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They don’t teach Altamont in school

They don’t teach Altamont in school

Steve Haywood at Power Line (h/t Instapundit) has a good post pointing out how the Occupy movement moved quickly from Woodstock to Altamont:

Numerous observers have pointed out how the media and liberals (sorry for the redundancy) lavished sympathy on Occupy Wall Street until it became untenable to continue, after which they began to airbrush their previous encomia.  They seem to forget that what begins as Woodstock somehow always ends up as Altamont….

A few months later the attempted sequel to Woodstock at California’s Altamont Pass ended violently when the Hells Angels hired as stage security proved they were not yet ready to be part of the Age of Aquarius.  The Hells Angels beat a concertgoer to death just a few feet in front of Mick Jagger, who was in the middle of singing “Sympathy for the Devil.”  In contrast to the encomiums to Woodstock, there was little media commentary suggesting that Altamont showed a dark side of the counterculture.

They don’t teach Altamont at school.  I’d be willing to bet that only 1 in 1000 of the yutes under 50 even have heard about it.  It’s the problem I have noticed elsewhere where liberal truisms are based on memory, not history.

Here’s Altamont:


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Even Woodstock would’ve wound up as Altamont if it weren’t for the rain, the pot and lsd and the word of mouth advertisement of the event.

Even so it was a MESS!

OWS is like Altamont … without the great music.

I walked into a history class once and the young professor (from China) had a big boombox on a table beside the lectern.

When everyone was seated he pushed the play button and The Beatles’ “Revolution” blared for the next three minutes.

He painted a glowing portrait of JFK to the class and all the “hope” and “change” of his romanticized take on the 1960s. Of course, in subsequent lectures, corporate America and other bogeymen of his imagination had squashed these wonderful merry pranksters of peace, love, and understanding.

Here he was free and teaching in America, something that could be considered a great leap for him and his family, yet he was still in thrall to great leaps backwards in social engineering. How strange to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome after being set free.

    Kerrvillian in reply to LukeHandCool. | November 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    If the liberals do not bury their past in faded memory and mystique then it will keep others from joining their path.

    The 20th century is replete with the death toll of the leftist cause. The United States sterilized their mentally ill and others in the name of “Progress”.

    The work begun by the founder of Planned Parenthood was copied by the Nazis in their T4 project. Taken only one step further into euthanasia for those judged “life unworthy of life”. From the T4 Project it is only one small step to The Holocaust.

    We haven’t taken the T4 step, but we can already see the signs calling upon Obama and the Democrats to finish what their predecessors in Germany started. Close Guantanamo. Reopen Auschwitz, the sign reads. The ideology is the same. They just won’t admit they have the same methods.

    Today Frank Rich shouts out “Who Killed The Kennedys?” when after all it was Oswald and Obama.

OWS is already Altamont. There have been several deaths in these groups.

Where do these people come from? They live in the greatest country ever known and they’re still not happy. They want to regress to tyranny and oppression. If I had college age children I would think twice about letting them go on to higher education. It appears they would be better off not going to college to learn to hate their country.

I’d be willing to bet that only 1 in 1000 of the yutes under 50 even have heard about it.

That’s the first time in a long time that I’ve been called a “yute”, but I am (just) under 50 and this is indeed the first time I heard of Altamont.

I do have a friend who was at Woodstock and remembers it; he was only 12, and therefore not smoking anything.

    nordic_prince in reply to Milhouse. | November 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Indeed – I was old enough to remember hearing about Woodstock when it happened, and young enough to be suitably confused as to how it tied in with Snoopy’s little feathered pal. I had never heard of Altamont prior to this post.

Well I do remember hearing about Altamont and the death that took place.

Now William, I have to castigate you because Mick was not singing Sympathy for the Devil when the murder took place. In fact none of the songs on that youtube piece were Sympathy for the Devil.

History lesson: Altamont happened after the death of Brian Jones. In the back of my memory cells, I thought that it was put on as a fundraiser for Nicuragua for some reason – I think there had been some kind of disaster. Mick had used the Hells Angels in London for the Hyde Park concert and he thought that the Hells Angels in USA would be the same. He was wrong.

This little known event was really terrible, but think back to the era. It was the days of anti-Vietnam marches, and there were other incidents around the world.

I had not really seen the words of Gimme Shelter before. It really was a protest song of sorts, but it had a strong message regarding some of the things that happen in wars. Let Libya stand as an example of exactly what Mick was singing about in Gimme shelter – the rape and the guns.

The violence at Altamont was abhorrent. The question remains what was the “Victim” intending to do with the gun that the Hell’s Angels claimed he had. Their claim is that they saw the gun and reacted because they thought that he was intending to shoot Mick Jagger.

I didn’t realize I was a history nerd until now.

(New commenter, but frequent reader— thoroughly enjoy all your posts.)

Many years ago while browsing in a bookstore, I came across an interview with Hells Angel’s Sonny Barger about the incident at Altamont. He gave a credible account showing Jagger’s culpability. As Aussie pointed out, the so-called victim was brandishing a pistol.

The Stones were not singing Sympathy For The Devil. This is an urban myth. The guy the HA stabbed had shot an Angel.

The video is from the documentary Gimme Shelter, which had wide theatrical release. It recorded one of the deaths at Altamont. The book Up and Down with the Rolling Stones by Tony Sanchez has an account of the concert and claims that there were 4 deaths. Meredith Hunter was one. Another young man drowned in a drainage canal. It isn’t clear who the others were. The audience and HA were screwed up on drugs and alcohol and waited in the cold while the Stones delayed the beginning of their set. There were many fights in the crowd, some involving knives. Drug-crazed kids kept trying to climb up on the stage only to be beaten with pool cues and kicked with steel-toed boots.