Clusterf*ck: Woodstock ’99 review: Netflix’s Prescient . doc

Netflix recently released Clusterf*ck: Woodstock ’99, a three-episode documentary series directed by Jimmy Crawford that explores the Emeritus Music Festival. Although it has been almost a year since the launch of HBO Woodstock own ’99 The documentary, which you think may have already scratched that itch, I immediately emptied all three episodes of the remake in the second they were available. Then I watched them repeatedly Two nights later when a friend came to visit.

I devoured it all, even though it’s pretty much stuff I’ve already seen, providing information I already know. I did it so quickly and with such reflexive effect that it forced me to ask myself, Why? What is it about this seemingly enigmatic event of 23 years that makes me want to keep reviving, paraphrasing, and remembrance? What answers do I hope to find this time?

The last time I searched for two docs about the same thing eagerly was Netflix and Hulu Fyre Fest Documentary Competition, so there’s probably something endlessly intriguing about watching music festival-goers suffer, arrogant festival organizers devoured by their arrogance. And sure, there’s probably a nostalgia factor. I was 18 when Woodstock 99 happened, so the time period is indelibly etched in my mind. It’s always cool to relive those days when she had bare breasts, baggy pants, and ICE keyback when the biggest political issue on most white kids’ minds was how MTV sucks now and your moms were always trying to tell you what to do.

However, there is more Clusterf ** kThe allure of simple nostalgia. The music and costumes are gracefully outdated, but the event itself, and the way it is ultimately covered, feels like a cultural harbinger. It feels like an upcoming party for a certain brand of liberals after the corrupt counterculture that is still with us today. These forever optimistic but ignorant ex-hippies are seamlessly turning into “the guy” without even realizing it. Woodstock ’99 seems like a transitional moment, perhaps the first time that people of my generation realized that the counterculture we had been raised to cult had become, and they were completely out of touch. They will continue to try to recycle their youth for new generations without acknowledging that the material conditions that produced it have changed.

Woodstock ’99 was an attempt to recreate Woodstock ’69, when Four Twenty Days organized one of the pivotal cultural events of the 1960s. 30 years later, some of the same people, notably original Woodstock arranger Michael Lang, have tried to do the same. Just instead of throwing a great free party with teams they liked to their friends, they did it sold for their children’s generation, using all the free love images that have been floating in the cultural ether for the past 30 years.

Even in the same gesture, this self-serving capitalism masquerading as pedantic altruism and an obligating generational nobility, you can see the origins of Christ Complex in Silicon Valley – the way Google built a sprawling monopoly while embracing “Don’t Be Evil” as a mantra, mantra. . Instead of choosing works they know and understand, it was as if the organizers of Woodstock 99 had just gone to radio programmers and called their top 40 works, with little regard for how they fit together or reinforce the festival’s stated themes. In this way, it seems like an early example of trusting “big data”.

You probably already know the broad blows of what happened next: the organizers, who didn’t make enough money at Woodstock 94 because the fence broke and people got in for free, moved everything to a decommissioned air base. To save more money, they bred the logistics of unethical contractors, confiscated water from everyone on their way in, lost security, and once trapped 250,000 children inside a massive animal pen built over miles of hot black rooftop on the hottest weekend. From the year they deceived them into getting necessities like food and water while failing to provide the essentials like security, garbage and sanitation service. All while selling their flesh, abundance, and ultimately, their suffering, on Pay Per View. Festival-goers have seen food and water prices two and three times during the festival period, not yet knowing to call it “sudden pricing”.

All weekend, the organizers have been fanning the rumors of a big surprise closing party—Prince? Guns and roses that have been standardized? Michael Jackson? Bob Dylan? Instead, when the last official presentation (Red Hot Chili Peppers) came, the audience received candles for the Columbine victim vigil, along with a giant video screen showing Hendrix’s old footage. At this point the attendees used candles to light the place on fire. Which was, hilariously, considered a traumatic event (Burning Man, which Always It ends with a big fire, it’s been swinging along without controversy for 13 years already at that point).

It’s funny that the ongoing debate at the festival was “What went wrong?” When it is absolutely clear to anyone why a group of dehydrated children has been denied Water He wanted to break the shit. And it wasn’t because Fred Durst asked them to “smash things”, no matter how big a douche Fred Durst might be (I understand talking nonsense on Fred Durst makes the content of the doc interesting, but blaming him for the riots that happened After a full day and a half he ignores a lot of the underlying cause and effect.) to her credit, Clusterf ** k Music seems to be much less to blame than the HBO release.

What other recourse did these kids take after selling them a fake merchandise bill, then uprooting them, then exploiting them for content? Property damage was the most obvious way to even score. Organizers have turned the “Woodstock” brand into a commodity, and in retaliation against festival-goers they have successfully tarnished it for good. It’s easy to view, which is another reason why viewing these documents is so easy.

Of course, the leadership at that time, even after 23 years, seems completely oblivious to all this (if not prevented from recognizing it for legal reasons). The amazing aspect of Woodstock ’99 is less than the fires, riots, and sexual assaults themselves (which should be noted, Woodstock ’69 also had a lot of) from watching these same organizers continue to deny the underlying physical conditions that led to the disaster. In this way they appear to eerily reflect our current political leadership.

In an unforgettable sight, a Woodstock ’69 veteran drives around the litter-strewn Woodstock ’99 grounds (garbage transport contractors are nowhere to be found), trying to distribute trash bags in the vain hope of cleaning up festival-goers. after themselves. if to her Jill can clean up his own trash (citation needed), so why can’t he these Children? When her audience in general looks at her like she’s crazy, it doesn’t seem to inspire her much self-reflection. There is no acknowledgment that cleaning up the food and trash that you were allowed to bring to support yourself at a free concert is fundamentally different from being asked to pick up the $4 leftover water ($7.11 water in 2022) that you were forced to buy from a place that couldn’t keep trash or food Or the sewer after you paid them $150 to get in. Also, by the way, you own the rights to your photos naked in the mud forever.

Even 20 years later, after being interviewed nowadays, the organizers of Woodstock 99 are still unable or unwilling to learn the basic lessons. When asked why the children demolished the Peace Wall and looted their village the vendors, they said, seemingly without any sense of sarcasm, things like “I think they didn’t have the same spirit.”

Time and time again, when presented with material conditions and institutional failure, they blame culture. Organizer John Scheer (again portrayed as one of the main villains in the story) says of festival attendees, “I think they deserve their due and are afraid to grow up.”

Shearer’s long-haired floral partner Michael Lang adds, “I don’t think they were able to embrace social issues in the same way.”

If the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting the same results, what does it mean to expect people to behave exactly the same as you did while treating them completely differently? These people will take advantage of your youth and then describe you as childish if you object.

It wouldn’t seem relevant if the people who ran Woodstock ’99 didn’t look cut from the same Kente cloth as the people who currently run the country. Lang died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma three months after his interview was filmed. John Scheer (whose name has been conveniently deleted from Woodstock ’99 Wikipedia page, and Wikipedia in general, which must have cost a pretty penny – and didn’t do well considering most of his other search results news articles around him blaming women for their sexual assault) is still alive (he about 71, based on this Billboard article) and still works. Both are younger than both Joe Biden (79) and Nancy Pelosi (82), not to mention half the Congressional leadership.

This does not mean that everyone of the same generation is exactly the same (which may be implied I Responsible for the popularity of Limp Bizkit, a band that once released an album called “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water”), but it’s hard not to see the echoes of that confused hippie lady desperately trying to hand out trash bags in all the horrible DNC fundraising email . “Won’t you please help us clean up this mess we created? All we need is more of your money!”

It’s hard not to see a bit of Joe Biden in the press conference footage that John Scheer and Michael Lang are increasingly taking out, insisting that all is well, even if it certainly isn’t their fault. The Boys Chapo Trap House Joe once called Biden “the guy who told you the ice cream machine was broken” and I haven’t been able to think of him any other way since. John Sheer and Michael Lange were early adopters of this, the guys who smile and say the shit is full but they’re working hard on it. What is Bill Clinton’s famous phrase? “I feel your pain.”

These are all people who have long ago sold the values ​​of peace, love and the power of flowers to gain a comfortable position in society, but if you point out their hypocrisy In any of this or their basic incompetence in any way, it is because you are too selfish or irresponsible. Young people are very empowered! They can’t even appreciate paying for things we got for free!

It is not their hypocrisy or incompetence that bothers them; Obviously, my generation is capable of the same, as the above-mentioned Fyre Fest example testifies to this. It’s a refusal to give up cultural talk, a refusal to stop insisting. Nancy Pelosi is in her 80s and has a baby tens, or hundreds of millions of dollars to its name, depending on who you ask. Diane Feinstein, who is widely whispered to suffer from dementia, is about 90 years old and even wealthier. Joe Manchin, the Dirty Democrats, is 74 years old and he is also a millionaire. Donald Trump It looks like this now.

Nothing against seniors, and I hope to become myself one day. But the vast majority of the political leadership on both sides is past the age when we would begin to consider them unfit for other jobs. that they could Just pop into the sunset to enjoy a relaxing retirement, aboard name-branded yachts and eat premium ice cream from custom fridges, and everyone will be happy for them. However, they do not. It seemed they couldn’t manage one act that even Limp Bizkit was finally able to: leave the stage.

‘Clusterf**k: Woodstock ’99’ premiered on August 3, 2022 on Netflix. Vince Mancini works Twitter. You can access his archive of reviews over here.

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