A few months ago I happened to be watching BravoFact on CBC and had the pleasure of seeing “I Met The Walrus“, a Canadian-made animated short set to an interview done on a mono-track recorder by a then young man,Jerry Levitan (who also produced the movie) who snuck into John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Montreal hotel where they were having a *bed-in*. ‘Tis an amazing piece of film. It has won a million or so awards internationally and it was nominated for an Oscar in 2008. On top of being a triumph of Canadian art the interview was, in its non-interjective sense, awesome.
Shitty solo work and mass popularity aside, John Lennon inspires me and hearing the interview reminded me why. He spoke about how those who speak peace and want peace are in a troubled place as the radicals want revolution and the government wants war; the government wants to keep you out and shut you up and the radicals want blood and heads. But peace is where its at. And we can have it, if we want it.
The peace symbol has been commodified and is too often viewed as an unhip throw-back to the 70s. Pseudo-bohemian young women get their neo-liberal fat cat dads to buy them peace symbol necklaces, rings, and t-shirts. I have been scorned for saying “peace” and waving two fingers in place of “good bye”. The in-crowd views it as weird, and some in my crowd think its too hippie or meaningless. But I mean it. I am a peacenik and proud of it. I honestly wish peace on those I encounter. When I am called a “militant feminist” I am less concerned about the derogatory stereotype and more worried that my views and actions are being viewed as martial. And while I embrace and love my peace-loving, in the realm of academia, I often find pacifism being patronized.
In a Philosophy of War and Peace class, my prof spent all of 10 minutes addressing pacifism and only insofar as to call it naive and impossible. Frankly, my prof’s depiction of pacifism was a naive portrayal for we are anti-war not anti-reality. Undoubtedly, there are tremendous barriers to the abolishment of war. But the Lennon/Ono addage that “War is over, if you want it” makes a lot of sense. I was told in this class that war is human nature and inevitable. This attitude permeates the global outlook. But to say we have no choice, there just is war, is to suggest that we cannot overcome violent impulses or transcend a vicious state and makes pacifism impossible. If we were to accept peace as a goal, I mean actually accept it as a goal by doing such things as supporting peace dialogues (and not censoring war-dissenters), making high school history something other than a study of war, reducing military spending, boosting meaningful aide, and strengthening international law, then peace would be a possibility. Those living under feudal lords could not have imagined capitalism. Hunter/gatherers would have found agriculture unfathomable. And yet…
And all of this was really me justifying my decision to sign off every blog post with “peace”.
welcome to my new blog and thank you for reading.