young and naive about a great many things.

      All one has to do to clearly see that is examine what happened at Haight-Ashbury San Francisco, CA. Now I WAS appalled by much/most of what I learned there. That short time-period, place, and later behavior (all sides of society) was WAY TOO EXTREME. Yikes! Not good at all! 😬

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    • Ah, okay. Well, “pointing fingers” and any other mannerisms or language designed to inflame, divide, or to aggrandize self or party/ideology in an already hyper-sensitive situation and epidemic as we have been facing for FAR TOO LONG… is honestly unnecessarily risky (immature?), destructive to resolutions/progress, and off-topic (intentionally or not). In that sense, I completely agree with you.

      When past solutions haven’t worked or essentially NO SOLUTIONS NO CHANGES (just continued hot air, rhetoric and a shitload of money made) i.e. inaction obviously hasn’t worked — nor the empty pointless prayers offered over the decades — and worse still the FREQUENCY of mass shootings is absolutely trending UP, body-bag counts are UP, and key leaders, officials, and relevant corporations continue to inhumanely ignore these glaring facts over decades… HAH, it is easy to understand and sympathize with decent people’s anger, especially when they and victim’s families are doing everything within THEIR civil powers to change this horrific direction we’ve been going WAY too long (1966!!!!!!), one shouldn’t need to ask that obvious question…

      how can it NOT become heated, unstable, boiling up/over, or “non-partisan”? Don’t misread me, untempered anger and/or violence doesn’t solve/change lethal violence. But…

      When we as a UNITED nation of decent people have always possessed the means and power to unequivocally change or stop this runaway train called Mass-Shootings-Crazy-Train-Ad-Infinitum since 1966, why does it not just stop, but pick up speed!? 😵😡🤬 Is it any wonder why the controversy immediately explodes into MANY fed-up emotions? And not just two opposite sides of the aisle, but the entire theater! Hell, call it several blocks of the Arts & Entertainment District to follow your analogy. 😉

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      • Trump has been deliberately whipping up anti-Hispanic racism and hysteria for at least three years now with his rhetoric. Republicans in general have accepted this while Democrats (even if shamefully few) have called him out on it. The El Paso shooting was the latest in a succession of violent attacks targeting Hispanics in which the perpetrators aped Trump’s rhetoric or flatly claimed inspiration from him.

        Republicans have been fomenting such atrocities. Democrats have not. That’s not finger-pointing. That’s the reality of the situation.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Very much agreed Infidel. Why? tRump’s long history, family & otherwise. And could tRump have handled Charlottesville much, MUCH better, more human, more politically correct, more considerate of all “decent” non-violent Americans!? Can tRump speak in less inflammatory rhetoric!? Could tRump at least remember the names of fallen soldiers when he calls the mother/family to extend cold, inhuman condolences!?

          Those answers, the TRUE factual answers based on his long track-record, adequately demonstrates that yes… hard-line Conservative Repubs who blindly follow tRump like Oliver North did Reagan… must face the piper: you are an Accessory to divisive inflammatory rhetoric if you support/follow tRump. Period. No debate. No diversionary tactics or deflections. TAKE OWNERSHIP for your F*CK-UP!!!! It’s much more honorable and a show of integrity and high principles if you admit you’re wrong and genuinely apologize! 🙂

          LATER ADDENDUM — my comments here and this blog-post are my message. They should not be misinterpreted as “pointing fingers” or divisive, partisan if that was implied or perceived. That would be dead wrong. My message here was focused on what 450,000+ Woodstock-goers can instinctual do and absolutely shock and prove wrong all naysayers of their presupposed, unfounded characters and behaviors. It shows that human decency and finest virtues are found in MANY unsuspecting ways and people. Stereotyping too often suffocates this instinctual trait in most all human beings! Our current social and political turmoil is a result of our Leaders not being able to see beyond divisive constructs and inspire MANY diverse peoples! “E Pluribus Unum!” Three simple Latin words that mean so much, but so much more than too many can fully grasp. 😦 A question to further drive this naivety home…

          What is the full symbolic meaning of/behind our Statue of Liberty, her torch, her tablets in one hand, that greets the rest of the world?

          Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome Rosaliene! ❤ You will definitely enjoy the documentary. And I am in complete agreement with you, we CAN overcome that nastiness/hatred!!! Yes! As a nation we've all come together before, set aside (petty?) differences, and UNITED conquered whatever HAD to get done! That is what predominantly DECENT human beings do, nation or no nation. Right? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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