Tuesday, December 25, 2007

War is over, if you want it.

Last week, I rented "The U.S. v. John Lennon," a documentary about the late Beatle and the case the United States Government mounted against him in the 70's. I'm a huge Beatles fan and was super excited to see this movie. But I didn't realize how much of an impact it would have on me.

The movie discusses John's life in the mid 70's when Nixon was in office. It shows how terrified Nixon was of John and how he did everything in his power to stop him. And why did Nixon hate John so badly? Cause John was a very famous, very outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and people not only listened to him, they did what he said. John Lennon was a serious threat to Richard Nixon and Nixon, being the great narcissist he was, could not have any of that.

Ten minutes into the the movie, I said to myself, "We need someone like John Lennon now!" This made me start thinking about how more people are absolutely outraged by the Iraq War but that there isn't an actively publicized mass resistance towards it like the Vietnam War 30 years ago. Protests and marches were happening monthly then. People were arrested and killed by their government for being against that war.

I used to hate Yoko Ono until I saw this movie. I always have felt she was the reason The Beatles broke up. But I realized that because of her, John became more willing to speak out on the things he felt were important. Before she became a significant part of his life, he always seemed a little restrained when speaking in public (after the Jesus debacle). Yoko was a silent and driving force in helping John find his non-singing voice.

You can also see during this time that John's music made just as big of an impact on world events as his statements and public trials did:
Imagine. Give Peace A Chance. Power to the People. Instant Karma. Happy Xmas (War Is Over).

John and Yoko's message during this time was so simple: Just give peace a chance. We don't know if it'll work until we try. So, hey, why not?

It's a message that transcends time, countries, conflicts, and political ideologies.

Music can change the world. And John Lennon is proof.

I hope that, during this season--during this time when we usually forget what this season is about--we can find a way to stop the tragic deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens and thousands of American soldiers soon. I may be idealistic, but I really do believe that the war can end if we really want it to. We don't necessarily need someone like John Lennon to show us the way, we just need to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear next November.