Sunday, September 29, 2019

Post-Woodstock World: the rise of the backpack

Netflix is currently running a documentary about Woodstock for this 50th anniversary year. Looking at all the footage from those three days of peace and love you notice that everybody is very young, everybody is thin by today's standards and almost everybody is white. There might have been a higher percentage of non-white people among the performers than there was in the audience.

But most of all, there were no backpacks.

I mean, if you were planning to spend three days of peace and love out in the country, you would take your backpack, wouldn't you? But if you look at photos and especially at film footage of the famous traffic jams before the show, you'll notice it. At most you'll see people toting sleeping rolls or a duffle bag, but there are no backpacks in sight.

Look at this photo. No backpacks.

No backpacks.

Backpacks? Nada.

Flash forward fifty years. Below is a photo from August in the NYC subway system, where most of the people are not planning to spend three days of peace and love outdoors, but rather, eight hours in a climate controlled office. And look at all the backpacks. It's not the clearest photo but I count at least seven. 

How did people carry their bottles of water back in the day?