Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's Really a Choice Between Life and Death

Yesterday I saw a comparison of Nixon and Bush when I watched the new movie/documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon. The movie begins with Lennon singing: "Nobody told me there'd be days like these" and was summed up by Gore Vidal who said:
Lennon represented life... and Mr. Nixon and Mr. Bush represent death.
The similarities between then and now are so evident: the misuse of the government to coerce, misdirect and scare; the purposeful misdirection of the media; the outright lies; the usurption of the Constitution and international law; and the specifically personal traits: the meanness, stubbornness and outright lies. Mario Cuomo said in the movie:
Their distortion of the Constitution was the greatest disloyalty to this country.
From a purely historical perspective the old axiom below has never been more true.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
From a personal point of view, many things affected me: seeing people in the film that I knew and admire(d) age; remembering myself back in the Beatle days - how I was defiantly against my own best interests and how I didn't become a Beatles fan - or a more socially conscious independent person until much later; understanding how I, like many others, chose painkillers instead of integrity when confronted with the meanspiritedness of what we thought and hoped to be our representative government.

All that and more came up as I watched this movie. It is very timely even for those of you young enough not to have known who he was on a day to day basis. The message throughout, however, wasn't really about the US versus Lennon. It was about what he lived and preached: Give peace a chance.

PS: John Lennon's songs like "Imagine," "Nobody Told Me," "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)," "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," and "Power to the People," and the chants "Give Peace a Chance," and the Beatles' "Revolution" were all included in the film including two previously unreleased songs -- "Attica State," recorded live at 1971's John Sinclair freedom rally, and an instrumental version of "How Do You Sleep." It'll be a great soundtrack when it comes out.