Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Generation (2000): The Kids Aren't Alright

The Other Films (Classic)
original review: 2003

My Generation (2000)
dir: Barbara Kopple

Pre-note: I feel I am a Generation X kid who was born too late...

Film analyzation:
The movie was OK. The director definately felt she was closer to Generation X than Generation Why. This is pointed out by the fact that the first 80 minutes of the movie are dedicated to a comparison of Woodstock 94 and 69. Sure, they were closer to each other than 99 was, but 99 deserves the same amount of treatment. Obviously 99 was an add-on.

Another detraction was the violence of 99 was completely down-played for its size. But, thats the nature of the beast. You have to downplay something.

Cultural analyzation:
Being true to my subculture professor, I am regarding Woodstock 69 as a mainstream event. Moby had no idea what he was talking about when he was quoted in this movie by saying that the hippy subculture had something to rebel against, meaning Vietnam. The hippy culture was a rebellion of disillusionment against the establishment, as all subcultures before and after it should be. (side note: subcultures are now being commercially created, IMO). My professor established a difference between the hippies and the protestors, mainly saying that the hippies were too wasted to care about events.

Either way, Woodstock 69 was a mainstream event in the end. It was a bunch of people perverting and stretching the ideals of hippy culture to fit their own idea of what fun is, and how it relates to them. I'm not saying that hippy culture wasn't there (some of them probably were), but that more than a few were corproate lackeys even at that point. I mean a migration of 500,000 people from San Diego to New York is a bit hard to believe.

Woodstock 94 was played out the same way. The bands, like the ones in 69, were just subculture enough to be counter yet mainstream enough to attract everybody's attention. Perry Ferrell had already started Lollapalooza, and was already in the band Porno For Pyros (to put it in time reference frame). Many of the bands were of the grunge/alternative station. NIN also played.

Woodstock 99 was a completely mainstream event. The only subculture that may have been truely represented was the techno/rave culture. But, nobody cared about the techno tent that was there. The main acts were all the mainstream bullshit that you heard on the radio and turned off faster than you could hit a fly in 99. Some of them you can still turn off today. Green Day, Limp Bizkit, Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, etc. To say that corporate sponsorship was revealed in all of its full glory is to put it bluntly.

Basic comparisons:
69 & 94 - Mud people; 99 - sewage people (near the portopotties too, blech)
69 & 94 - Ultra planning gone awry; 99 - Ultra planning succeeding to bad ends
69 - Angry bands like The Who and Hendrix; 94 - NIN, Metallica, Porno for Pyros; 99 - DMX, Limp bizkit;
69, 94, & 99 - kids disillusioned about the societies before them
69 & 99 - Fires set to food vendors;
Major 99 differences - new rules, ATM lines, outrageous prices, sturdy fences, lack of water, air force place (new venue), heat (no storms), Woodstock Visa

Sexism was a major part at all 3 Woodstocks. Woodstock 69 had footage of men asking women to strip, 94 and 99 had all of this too. 99 also had sexual crimes against women.

69 was out for pure fun. They didn't care about the world changers. The people who were there wanted to be a part of something, and that's all. 94 was a bunch of jaded kids looking for something to do. They found a community which they could be a part of, and it promptly self-destructed in a couple of years. The difference being shown in 99 by the completely different line-up, the ultra-commercialism, and the happily stupid people. The riots were a big fuck you to the corporate stooges ripping off the kids of america.

Don't get me wrong 69 and 94 were definitely trying to make a profit (neither did). But, 99 should have been seen as a major difference when a producer guy gets up on stage and says "this is not a free concert like the previous 2 have been. I'm glad word has gotten out that if you don't have a ticket ($150 incidentally) then don't come." GACK. Talk about subverting the whole cultural idea of what Woodstock means. It was INTENDED as a commercial event, but ACTUALLY MEANS a subcultural community.

Whats next? We're in 2003, one year from the next Woodstock anniversary if there will be one. What wil be coming up next? A rap festival since that's what is "in" now. Hippy bands were "in" in 69, alternative was "in" in 94, angry commercial music was "in" in 99, now rap is "in" in 2003. Unless something else makes it big, its going to be another bad music festival.

Present Day Note:
This little social commentary is highly amusing in the present day with $300 festivals, and incidents like the gate trampling at <a href="http://www.fuse.tv/2014/03/miami-mayor-ban-ultra-music-festival">Ultra Music Festival</a>

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