Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Monday, December 08, 2008

On the Anniversary of John Lennon’s death

This is from Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie, By Steve Otto;

When I returned to Wichita, I

had vowed that I would never get into any business that

required me to kill someone to protect my investment.

Those days were over.

About a month later I was still seeing Pauline off and

on. We never had a tight relationship, but we kept seeing

each other. One night we were sitting together on her

black leather couch, covered with afghans. She also had a

brown leather chair, a Zenith TV and a Sony stereo system

in the corner. We had just made love and were now just

cuddling on her couch. The room was dark and she had the

radio on. The brightest thing in the whole room was the

yellow numbers on the stereo. Then suddenly I heard some

shocking news on the radio:

“John Lennon has just been shot. He has been

pronounced dead. A man shot him in front of his home and

was taken away by police. He was smiling.”

Like much of America, I was stunned. People my age

grew up with the Beatles. We were the “youth culture.”

This seemed to be a wake up call that we were mortal.

Our youth would not last forever. We would all grow old

and die. To some, as with me, Lennon was an inspiration. I

often identified with his lyrics. His song “Imagine” became

an anthem from that day on. It represented the idealism

we strived for in both the 1960s and 1970s. We wanted

a peaceful world, void of nationalism, commercialism,

materialism and religious violence. That dream was about to

become a distant memory, almost unthinkable, in the 1980s.

The Reagan era was about to bring the exact opposite, a

country of greed, self-centeredness, arrogance and mean

spiritedness. It was as if Lennon’s death and Reagan’s

election victory were symbolic of the end of an era. It had

been an era Lennon helped shape.

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