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Overall was John politically good or bad?
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28 May 2013
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28 May 2013
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meanmistermustard said
Maybe im wrong but didnt John himself come out later in his life, possibly in 1980, and ask what all his peace protests, movements and everything achieved?

John changed his opinion and interests frequently, throwing himself fully in the waters right from the beginning before eventually the novelty wore off and he would eventually come across something else and start over. I love John but dont see him as a great political man - if anything its one of the things that pisses me off about how Yoko has moulded his image since the mid-eighties. He might have spoken his mind about a lot of issues but some of the crap he and Yoko spouted is damn right laughable.

Thats not to say everything he ever said or did in the late 60' and early 70's was rubbish, just that not everything he did was amazing, influential and accurate as its sometimes presented.

I do know that he claimed later to have regretted some of his political moves, but I think that was more of a comment on the flakey people he was associated with and the impact it had on his career, rather than an actual change of opinion.  He was criticizing the system and capitalist society right up until he died...and don't tell me he didn't have a right to criticize capitalism because he made money off it.

As far as Yoko, I have no problem with her being revisionist or making up her own mythology as long as it is positive.  I get nothing but good vibes from what she says and creates.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon
29 May 2013
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I'd have to find the quote to see what exactly he said.

I've never seen the problem with John having money and singing against capitalism. What do you want him to do? Give all his money away and become dirt poor and a beggar on the streets relying on his musician mates before speaking out? Wait he cant do that because he's using rich friends who have benefiitted from the system. Its like those who bitch about the words of Imagine. Im not a massive fan of the song but the stupidity i find in that opinion is incredible.

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29 May 2013
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meanmistermustard said
I'd have to find the quote to see what exactly he said.

I've never seen the problem with John having money and singing against capitalism. What do you want him to do? Give all his money away and become dirt poor and a beggar on the streets relying on his musician mates before speaking out? Wait he cant do that because he's using rich friends who have benefiitted from the system. Its like those who bitch about the words of Imagine. Im not a massive fan of the song but the stupidity i find in that opinion is incredible.

I wouldn't expect him or other rich celebrities and politicians who are rich to give all their possessions away. My big beef with the message in Imagine and, closer to home, the phony celebrities and politicians we have here in the US (and elsewhere) is when they preach that we "peons" should give it all away and do with less, etc while they have no intention of doing so. My thing is, if they're not going to do it themselves but expect us "regular" people to do so, then shut up. Otherwise, they should go on and do it before expecting anyone else to do so.

That's really my issue with Imagine and things of that ilk...John and Yoko had *ZERO* intention of doing what the song said, yet they expected everyone else to do so. Sorry, no thanks. I'd rather be rich myself, and if they TRULY believed in it, then they can go ahead and set the example by doing it first. The fact that they never did doesn't bother me in and of itself because, like I said, I wouldn't expect them to. The fact that at the same time they (and others) are preaching that everyone else should is what frosts me.

I used to love the political side of John many years ago. Then I grew up.

 

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29 May 2013
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DrBeatle said

meanmistermustard said
I'd have to find the quote to see what exactly he said.

I've never seen the problem with John having money and singing against capitalism. What do you want him to do? Give all his money away and become dirt poor and a beggar on the streets relying on his musician mates before speaking out? Wait he cant do that because he's using rich friends who have benefiitted from the system. Its like those who bitch about the words of Imagine. Im not a massive fan of the song but the stupidity i find in that opinion is incredible.

I wouldn't expect him or other rich celebrities and politicians who are rich to give all their possessions away. My big beef with the message in Imagine and, closer to home, the phony celebrities and politicians we have here in the US (and elsewhere) is when they preach that we "peons" should give it all away and do with less, etc while they have no intention of doing so. My thing is, if they're not going to do it themselves but expect us "regular" people to do so, then shut up. Otherwise, they should go on and do it before expecting anyone else to do so.

That's really my issue with Imagine and things of that ilk...John and Yoko had *ZERO* intention of doing what the song said, yet they expected everyone else to do so. Sorry, no thanks. I'd rather be rich myself, and if they TRULY believed in it, then they can go ahead and set the example by doing it first. The fact that they never did doesn't bother me in and of itself because, like I said, I wouldn't expect them to. The fact that at the same time they (and others) are preaching that everyone else should is what frosts me.

I used to love the political side of John many years ago. Then I grew up.

 

 

I'm reading John and Yoko in their own words right now, and they believed that if we put "commercials" out there for things, by visualizing them and getting the thoughts and images in the mainstream, it would create those very things.  It's a "new age" kind of idea that I'm very familiar with: creative visualization.  If you'll notice, John doesn't sing "Go give all your possessions away."  He asks us to "imagine" a world without them, which is the first step to having that world.  In the same way, Yoko sang "Hard Times Are Over (For A While)," not "Hard Times Are Over Forever," and they sang "Give Peace A Chance," not "everyone must have peace right now."  In their own minds they were planting seeds that they and others could grow.  The seeds were not fully realized yet.

Yoko also believed that there is more energy behind a visualization when two or more people are visualizing the same thing together.  I believe she still thinks this way today.  She is always trying to get people to visualize peace together.

As far as "Preaching that we shouldn't have possessions" and then having them, you can look at it this way.  John and Yoko were interested in changing the whole structure, the whole system.  They weren't just telling "peons" to give things away.  I personally enjoy having nice things, but I also think a better, more fair system would be something like Libertarian Socialism (Anarchy) where there is no centralized government, no concept of possessions (there would still be "things") and commodities are exchanged through bartering for services.

Do I think this kind of society could happen right now?  Should I go out and stop paying taxes and taking care of my family to try and implement it?  No.  That kind of thinking is idiocy.  We have ideals, but we know that the world has not caught up to our ideals yet.

The military industrial complex and the news media with its propaganda are always feeding us fear in order to control us.  We are run by "suits" and corporations whose purpose is to create war.  John and Yoko were merely trying to get another message across.

The fact that they happened to be artists who sold a product should not be held over their heads as the only or the most important element of their being.

Anyone who thinks John gave up his youthful radicalism should read "The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon & Yoko Ono," which is 200 pages of conversations with J & L three months before his death.

PS..Another thing that gets me is how people pit the rich against the poor in their minds, somehow thinking that once you are rich, you have it made.  If you look at John Lennon's life, he supposedly had everything, but what he wanted was true love and a happy home life and to be normal like everyone else.  And in his life, someone still had to care for the baby, and someone still had to go out and do business and deal with assholes.  Being rich doesn't change anything.

What changes us is daring to do things such as visualizing a better world.

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31 May 2013
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I've always seen John's peace crusade as part atonement for his own violent nature (which he himself admitted in his Playboy Interview) but mostly reflected the influence of peer pressure, particularly that of Yoko.   I know his son Julian felt some bitterness that John was going on about peace at the same time he was behaving quite coldly toward Julian and his mother Cynthia.  

Still, I think it generated some very good music.  Some of you don't care for "Imagine" but I think it's a classic song, and is one of only three or four ex-Beatle tunes that can be ranked with the group's masterpieces.   It's a simple song but very well performed and well produced.  And it's message -- imagine the type of world we could have without greed, hunger, war or religious strife -- is beautiful.  

I don't think John's "radical period", however -- meaning the SOMETIME IN NEW YORK CITY period -- spoke well for him and Yoko.   The songs on that album made nonsense of their peace pronouncements, and it's certainly jarring now to hear John and Yoko sing "free the prisoners, jail the judges" in a song called "Attica State", when John's murderer now resides in that prison (and Yoko doesn't seem inclined to free him). 

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3 June 2013
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John's particular political gift was to use words and music to make people see beyond their neurotic load of improbability, to simple statements of power like  "Yes is the answer," "Stay in bed for a week," "War is Over. If you want it."

Think about those instructions: they're so small and simple, yet they do empower us to envision a better world. Imagine if the whole world adopted only one of those precriptions for peace, how everything would change.

Yet most people didn't really THINK about his music, so Nothing Much happened. Had John lived, I think he would have worked on fixing that broken connection. Maybe he would've improvised from what Bono has done, to make another, much more hip, activistism.

 

 

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