On the Eve of the Most Important Election in Recent History, Woodstock Creator Michael Lang Talks the Politics of Peace, Love, Community, and Black Lives Matter

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"talkin' 'bout Our Generation" Host Julian G. Simmons Talks with Woodstock creator, Michael Lang, about Life in the 60's, Music, the Anti-War Movement, Black Lives Matter and the Fate of our Planet.

"People will start to realize that we are still all connected, that there is no 'me' and 'you,' it's 'us.' That's our hope. I'm an optimist, and I'm not giving up." Michael Lang

In the latest episode of the podcast “talkin’ ‘bout Our Generation” airing today, host Julian G. Simmons talks with Michael Lang, the visionary creator of Woodstock, that iconic 1969 event that drew more than a half-million people to a three-day "Aquarian Festival of Peace and Music" in the bucolic farmlands of upstate New York.

Lang, who was just 23 when he organized Woodstock, sees many parallels between then and now.

"Today, politics has really driven big wedges between people. I think that's what is so significant about the Black Lives Matter movement. In the Sixties, we had a lot of those references that were real, in our face." Assassinations, racial tensions, riots, the Vietnam War and a divisive generation gap all created a tumultuous time, Lang says, much like today.

Lang feels that the shocking video of the George Floyd murder and the resulting demonstrations are an echo of the response to the horrors of the Vietnam War Americans witnessed on television.

“We were all united by the Vietnam war,” Lang says, “which hung over everybody's head. You could go to the mailbox any day and there you were, fighting a war you didn't believe in."

Lang talks about the changes in the world which made Woodstock 50 a failure last year. The backers, he says, just did not understand that it was not all about the money. But at 75, he says he remains optimistic. The spirit of the counterculture in the sixties gave him hope that remains alive.

"It's really what made me believe that something like Woodstock could happen, that you could bring together this counterculture, who were embracing a more peaceful world and a more compassionate way to relate to each other, and to share things together."

Remarkably, in a crowd of a half-million young people over three days, there was no violence. The event is still seen as a catalyst for a historic, positive cultural shift in America.

Beyond the election, Lang sees a critical need to bridge the divide that now plagues the nation, which was one of the major achievements of Woodstock. It brought together conservative rural townspeople and urban Hippies, and he believes that we will see that happening again.

"I think the biggest threat facing the human race is Global Warming. That's not something you can stop at a border. That's everybody.

"I think that people will have to realize that and come together over that problem, hopefully not too late. And it's getting late.

"But I think that that people will start to realize that we are still all connected, that there is no 'me' and 'you,' it's 'us,' in every sense of the word. I think that that's our hope, and I think it's a real possibility. I'm kind of an optimist anyway, and I'm not giving up."

"talkin' 'bout Our Generation" is a bold, irreverent conversation on culture, society, science, history, politics and everyday life with the voices of the Baby Boomer Generation. You can listen to the hour-long conversation with Michael Lang starting today on the podcast website at https://www.talkinboutourgeneration.com, or on all major podcasting platforms.

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since: 07/2019
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