Monday, August 31, 2009

Woodstock and the Modern Generational Conflict

The Outside Lands Music Festival is going on in Golden Gate Park as I write this. By no means a modern Woodstock, such a festival does not mark a major ideological shift in generations. However, there is no denying that conflicts still exist. Battles are still fought within families today. However, the topic of the fights has changed.


Woodstock was a music festival that occurred at the end of the sixties. It marked the ushering in of a new generational mindset, more openly liberal than before. Attracting over half-a-million Woodstock_redmond_stageattendees, the festival was a logistical failure, but a cultural success. For many, it was life-changing. It showed individuals that people who had common interests and experiences existed. Ideological clashes with parents were commonplace in this period, this gathering brought together people with common wishes. This was a generation that would never trust anyone over the age of thirty. What has changed?

Forty Years Later

Forty years later, the original attendees of Woodstock are in their sixties. Weeks ago, the fortieth anniversary of the festival was celebrated, and the ongoing relevance of Woodstock was questioned. The attendees of Woodstock are the parents of this generation. Does a conflict on the scale of the sixties still exist? That is questionable. Do small-scale familial conflicts still exist? Absolutely.

Families that have never experienced the counter-culture of the sixties still hold on to socially-conservative values. Immigrant families lack exposure to such values. As a result, there still exists a generation conflict in those families. Unexposed families still deride their children for trivial reasons. Their lack of appreciation that they have for counter-culture is the driving force for the conflict that they hold with their children. 

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