In the opening scenes of the movie “Independence Day”, Jeff Goldblum’s character was furiously taking soda cans out of the general trash and putting them in the recycle bin complaining to no one listening about how pollution was going to destroy our planet.
All the while the aliens were on their way to do that very thing and no amount of recycling was going to save the planet or anyone living on it.
Flash forward some 23 years. Cities across the country are passing laws that ban plastic straws! Plastic straws are now the “enemy” we have to destroy before they destroy our planet.
You don’t have to be a “MIT-educated technological expert” to know it’s not the material that’s the problem, it’s the people. People create garbage and people, in general, don’t care about the environment.
While it might make a few, very few, people feel good that they are using paper instead of plastic to improve our environment, the fact is that’s not necessary true.
What these paper v plastic laws do, in fact, is create a new revenue stream for the government with fines ranging from $100 to as much as $1,000 depending on how the ordinance is written.
Why stop at straws? Let’s make a law to get rid of ALL disposable plastics including diapers, water bottles, and the garbage bags we put our garbage IN!
Let’s not stop at being forced to sip our soda from a disintegrating straw. If we’re going to be serious about our disposable plastic problem, then let’s make a law to force of us to bring our own reusable containers to a restaurant to avoid having to throw out non-disposable plastic containers. Or be charged extra to request them, like the straws.
Better still. Let’s fine every single person who leaves a restaurant with their take-out in a plastic bag, including fast-food drive ins. Can you imagine the amount of money the government would make just by staking out one local McDonalds?
When are we, as concerned citizens, going to take personal responsibility and voluntarily act to change without having the government force us to with laws that only serve to increase their revenue?
Apparently, not anytime soon.
I was not all that surprised the 50th anniversary of Woodstock concert was cancelled.
The “reunion” failed in 1994 and again in 1999. The HuffPost covered this in “The Day the Music Died” (apologies to Don McClean)
In 1969, what is now known as Woodstock, was originally billed as an “Aquarian Expo” (as noted in my diary entry). This was a party. It was a celebration of peace and love at a time when there was nothing but war and hate on the nightly news. This music festival was going to unite us and bring us hope that our generation was going to change the world… for the better.
Thousands of people came together. There were only 3 accidental deaths, no fights, no shootings, no violence at all! Thousands of people listened to great music, got stoned and drenched, loved openly and experienced joy and freedom unlike any other event before or after.
Woodstock was a spontaneous celebration of humanity and all that we are and could become. You can’t plan spontaneity – it happens only once in a lifetime.
We came away from the weekend with hope that anything was possible. That somehow, the thousands that came together for one wet weekend would stay together and bring that feeling of peace and love to the entire world, or at the very least to our entire country.
It didn’t happen.
The next entry in my diary was the same as it had been before the festival. In fact, I didn’t write anything at all until December of that year, the week I turned 16 and could drive.
We all went back to our “regularly scheduled lives” and days later, we pretty much forgot all about Woodstock. So, is it any surprise that a 50th reunion was going to fail in today’s world? We accomplished nothing. We learned nothing.
Vietnam became Afghanistan and Iraq. Violence against the Black community is now violence against the immigrant community. The glass ceiling has been reinforced with concrete in many sectors, including pay and the right to choose what we put into, or have come out of own bodies. Politicians are corrupt. Those in the entertainment, sports industry and religious communities are exposed as sexual predators. Mass shootings and violence against the “other” is being reported on the 24-hour news networks.
We blame the rich for not giving more to the poor. We blame the poor for taking everything from the rich.
And everyone still hates the Jews.
For anyone to think, for one second, that the hopes and dreams of the Peace and Love generation could be re-lived, even for one day let alone an entire weekend is living in a fantasy.
Woodstock 50 was destined to fail, because many who attended Woodstock, or were even a small part of that weekend 50 years ago became the very establishment we were fighting against!
If anything positive came out of that time, it’s the legalization of recreational marijuana. Everyone should get high. It’s very difficult to fire a MK-47 assault rifle when you’re stoned. It’s nearly impossible to be angry at anyone for anything when you’re laughing at EVERYTHING!
And 2019 is not, nor will it ever be 1969.
Who knows, with a little luck and a whole lot of hope, not to mention peace and love, and hard work in another 50 years, Woodstock 2069 will be a success.
*Note – there WILL be a 50th Anniversary celebration on the site of the Original Woodstock festival, but no matter, it still won’t be the same!