Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Woodstock Generation and Today's Youth

     I watched the concert film Woodstock last night. A 45 years old concert that was in many ways the epitome of that era's ideals. I'm well acquainted with the film. When I was in college I managed a video store on 72nd and 2nd and I would play it every Sunday on all the screens simultaneously. All the former hippies in the neighborhood would come in and hang out with me. Most were at that time wealthy, living in luxury high rises, but still idealistic - looking back at their youth as if it were a fleeting dream. The views of  the Woodstock youth from just 15 years prior was remarkably different from my generation. We were all trying to get rich fast and there were no business ethics - just don't get caught. There was very little spirituality. (The hottest club at the time was the Limelight, which I wouldn't step foot in.) The Woodstock generation wanted change, a better life and harmony. The Civil Rights Movement was also an integral part of it.
    Today's youth wants a change. They are looking for someone to lead them. First Bernie and then the false prophet Trump. Bernie dropped out and Trump imploded. There is no leader for them and many are left feeling lost. They want a better life and a peaceful one. Black Lives Matter harkens back to the Civil Rights Movement, just as the Occupy Wall Street protests did to the many protests of the 1960s. Today's technology is changing our lives in a profound way. It's displacing many jobs, as are the cheap imports and unethical treatment of uneducated and/or foreign workers. Many people don't seem so apt to ignore abusive, selfish behavior - even though by speaking out it may get them hurt, arrested or killed. That young people have that kind of courage is a powerful impetus for change. This generation may come to the realization that it may never find a leader and will have to generate that change one person and one protest at a time.      

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