It's Friday night, and I've decided to stay in and watch a few VH1 documentaries. The first, one is of a series on the Lords of the Revolution featuring Andy Warhol, and then Woodstock: Then and Now, finished with NY '77.
I'm unsure what captures me the most. Whether it was the mold of pop culture, which is our current day in and day out, brought forth by the freedom of art, or the companionship of millions of people for three days wrapped around one stage.
I don't believe I got anything out of the third documentary, but it was an interesting recap of a prominent year in a major city.
Honestly, what can we be thrilled about anymore. What has the nature to shock and awe us, when really, the age of the Web has almost desensitized what makes us cringe, laugh and look on in horror?
The number one thing that struck me about Woodstock, that hadn't struck me to this moment, is the fact that there was ONE stage and ONE stage only. This means, whoever was playing, you sat (or stood) there and enjoyed yourself.
It was music. There were no genres but rock and roll. You fell asleep to the Who and you woke up to Jefferson Airplane. You watched on, and you took in what was provided for you.
There were no side stages. There was no missing acts, or catching half sets. The idea was to come, hang out, and enjoy yourself.
The idea of choice and saturation were never present. Everyone listened. Everyone watched.
So have we grown to pick and choose so much that we've become "snubs" to great musicians, critics to an art form which is, well, art and meaningful.
That thought wraps itself into another. One of the kids on the documentary said when she thinks of Woodstock, she thinks of artist where she hears the passion in their show.
Now, I don't say this to be objective towards anyone, but I am saying that sometimes the show seems bigger than the art it's created around. Sometimes that audible doesn't match the visual.
I just keep thinking about the next decade to come. I think of how it would be to grow up from the 60's on, knowing each decade brings some grand new show. I don't know the kind of spectacle that is in store for us, but I know a lot of artists are at least trying to recapture that feeling somehow, and some are pulling it off well.
There will never be another Woodstock, and not just because of what happened in '99. I'm not sure if there will be another mass cultural revolution, especially in pop culture, for some time as well.
But who am I to say? I'm sure the late-70's never saw the "glam band" thing coming. Shit, where's Doc? I need to go warn them!