An individual named Bret Stephens concocted the mess that you can access from here, if you wish to punish yourself. And if you do choose to read it, you will see that he begins by alleging that The Sainted Ronnie R initiated something called the Sajudis, which Stephens states was a reform movement in Lithuania. From there, he plugs a new book called, “Defending Identity” for former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky (somehow, the author made that connection between the book and the Sajudis) which Stephens considers to be “The Case Against John Lennon.”
Figured that out? Don’t worry, I haven’t either, and I don’t expect that I ever will.
I can’t state that Stephens makes even a tangential argument here alleging that the Sharansky book has anything whatsoever to do with John Lennon, considering the music he wrote and performed, the causes he supported and the totality of what we have come to associate with him; namely, his vision of peace and coexistence where “we all shine on.”
What really cheesed me off in particular about what Stephens wrote, aside from his cheap conjuring of the words of Lennon’s songs so he can sprinkle them all over this utterly fatuous literary dreck, was this in particular…
(Or, more specifically, the case against) "Imagine," Lennon's anthem to a world with "no countries . . . nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too." For Mr. Sharansky, a nine-year resident of the Perm 35 prison camp, that's a vision that smacks too much of the professed beliefs of the ex-Beatle's near namesake, Vladimir Ilyich.That’s really sick.
Though he engaged in more than a few drunken brawls in his time, I have no knowledge that John Lennon ever killed anyone. Indeed, perhaps the greatest obscenity concerning his murder was the fact that he invested so much trust in his ability to peacefully walk the streets of New York City that he didn’t feel that he needed to enter the Dakota apartment complex before he exited his limousine; it is often too painful to contemplate what he would have been spared had he done so.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, however, sponsored the brutal “Red Terror” after a near-successful assassination attempt in 1918, essentially approved of the obscene murder of the entire ruling Romanov family (including children) and was instrumental in founding one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever seen. To me, the cover of “literary license” is not a justification for trying to link these two historical figures.
And this story tells us that Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono recently lost a legal battle against a lawyer seeking to use about 15 seconds of the song “Imagine” in “a film casting doubt on the theory of evolution,” if you can believe that. However, on a happier note, this tells us that she is sponsoring an exhibition of Lennon’s art work that is presently touring this country.
Despite the ongoing efforts of those trying to smear him even in death, most of us have not forgotten that Lennon, through his life and work, pursued a vision of “sharing all the world” and doing absolutely nothing more malicious that simply “watching the wheels go ‘round and round.”
For those still trying to besmirch him, though, I must ask this inevitable question.
How do you sleep?