Wednesday, December 08, 2010

John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

 
John Lennon died on Dec. 8, 1980 when he was shot four times in the back by Mark David Chapman. His ashes were scattered by Yoko Ono in Central Park in New York at the site of the Strawberry Fields Memorial.

That was thirty years ago today. A whole new generation has grown up since then and I fear we are in great danger of forgetting what Lennon and The Beatles did to help change our culture for the better.



6 comments :

  1. We're not forgetting. His words ring louder now than ever. The next generation is getting ready to ... no ... has *already* picked up the torch.

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  2. I still miss him, for the music I'll always love, and his timeless ability to cut to the heart of a situation.

    I say "timeless" because, if you look today at what were thought to be examples of Lennon's craziness, like his honeymoon "bed-in" for peace, you'll find it's the reporters who seem clueless and self-important (as well as rude), while Lennon's remarks about generating publicity for efforts to stop war come across as clear, incisive and relevant (unfortunately not only at the time he made them, but for yet more wars unto the present day and forever and ever amen).

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  3. Could you please not mention the name of his killer? John Lennon's murderer said he did it to become famous, an evil deed if ever there was one.

    I would like to deny John Lennon's killer his goal.

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  4. I fear we are in great danger of forgetting what Lennon and The Beatles did to help change our culture for the better.

    Yes, we’re in “great danger” of forgetting the crucial role he/they played in mainstreaming the criminal use of marijuana, LSD and heroin into our culture. And who could possibly disparage Lennon’s not so subtle celebration of infidelity in “Norwegian Wood?"—or how he lavished his wealth on his first born, Julian, by abandoning him and his mother when he was a child? And I’ll never forget his whopping $500 donation to the NYPD for bullet-proof vests shortly before he died (that musta bought what, maybe two?).

    But I digress… getting back to his “contribution” to our culture, who could deny the critical importance of lending his name to songs like “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” And surely, all who’ve listened to the lyrics of “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” (and especially) “Revolution 9” must stand in awe of this intellectual giant among men.

    And above all, given that actions speak louder than words, this man stood alone as a cultural leader when he asked us "how easy" it is for one to "imagine no possessions” while maintaining a personal wealth of over $200 million…

    Yes, what that individual did to help change our culture "for the better" is, immeasurable…

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  5. JCC:

    And above all, given that actions speak louder than words... while maintaining a personal wealth of over $200 million...

    And what are we to think of the hundreds of millions of Christians who, having been told by their god in the flesh to sell all that they own and give the money to the poor, and to hate their parents, spouses, children, and siblings and follow him, who instead indulge in family life and personal luxury and comfort? At least Lennon said "imagine". It was the supposition of a finite being, not a commandment from the supposed creator of the universe, permanent and perfect outside of time and space, come down to Bethlehem to sacrifice himself to himself for a couple of nights over the course of a long weekend. :/

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  6. Lone Primate:

    I’ve finally recovered from my disk failure and will respond to our discussion on reason and metaphysics soon. Thank you for your patience.

    Given that your queries here require shorter responses (and the late hour at which I’m available), I thought it would be more practical to respond to them first.

    what are we to think of the hundreds of millions of Christians who, having been told by their god in the flesh to sell all that they own and give the money to the poor… who instead indulge in family life and personal luxury and comfort?

    Well, first of all, there is nothing in any of the accounts of Matthew 19:21-22, Mark 10:21-22, or Luke 18:22-23 that indicates that our God in the flesh’s command to the wealthy man was meant for all Christians. It was clearly a prescription for the spiritual ailment of that individual. However, that’s not to say that it cannot apply to anyone else suffering from that same affliction—the bottom line is clear: we can choose to worship our possessions or our Lord.

    …and to hate their parents, spouses, children, and siblings and follow him…

    Two points here. First, English is a far richer language than Aramaic or Greek. Greek is a pretty all-or-nothing kind of language. It’s pretty good at describing love or hate—but pretty useless at describing just “liking,” “disliking,” or “preferring” someone over another. So, is it any wonder that the English translators (wanting to maintain as close a translation as possible) chose the nearest English counterparts for words? The word “hate,” used to indicate priority and preference rather than disdain, is seen throughout the Bible (see Malachi 1:2-3). Second, with that in mind, this reference to preferring immediate family members to Christ becomes abundantly clear when viewed in light of Matthew 10:37 – “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

    In the future, may I suggest you employ an exegesis rather than ill-informed eisegesis of the Scripture that you attempt to malign?

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