I want to finish up the year with a small tribute to John Lennon. A few weeks ago was the 25th anniversary of his death, which put me in a bit of a grump with the ol’ boy. The particular circumstances of his passing encourage the absolute worst, most un-John types of pious tributes. Yoko has only egged it on, setting him up as some kind of martyr. Look, John Lennon did NOT die for our sins.
Personally, I think that the circumstances of his death weren’t that bad. It’s unfortunate that he got cut short, but from HIS point of view, it wasn’t really that bad a way to go. It beat hell out of being Reagan dying a long drawn out Alzheimer’s death- over within a couple of minutes. There are worse ways to go.
Anyway, the guy that I’ve spent so much attention on for most of my life was very different than the cheap plastic dashboard saint being promoted by the professional widow. He was the “Bad Boy” who relished the idea that he “worries his teacher till at night she’s ready to poop.”
The highest gesture of this was his joyful irreverence at the November 4, 1963 Royal Command performance. In front of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret among others, John famously quipped “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap their hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.” Note that this was not some cheesy pinko posturing, as he would indulge in his low ebb following the Beatles’ breakup, but simple cheerful working class sauciness.
That’s MY John Lennon, a joy and comfort to my days.
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