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Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
The summer of 1969. Forty years ago. Moon landing and Charles Manson and Woodstock.

Tonight I watched a "documentary" on the Woodstock festival. The overall tone was one of nostalgia: oh what a great time, a wonderful cosmic moment when we did things our way and all was peace and joy and love and wonder.

Some things were indeed amazingly wonderful about Woodstock: such a large crowd under adverse conditions and no violence. Amazing.

But I wish our collective memory were more honest. If it were, the mood would not be totally wistful and mellow.

Janis Joplin. Jimmy Hendrix. et al.

One interviewee termed Woodstock a spiritual experience. Maybe so. But remember, Dionysus brings both pleasure and death. His symbols include not only the vine, but also the leopard.
Category: American Culture
Posted by: an okie gardener
*the selections of tea in the coolers of our local "convenience stores" (today's high in SW Oklahoma 101 F) has been reduced to make more room for "energy drinks." What kind of a culture is it when a significant chunk of the population feels the need (addiction) for massive amounts of caffeine and sugar?

*we are now called a "service economy." But, I now notice good customer service because it does not seem the norm.

*buying simple items that are not "Made in China" turns shopping into some sort of scavenger hunt. This is the nation that suppresses its own people, is exerting increasing power into the "third world," supports nasty dictatorships around the world especially if oil is involved, destroys its own environment and that of anywhere it touches, is our most likely national military enemy in the 21st century, and is able to assert increasing influence over us because it holds a big chunk of our national debt.

*the representatives in our "representative government" acknowledge that they do not have the time to read and digest a massive bit of legislation that supposedly must be passed quickly.

* we spend ever-increasing amounts of money on public education, try new methods of education annually that promise to be The Solution, and anyone who has taught for over 25 years can tell you that today's students cannot handle the academic rigor of the recent past. (my first teaching job began 30 years ago this month)

*the latest entertainment fad is to hook up to an electronic system indoors and pretend to be running, playing tennis, golfing, shooting, instead of going outside and doing those activities.

*people pay to lay in tanning beds when sunshine is free

Yes, I have been off my meds for a few days but should be able to refill them tomorrow.
Malls R Us

Ebert's review.

Is a shopping mall a sacred place? Not a question often asked. The provocative documentary "Malls R Us" seriously argues that malls serve similar functions today that cathedrals, temples, parliaments, arenas and town squares did in earlier times. Then the film slowly works its way around to the possibility that they may be a plague upon the Earth.