First Posted: September 9, 2009
Welcome back to Opinion8ed for our extra special End of Summer, Woodstock Commemorative Issue. Here’s a summary of What’s New in this Issue:
August 15 marked the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, better known as the Woodstock Festival which started out as an ambitious rock concert but for those of us who were lucky enough to be there or tried to get there, it seemed like a pretty big deal at the time. Forty years later I think we can safely say that it was truly an historic cultural and political event with long lasting impacts. The first article By the Time We Got to Woodstock is the story of my experiences during the Summer of ’69, which despite the years are still remarkably fresh in my mind.
Not surprisingly, the release of the new Ang Lee film, Taking Woodstock, based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Elliot Tiber was released to coincide with the 40th anniversary. It tells the story of the buildup to the Festival through Tiber’s eyes whose parents’ cheap motel was just down the road from Max Yasgur’s farm and became the Festival’s nerve center. While sometimes a bit over done, the movie does capture the look and feel as well as the spirit that was Woodstock.
While on the subject, I think it would be interesting to hear from you about where you were on Aug 15 – 17, 1969 and what you remember about the Woodstock Festival (whether you were there or not). For example, my poor brother was planning on going but got a last minute call from his friend Don who pulled the “I’m moving and need your help” card. Please email (Opinion8ed.tripod@Yahoo.com) with “Where I Was” in the subject line and let us know what you were up to that historic weekend in 1969. In fact, let’s make this a contest…The best entry will be solely decided by me based on presentation and content, will be printed in the next issue of Opinion8ed, and will fetch a prize of some sort. Please include your snail mail address to facilitate the delivery.
Obama and the Democrats have hit a brick wall in the Health Care Debacle – the struggle to implement real change to the nation’s health care system. Some of us naively thought that since we won a landslide victory last November it’s our turn and the right wing will step aside and concede on the issue of universal health care. Not only is this not the case, but the radical right has seized on this issue as a symbol of their contempt for Obama and the Democrats. They are winning the battle to control the debate and we are suddenly on the defensive not just fighting for health care but for the legitimacy of Obama’s administration.
Through the first six issues of Opinion8ed all the content has been generated by yours truly. I’m pleased to say that this issue includes the first guest contribution. It’s Over too Fast by Laura Friedman is a well crafted essay and fitting tribute to the end of summer and return to our more hectic lives.
The Dialogue Page is back from vacation and is dedicated to the issue of Health Care Reform. It contains some questions but is really just meant to solicit your opinions. Let’s hear your take on this issue.
NEWS FLASH!! After going to press with Issue #7, the site host (Tripod.com) pulled a bait and switch: The software used to publish Opinion8ed is no longer available on their free site and in order to avoid completely reformatting the entire site I had to upgrade to a paid site. Not to worry, the monthly fees are fairly reasonable (less than the cost of two Starbucks Grande Half Caf Non-Fat Pumpkin Spice Lattes) and there are some collateral benefits including NO Site Hosted Ads (the ones that previously cluttered up the top and bottom of the site). The only ads that remain potentially bring in revenue if you click on them, which will help offset the cost of monthly site fees. Needless to say, the retirement dreams discussed on the Home Page are still a ways off.
I got some comments related to readability and ease of navigation of the site, so I’m experimenting with some slight tweaks to the look and feel of Opinion8ed. For example, you might notice that the menu bar is slightly larger and now has a blue background instead of light gray (it still highlights your selection when you scroll up and down). I have also added links directly to the page embedded in What’s New so if you want to go immediately to that page without passing go, you may do so. If you choose the instant gratification method you can find your way back here by going to the menu which is ever-present to your left. I still think it’s preferable to read the entire What’s New page before selecting where you want to go, but hey, that’s just me and now you have a choice.
I continue to post Letters to the Editor as they arrive so this page is a mix of new and older content. Please check these out and send me some of your own thoughts and reactions to Opinion8ed in general or Issue #7 in particular.
As I’ve been saying, I plan to keep existing pages in tact and just layer on new stuff as the spirit grabs me – that way the older pages will be available for newcomers (at least until we run out of available space which is not that far off and/or until they begin to smell)… but this page will be updated whenever new content appears (hence the name, What’s New). If you web surf onto the site, stop here first: if you don’t find anything new, move on. Otherwise this will be your channel guide to what you haven’t seen yet. I’ll also order the pages with the newest ones first so in general start at the top of the menu bar and work your way down. Another small change this time is that I decided to keep the previous “What’s New” pages on the menu tab to help distinguish which articles were published when. (the first five of those were not saved).
Ciao, Happy reading.