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rojo's avatar

Whatever happened to the Children of the Woodstock Nation?

Asked by rojo (14792 points ) December 24th, 2012

There was a time, many years ago, when there were dreams of a more peaceful, charitable world.
Those who had these hopes, dreams and desires are the same ones who are presently arguing whether it is better to put an armed officer in every school and, one has to assume, on every street corner to keep ourselves safe or whether we should just arm everyone and hope for the best.
We had the ability to make our own reality better than the one we presently have, one that we wanted. What happened? Why?

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20 Answers

Jaxk's avatar

We grew older and factored reality into the equation.

rojo's avatar

We had a chance to provide an alternate reality @Jaxk and let it slip through our fingers.

bolwerk's avatar

That generation was one of narcissists and hedonists. By “growing up” and becoming more conservative, they demonstrated that. They’re the generation that didn’t want to go to Vietnam, but had no trouble with keeping draft registration around for their offspring. They got the government to help build them vast suburban complexes, on cities’ dimes, while creating onerous zoning laws to prevent anyone else from moving in. They’re the generation that voted the drinking age down for themselves, and then up for their children. All those drugs they got to explore in the 1960s? Banned in the 1970s. Much of the current American budget deficit has to do with the fact that the selfish, aging boomer generation wants to borrow to pay for services until they die, and then let their children take care of the bill.

Seriously: fuck them

majorrich's avatar

^^^ What he said!

JenniferP's avatar

They were high on drugs and didn’t bathe or work. They offered no solution.

Patton's avatar

@JenniferP They offered the same solution as Jesus.

bolwerk's avatar

@Patton: except Jesus, by most accounts, was not a narcissist.

Patton's avatar

@bolwerk Not the point. @JenniferP said they offered no solution. Two people or groups can offer the same solution even if their psychological traits are not identical. If she thinks the hippies offered no solution, then she has to think the same thing about Jesus.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

Once the drugs wore off of the people of the Woodstock Nation, they realized just how crappy and deranged life and other people are.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They mostly got jobs, bought houses, and had to provide for families. That sobers you up in a hurry.

JenniferP's avatar

Who says that Jesus offered no solution. He told people how to live to have (reasonably) happy lives and offered hope for a time when all sickness, death and pain would be gone. Rev. 21:3,4.

bolwerk's avatar

@Patton: yeah, I dunno know about that. Motivation counts. 1960s hedonists wanting to get high because of their daddy issues with authority are a little different than Jesus’s position that powerful authority figures have obligations to those weaker than them. Both will appeal to different people, at the very least, and the Woodstock generation didn’t waste much time becoming the Reagan generation.

burntbonez's avatar

The people of my generation were idealists. They didn’t want to fight in wars that didn’t help this nation. They didn’t want to discriminate against others based on color of their skin. They didn’t want people making profits by polluting the water and air.

So they fought against these things and made a lot of progress. In the process, many of them made some money and became comfortable. When they had kids, they realized they didn’t want their kids doing as many drugs. Sure, a few of them kept on smoking pot all the time, and introduced their kids to it. But many gave up drugs. Some even had to work hard to give up alcohol.

Their music lives on, and those band members who are still alive and willing, play on. Can you believe Paul McCartney is still singing? Pete Seeger? These guys have voices that are tied together with duct tape, and they still sing on.

Personally, I think this is a great generation, and sooner or later, people will write books to that effect, and slowly people will change their perceptions about this era and the people who made it move forward.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think you can tell the age of the respondees by their answers! I am completely with @jaxk, @elbanditoroso and @burntbonez.

We didn’t waste time complaining about what was left to us by previous generations, we just went about our business. That is what each generation does, it just seems as if the ones coming behind do more bitching than fixing.

Paradox25's avatar

Personally I’ve found that generation to be a bunch of hypocrites, and bolwerk took a great deal of my answer above. Many of these ‘hippies’ had little problem frying their brains off of hallucinagens and didn’t want to go to jail for it, but had little problem supporting draconian drug laws that destroyed users more than the drugs themselves ever could of when they ‘matured’. Now they partake in alcohol instead of psychedelics.

Not all of them ended up being hypocrites, but many became self-righteous Reagan conservatives. Reagan definitely was not the epitome of what they used to stand for. A good deal of this generation went from one extreme of anticonformism to the other extreme of conformism, when ideally we should all be nonconformists in my opinion.

hearkat's avatar

Having been born in the mid-sixties, my observation is similar to many above…
the hippies of the ‘60s and early ‘70s transformed into yuppies in the ‘80s.
(as a metaphor: Susan Day went from a Partrige Family member to an L.A. Law- yer)

burntbonez's avatar

Remember, there were never very many hippies. Maybe five percent of the generation. They just got all the press. The rest were spread out over the rest of the political and cultural spectrum. Hippies were opposed to the Reagan policies. They didn’t turn conservative. They are still as they have always been. There just aren’t that many.

Patton's avatar

@JenniferP Nobody said that Jesus offered no solution. What I said is that he offered the same solution as the hippies. So if you think that the hippies didn’t offer any solution, you’d also have to think that Jesus didn’t offer a solution. Or if you think Jesus did offer a solution, you’d also have to think that the hippies offered one. It’s called logic.

@bolwerk If you and I both say that 1 + 1 = 2, but we have different motivations for saying it, that doesn’t change the fact that we are offering the same solution to the problem 1 + 1. Both Jesus and the hippies offered love as the solution to all the world’s ills. Their solution was the same, even if some of their behaviors or motivations were different.

bolwerk's avatar

@Patton: not exactly. Numbers are quantifiable. Motivations are qualitative. Preaching peace and love for religious/eschaetological reasons is a little difference than stringing it together with an ideology of self-aggrandizing hedonism. Both may be stupid, but they are still different.

I’m not even sure I see a similarity in outcome between Jesus and hippies. So when you say, “Not the point,” I’m guessing you didn’t have one?

Patton's avatar

When I say “not the point,” I’m saying that the personality traits of some individual hippies are irrelevant. Not all of the hippies were narcissists, even if a lot of them were (and still are). But it doesn’t matter. The ideology is separable from the adherents, and it’s in the ideology that we see what solution they’re offering. Both movements offered “love” as their solution. And pointing out differences in their ideologies also doesn’t matter. My target was the claim that the hippies offered no solution at all. Any attempt to compare the solution offered by Jesus and the solution offered by the hippies presumes that the hippies had a solution. That’s enough to make the point I was actually driving at.

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