Now that the brown acid (not particularly good) has worn off, the societal impact of 400,000 screaming kids in a muddy field in upstate New York is being re-examined. Surprisingly, the 40th anniversary of Woodstock brings more criticism than commendation. Here’s a typical response to Woodstock’s legacy, from Michael Landauer in the Dallas Morning News:

“I think there’s this romantic notion that it changed the world and spread peace and love to all corners of the globe. Not so much. Vietnam got far worse before it ended. Within a year, two of the main performers were dead from drug overdoses and dozens of others who shared that stage went on to struggle with addiction for years. The sexual awakening led pretty directly to AIDS. But to me, the worst part was this notion that the right way to deal with our problems was to drop out. I’m not sure our country has fully recovered from that. Watergate compounded the problem, to be sure, but the natural distrust of people in power is not a productive thing. Public service should be encouraged, not ridiculed, and I think a lot of that can be traced to the Woodstock mind-set.”

We pretty much agree. Do you?