Saturday, September 09, 2006

The US versus John Lennon

The early 1990's saw a number of prominent assassination attempts by lone gunman or in the case of Pope John Paul II a lone gunman with logistical surport. El Presidente Raygun was shot and lived. John Lennon was shot and died. Big disappointment.

The documentry is a combination of archival material, John Lennon's songs and interviews filmed in the present day. (When G.Gordon Liddy was interviewed against a green screen, like the other subjects, he asked if a picture of satan would be put behind his head. When told that a picture of Nixon would be behind Liddy was happy). The movie covers John Lennon's years in New York and the attempts by elements within the American Government to have Lennon deported as an unwanted foreigner. When Chaplin had similar anger focused on him he was not deported by was denied reentry after leaving. John's immigration lawyer probably advised against leaving the US while the case was in dispute. The immigration lawyer was able to continously reappeal so that John Lennon's 60 day deportation order extended 6 years until the case was won.

As is typical of many American histories too much is made of the exceptional nature of the Sixties and other periods of American history. Not only you had to be there, man, but had to be the States. The American student protests are regularly examined without looking at similar examples of insurrection that also occured around the same time. French students nearly took over the govenrment in May 1968. Quebec was awash in low level "revolutionary activity" leading up to the October Crisis. The Japanese Red Army was founded in the early 1970's. There were numerous violent revoltionary groups in countries as disparate and bourgeois as West German and Uraguay. In these other cases there was no war to be anti about. Instead groups took the violent sleeze of the PLO as a model to "change the world" and started their own wars.

The screening was graced by the presence of Michael Moore and Yoko Ono. There were pamphlets and buttons given out that either revivied or expanded on earlier conceptual art pieces of John and Yoko. I got a button with IMAGINE PEACE in small black letters on a white background. There was also a brochure alsmost like an artist's statement that revives some of John and Yoko greatest conceptual art hits. The brochure has the words, The war is over, if you want it. There is also a link to join Nutopia, an invented country whose flag is the white flag . Go here for more conceptual art thing. In fact nearly everything connected to this documentry has neato conceptual art. From Nutopia I followed a link supposely to the movie site and came to the Grudge Report. Here is the official site for the movie.

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