Posts Tagged ‘John Lennon’

Yesterday I wrote about infamous dates, an appropriate topic on Pearl Harbor Day.

Today is another one of those. Although not on the same scale of lives lost or immediate consequence, December 8, 1980 saw a moment that defines a generation, and world, thirty years after the fact of an act of murder.

The death of John Lennon put paid to an era born in the sixties and dying with John.

It could be the timing was coincidental … another decade had closed and the 80’s loomed large and voracious. Flower-power was giving way to the darker, disenchanted tones of Goth, Ronald Reagan was White House-bound and the 80s stretched before us like a ladder to be climbed one pricey rung after the other.

Could it be, however, it was the event that instigated at least some of the changes?

The violent death of a gentle musician and poet at the hand of a publicity-seeking nutjob seems a demarcation point.

Perhaps my rearview mirror has fogged over the past 30 years, but I recall the decades before Dec. 8, 1980 as hopeful … angst-ridden, yes, but that angst flowed from frustration that the world wasn’t moving quite quickly enough toward the peaceful garden we could still imagine at the time.

We’d seen our share of horrors, but felt we’d learned stuff … important stuff that could and would matter. We felt it was possible to actually give peace a chance.

Greed started driving the bus in the 80s and angst turned to the stone of cynicism. As communism fell by the wayside, that perceived specter morphed into the solid form of expanding markets, multiple debt crises, famine and a whole bunch of wars.

Hippies turned into Yuppies, Porsche became the new VW van and conspicuous consumption took over where conscientious objection left off.

Even the drugs got meaner as coke and crack took the place of acid and weed and ad copy became a viable outlet for poets since the pay was so much better.

I’m guessing those who missed the world John Lennon lived and influenced will consider this a geezer ramble … revisionist history not appreciative of the wonders of the past three decades, or not appreciative enough.

Could be. Could be.

But I can’t help but wonder how different the last thirty years might have been if that fuckwad Mark Chapman had not decided to stake his claim to fame by blowing holes through one of the world’s most important proponents of thoughtful consideration and hope.

The music, alone, we’ve been robbed of has left us poorer.

So … on this day, as every 8th of December, I celebrate the life and rue the death of John Lennon, wonder and imagine …

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Today I celebrate the life of John Lennon who would be 70 years old had he not been murdered almost 30 years ago. His life and his music changed the world, and his death marked the end of an era of hope and the beginning of the ’80s … a decade of shallow greed and small-mindedness that metastasized throughout our culture and manifests today in polarizing self-righteousness.

How much different our world might be if a poor excuse for a human had not gunned down John Lennon on the 8 December 1980 we cannot know, but that sick and simple act most certainly robbed us all of the wisdom of a great mind, the direction of a generous spirit, the sagacity of a benevolent participant in life’s parade, the perspective of a compassionate genius and a whole lot of music.

We are left with what he had time to give. I share some here today …

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. ”

“If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.”

“God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”

“The more I see the less I know for sure.”

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

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Since I’ve been busy lately … mucho work and some pleasant and interesting communication … I’m opting for a familiar blogging out I call “Harvest and Harangue”, meaning I go through the day’s news and bitch about the stuff that pisses me off.

I’ll start with murder, since that’s always such a popular topic, and with one I recall so well.

December 8, 1980 … Mark Chapman shot John Lennon. All these years later, the genius that was John is still dead and the fuckwad who killed him has had another parole hearing.

“I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies,” he said.

In a closing statement, Chapman said his life had changed because of Jesus.

“I know him, he is with me, he is with me now, he is helping me speak to you now. Without him I am nothing, I would have been an even bigger nobody.”

With some modicum of sense, the parole board turned him down again, but the fact that he gets to do this every couple of years … trot out his somebodyness and get his ugly mug in the international press annoys the shit out of me. As for his Jesusness … well, Jim Jones had that happening, too, if I recall and look at the holy shit he created.

Moving right along, but sticking with murder … if you’ll excuse the expression in this case … this story is one you can sink your teeth into.

A Broadmoor patient who confessed to killing two women in East Sussex in 1998 and eating flesh from one of them has been jailed for at least 21 years.

He also admitted trying to murder and rape a Czech student on a train and raping a London woman in her home.

Excuse me … but TWENTY-ONE years? WTF are these people thinking? Lock up and throw away the key, peeps, because the world don’t need this person.

The judge said that it had been “to his credit” that he decided while he was at Broadmoor “to get these terrible crimes off his chest, because he was concerned that he was too dangerous at that stage to be transferred from Broadmoor to a less secure hospital but also because he wanted to remain at Broadmoor”.

To his credit? Sorry, Judge, but this guy gets NO credit, not even if he finds Jesus. I’d say he’s a shark, but that would be an insult to sharks.

And speaking of sharks … sorry, can’t resist an easy segue … they kill, too, but it’s not called murder, it’s called lunch, as the tiger in this story would be happy to tell you if he could just get the bits out of his teeth long enough to spit out a sentence.

The 3.6-metre (12ft) tiger shark was caught on 4 September by a local investment banker who was deep-sea fishing.

Whilst reeling it in, he said he saw a leg poking out of the shark’s mouth.

After cutting the creature open, defence force officers found a torso, two severed arms, and a right leg.

Amazingly, the dude’s fingerprints were readable, but his claims of being a strong swimmer and therefore beyond the dangers of the sea, apparently, didn’t float.

Deadly sea creatures running on instinct and hunger have nothing over some humans when it comes to horror as this story proves … and probably have a more highly developed sense of humor to boot.

A US artist whose satirical cartoon inspired an internet campaign inviting people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad has disappeared into hiding, her newspaper has said.

Molly Norris, who disavowed the movement that provoked outrage in the Islamic world, has moved and changed her name, the Seattle Weekly said.

She fled after FBI agents warned she was in danger …

FFS, Peeps … get over it! The world has moved beyond stone tablets, even photography was invented a couple of years ago, and if Mo was around today you can bet he’d be paying big bucks to his PR firm to get his mug on the cover of every mag around. After all, that’s de rigueur in the religious leaders game.

Just check out the popester’s spin machine in high gear as they try to clean up the shit he’s smearing around Britain.

The pope urged the UK to guard against “aggressive forms of secularism”.

A speech in which the Pope appeared to associate atheism with the Nazis has prompted criticism from humanist organisations.

However, the Catholic Church has moved to play down the controversy, saying the Pope knew “rather well what the Nazi ideology is about”.

Humanists have said the comments were a “terrible libel” against non-believers.

No shit.

Unfortunately for the spinnsters, he just keeps putting his foot in it …

He said: “Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

“As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny.”

Yep … even in his own lifetime … and, yes, people DO remember … and the catholic church do NOT come out clean.

The Pope’s reaction to the Holocaust was complex and inconsistent. At times, he tried to help the Jews and was successful. But these successes only highlight the amount of influence he might have had, if he not chosen to remain silent on so many other occasions. No one knows for sure the motives behind Pius XII’s actions, or lack thereof, since the Vatican archives have only been fully opened to select researchers. Historians offer many reasons why Pope Pius XII was not a stronger public advocate for the Jews: A fear of Nazi reprisals, a feeling that public speech would have no effect and might harm the Jews, the idea that private intervention could accomplish more, the anxiety that acting against the German government could provoke a schism among German Catholics, the church’s traditional role of being politically neutral and the fear of the growth of communism were the Nazis to be defeated.) Whatever his motivation, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Pope, like so many others in positions of power and influence, could have done more to save the Jews.

So shut the fuck up, Ben, pull on the big man panties, confess … get it off your chest like the dude who ate women … and thank the Brits for coughing up £12 mil for your holiday.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

Movies get news, too … ours being the “live life to the fullest a screen can hold” society … and stories about celebs are oh-so-vital to maintaining the illusion that life is worth living.

Just how worthy should be questioned more often, but this venture up the celebrity ass really should serve to aim a Klieg where the sun don’t shine.

Actor Casey Affleck has admitted the documentary film he made about Joaquin Phoenix quitting Hollywood to become a rap star was staged.

Affleck told the New York Times that Phoenix gave a “terrific” performance”.

Over the last two years, the actor has behaved strangely in public, leading fans and critics to wonder whether he was documenting a breakdown on film.

Ah … duh … since there was a camera following him everywhere. Ya think? Not clever. Not tricky. Just WAY up your own asses, Casey and Joaquin. Andy Kaufman did the same thing years ago … only it was with Carson, not Letterman … and, forgive my smugness, but I called this way back when. (I still expect Andy to show up admitting that his death was part of the act.)

But I’ll end up with a bit of movie news that makes total sense to me. Sacha Baron Cohen is going to play Freddie Mercury in a movie Brian May and Roger Taylor are working on.

“We have Sacha Baron Cohen, which will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he’s been talking with us for a long time,” May told the HARDtalk show.

Good choice guys.

And that’s the way it was … 17 September 2010 …

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