I was at a friend’s house a few nights ago for a little informal gathering. When we were chatting he had his i-pod providing some background music. One of the songs that came on was from the “Woodstock” soundtrack. So there I was in a kitchen full of conservative upper middle class Midwesterners who were suddenly waxing poetic about how great Woodstock was.
What happened next was the kind of thing I do that keeps me off the party circuit. I said something to the effect that Woodstock was an unmitigated disaster and a perfect metaphor for the Obama Administration. If it were technically possible this is the point where we would have heard a needle scratching across the album and a dead silence while the folks stared at me in disbelief.
The whole Woodstock myth that has grown up over the years is like the memory of your old college girlfriend, or boyfriend as the case may be. You tend to remember the good and forget the bad. You remember the smoothness of her skin but forget the night of the Kappa party when she disappeared for three days and turned up in Vegas married to a soybean farmer from Indiana.
That’s Woodstock! We remember the music and forget the drugs, the OD’s and lives ruined. We remember the artwork and forget the acres of mud and filth. We forget that the State of New York footed the bill for untold millions of clean up. We thought it was cool when Arlo announced the New Your State Thruway was closed but forget the cost to the State and the people. We forget the fact that people who couldn’t use the highway were inconvenienced and may have lost income.
What started out as a middle of the road business venture to open a recording studio ended up as a giant poorly planned disaster. This simple for profit music festival lost money for its promoters due to rushed and poor planning. Any money made off of the success of their film was lost to lawyers and plaintiffs in lawsuits later.
Isn’t that how it seems to be going for the Obama folks? What was promised in the campaign to be a centrist and uniting administration in the space of a few months has deteriorated into a bitterly partisan and leftist power grab. A lot of folks who though it was cool that we elected our first African-American president are now unhappy that they voted for a guy who is more Marxist divider than nonpartisan uniter. A rush into trillion dollar programs and poorly thought out bailouts has created unrest. All President Obama needs to do to complete the metaphor is hire Wavy Gravy to replace Robert Gibbs and announce the new government “breakfast in bed for 500,000” plan.