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Yoko Ono: Weapon of Mass Destruction

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On September 16, 2003, Yoko Ono, unrepentant about her previous crimes against humanity in the form of her warped rendition of art, perpetrated her latest abomination in a small Paris theater to a crowd of 200.

Yoko, famed for her ability to dodge bullets, ride coattails, and having a singing voice hauntingly similar to that of a garden rake being dragged across a chalkboard, was apparently frightened by the September 11, 2001 tragedy, prompting her to dust off one of her old stage routines from 1964 and molest an unsuspecting public.

Jesus wept.

As she sat in a chair wearing a long black silk skirt and matching long-sleeved top, audience members filed on stage and, one by one, snipped away at her clothing with scissors. In the end, Yoko was left sitting in her skivvies. The idea behind all this, as Yoko put it, was to show that this is “a time where we need to trust each other.”

When you’re in a Yoko Ono audience and people are cutting away at her clothing, you pretty much have to trust (or hope and pray) that everyone keeps a respectable distance between the scissors in their hand and the straps on her bra, thus preventing her from becoming a weapon of mass destruction.

It’s too bad some brave soul in attendance didn’t stab her in the heart with those scissors, thus putting an end to her special brand of artistic pomposity. Sadly, however, I don’t think anyone would have done it. Aside from the legal ramifications, it seems as though most, if not all, present admired her statement.

As one 18-year-old American stated, “Scissors usually have a violent connotation, but she turns it around to make it peaceful.”

It’s people like this idiot who breathe life into the image of the Ugly American abroad.

Guns carry a violent connotation, but not scissors. The only “violence” inherent in scissors comes from the off chance that you fall on them while running across the room. And how often does that happen? You don’t hear much talk of banks being held up at scissor-point. You don’t see crack dealers with scissors tucked away in the waist of their trousers. Police officers don’t carry them in holsters between the mace and nightstick on their Batman utility belt. And not once in history has an army ever charged across the field of battle wielding their mighty scissors above their heads.

This is what makes her statement about trust so idiotic and pretentious. If she really wanted to prove to her audience that she trusted them, she would have issued them the same type of revolver used by Mark David Chapman to put daylight through her late husband, John Lennon. That is how you show trust in strangers, my friend.

Of course, you also have to keep in mind that this all took place in France, a country known for being nonviolent. Let me be more precise: they lack the will to be violent when necessary, even to save their own hides. They rolled over twice within the span of twenty years, letting the Hun’s marauding armies molest and pillage their country at will, thus dragging everyone else into two world wars as a result.

So it should come as no surprise that the French wouldn’t use scissors in a violent manner. Hell, they couldn’t even use their own army in a violent manner, when they needed to the most!

Doing a performance piece on “trust” in Paris makes about as much sense as going to Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock and trusting that there won’t be any rabbi’s inside preaching from the Torah. Or trusting that there won’t be any hard liquor at a Baptist picnic. Or trusting that your blind dog won’t read your diary while you’re at work. It was a shallow gesture on her part designed to bolster her own precious ego and reassure what few fans she has that, even though she lacks even a modicum of artistic talent, she’s still a swell human being and worthy of their discipleship because she “cares”.

In years past, critics have often reflected on the “sparse honesty” in Yoko’s art. The only thing “sparse” in her work is talent, and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that’s what they meant, too.

If Chapman had aimed a little more to the right, we might be lauding him a hero instead of a villain.

About Tom Norris

  • MT

    What a nasty, vicious article.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Dude, this article is hardcore. She sure ASKS for it, don’t she?

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003138/ Harald

    Hardcore? You mean as in those nasty movies where people pee and poo on each other? Yes, it definitely smells.

    Nobody deserves to be “stabbed in the heart” – not even for mediocre (or even bad) art.

    It is people like you who breathe life into the image of the Ugly American abroad.

  • Shark

    Tom, great stuff. Funny & insightful. So rare around here that nobody notices. (You get penalized for not quoting a news article from elsewhere and providing half a dozen links to divert your readers from actually finishing your essay. Other than that, it was excellent.)

    Keep it up, man, I’m reading and enjoying.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    insightful?

    really?

    kinda looked like straw man bashing ta me.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Of course, you also have to keep in mind that this all took place in France, a country known for being nonviolent. Let me be more precise: they lack the will to be violent when necessary, even to save their own hides. They rolled over twice within the span of twenty years, letting the Hun’s marauding armies molest and pillage their country at will, thus dragging everyone else into two world wars as a result.

    So it should come as no surprise that the French wouldn’t use scissors in a violent manner. Hell, they couldn’t even use their own army in a violent manner, when they needed to the most!

    Are you telling me your little French bit here actually helps our Ugly American image abroad?

  • MT

    I took a look at other posts by Norris and they’re all the same — nasty, vicious, name calling, hateful, angry.
    This only confirms what I believed after reading this Ono article — he is an asshole.

  • Tom Norris

    I know. It’s never fun when people don’t think like ourselves or hold opinions that differ too widely from our own.

    Yet, in the end, Yoko One remains a pretentious, self-serving ass.

  • Tom Norris

    “Nobody deserves to be ‘stabbed in the heart’ – not even for mediocre (or even bad) art.”

    For mediocre art? No, they wouldn’t deserve the be stabbed in the heart. In fact, producing mediocre art should be enough to land you a lucrative job in any Hollywood, Broadway, or music industry production.

    What makes people like Yoko Ono especially reprehensible is their affected air of moral superiority; using a ridiculous stage act to impart a valuable lesson on trust to the mindless rabble who, without the divine instruction of self-important pricks like Yoko Ono, would otherwise be incapable of functioning in the civilized world.

    Perhaps you’re right. A quick thrust to their black heart would be too good. Maybe a sound beating with a horse whip would be more appropriate.

  • Tom Norris

    Are you telling me your little French bit here actually helps our Ugly American image abroad?

    No, what I’m telling you is it really comes as no surprise to me that Yoko Ono performed her fatuous stunt in France.

    After all, it only stands to reason, if the events of September 11th jolted her to the core so severely, wouldn’t it make more sense to stage this routine in the country where the terrorist act took place? And if she really wanted to deliver a message of trust, and ostensibly one of love, then why not replace the scissors with a hand gun? At the very least, a knife?

    THAT would definitely carry a strong message; one NO ONE could misinterpret.

    Sadly, however, Yoko Ono chose a more bombastic route.

    I see no reason to salute her phony bravery and courage.

  • Tom Norris

    I took a look at other posts by Norris and they’re all the same — nasty, vicious, name calling, hateful, angry.

    Yes, I really let loose with the cannons on the queers and dykes, didn’t I, when I blindly suggested they’re just normal human beings who want to love and be loved and, gosh, perhaps allowing them to marry is a good idea?

    Or maybe you’re referring to the column where I lambast the Pentagon for trying to don their military operations in a commercial package in order to sell them more readily to the public?

    On the other hand, you could very well be referring to my quips about Martha Steward and other self-imposed cultural nobility who do the most outrageous things, yet claim to stand for the little guy in society, and do next to nothing to live up to that lofty oath.

    Please, MT, do us all a favor and don’t try to bullshit us. You may have looked at those other columns, but you didn’t bother to read them.

    “This only confirms what I believed after reading this Ono article — he is an asshole.”

    A while back, someone emailed me saying “You’re an asshole” after having only read the first paragraph of my essay on gay marriage. Not minutes later, they emailed me again saying they apologized, for they hadn’t bothered to read the remainder of that piece.

    As I replied to them, yes, you’re absolutely correct: I’m an asshole, but only to those who are assholes. Outside of that, I’m a very easy-going, live-and-let-live kind of person.

    I make no apologies for not liking dipshits. Hell, if it weren’t for people like you and Yoko Ono, the world would probably be a nice place to live.

  • Shark

    Tom, around here, decent satire can get a person in trouble.

    My advice: Be less subtle. Study current scripts from Saturday Night Live. Try to communicate more often with brain-dead nincompoops. Test your material on drunk frat boys. Lower your intelligence. Add more fart jokes.

    Best,
    Shark

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    phony bravery, pretentious, , moral superiority.self-serving….

    man, what is it about people like Ono that gets you all so riled up?

    bad art? sorry, it’s (like they say) in the eye of the beholder. if you don’t “get” it, well…you’re not stupid, it just doesn’t resonate with you. what’s the big deal.

    sorry, but all of those traits you describe are imagined.

  • Shark

    Mark, I’m in sympathy w/Norris here because most contemporary artists and their art desperately needs to be mocked.

    I know; I occasionally write freelance art criticism.

    (My best shot: I reviewed a show that had a raw frozen turkey in an open refrigerator. I wrote, “It now looks like curators not only need a degree in art history, but they also require a food handler’s permit.” I got some fans from that line!)

  • Tom Norris

    bad art? sorry, it’s (like they say) in the eye of the beholder. if you don’t “get” it, well…you’re not stupid, it just doesn’t resonate with you. what’s the big deal.

    You’re preaching to the choir now, Reverend! Hell, I use to work in an art museum.

    What I’m criticizing is the intent of her art, not the base act itself.

    If she had said, “I’m performing this act as part of a revival of my old routines and because I have bills to pay”, I wouldn’t have said a word. Well, I might have chuckled a bit, but otherwise…

    But that’s not what she said. She wanted to impart her wisdom to the rest of us poor bastards, as if we needed the valuable lesson. And she did it in an overtly self-serving, pretentious manner.

    I think the last thing anyone needs is to have Yoko Ono read to them from her personal Tipitaka (that’s the sacred book of Buddhism, for those who didn’t know).

    It’s sort of like what Jesus said, when he warned against those who stood on street corners and prayed loudly for all to hear.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Well, okay, but this performance happened last September and I don’t think anyone forced you to go. So you seem a bit worked up over it.

    That line about hard liquor at a Baptist picnic made me snort, though.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    I see no reason to salute her phony bravery and courage.

    I’m not saluting her phony bravery and courage. I’m not a big fan of Yoko Ono or any of her contemporaries, but that’s my opinion.

    But that’s not what she said. She wanted to impart her wisdom to the rest of us poor bastards, as if we needed the valuable lesson. And she did it in an overtly self-serving, pretentious manner.

    I suppose you weren’t being pretentious towards the French either in order to [self-]serve your own argument of the pretentiousness of Yoko Ono. If you ask me, that is a little thing called hypocrisy.

    Oh and yeah your post was entertaining, but I just like to point out hypocrisy when I see one. Nothing against you.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Alright, my bad, maybe I did get you wrong Tom. I don’t know Yoko Ono personally, so I don’t know about her pretentiousness, but yes, what appears to be pretentiousness from you is, at least, laced with a bit of comedy. So I’ll just call it satirical humor.

    Oh and upon reading my own comment, I just realized I was being pretentious about seeing your hypocrisy and pointing it out. So… call me a hypocrite too.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t have any problem with the hyperbole angle – if I did I’d have a different wife – but I do disagree with the assessment of Yoko, who may be pretentious and fatuous, but who is clearly sincere in her efforts. Are there ANY “avant garde” artists who aren’t pretentious and fatuous?

    And re France: they sucked ass in response to Iraq and were obviously protecting their own commercial interests rather than taking any grand moral stance, but you are mistaken about their propensity for violence. YOu don’t have to go back very far to see violence on a grand scale. What is more shameful about France regarding the second World War is that there was so much ambivalence about the Nazi cause: that, rather than cowardice, contributed to their paralysis.

  • Shark

    VS: …what appears to be pretentiousness from you is, at least, laced with a bit of comedy. So I’ll just call it satirical humor.”

    Takes a keen eye, Visualsimplicity. Be on the lookout for more in the coming weeks.

    Oh, and satirists HATE having to explain their stuff.

    If ya gotta have it explained to ya…

    well, nevermind…

  • MT

    Norris has now revealed himself. In post # 15 he states he used to work in an art museum. I guess that “credential’ qualifies him to pass judgement and make the nasty statements he makes. Tell us, Norris, what did you do there? Collect admittance fees at the front door, or sell Monet coffee mugs in the gift shop? Be specific — we’re waiting with baited breath for your answer.

  • comment police

    That should be “bated breath,” as in “restrained” or “checked.” Baited breath is something a marlin on a line might have.

  • JR

    I didn’t expect a kind of Comment Police

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Tom, I want to be your Yoko Ono.

    But if the Mael Brothers position is open, I’ll take it.

  • Tom Norris

    Norris has now revealed himself.

    As a true genius!

    In post # 15 he states he used to work in an art museum. I guess that ‘credential’ qualifies him to pass judgement and make the nasty statements he makes.

    Indeed, it does. As was mentioned earlier, art, by its very nature, is subjective. Any twit can be a critic in that field. All it takes is the ability to formulate and articulate an opinion; that being the significant prerequisite for the job.

    You seem to imply this is not the case, which jibes well with my previous theory that, were it not for pinheads like you and Yoko Ono, the world might not be such a bad place.

    Tell us, Norris, what did you do there? Collect admittance fees at the front door, or sell Monet coffee mugs in the gift shop? Be specific — we’re waiting with baited breath for your answer.

    Does it really matter what I did there? Is the relevance and bearing of one’s opinion on a work of art directly related to the closeness of their occupation to the particular genre being debated? Some might argue such a case, but a swift punt to the cunt smites it down: it’s merely art and, therefore, a matter of taste and opinion.

    But, just to appease you, I worked at the University of Iowa Museum of Art as a Computer Consultant I. The vast majority of my time was spent working with the curators in developing a database of all the pieces in the possession of the museum. Hence, I spent endless hours, day after day, weeks on end, well over a year, mulling over thousands of works of art, from the very lame to the very pronounced.

    So, in a sense, if we follow your line of reasoning, even if I had only worked in the museum coffee shop peddling Jackson Pollock mouse pads and George Caitlin key chains, I was in direct contact, though merely in the presence, of the works in question on a daily basis; far more than often than the average pedestrian. Obviously more so than youself.

    And, to carry the point home, some of the finest critics to be found, at least at the UI Museum of Art, are the security guards who spend every day walking the galleries. With little else to do, they wile away many hours doing nothing more than staring at these paintings, sculptures, and photographs, not to mention passing the time reading the voluminous number of art magazines and catalogs laying about. (They’ve usually finished the daily crossword within a few hours of opening the doors.)

    Is there anything else you’d like to add, Mr. Helpful, or have you had your fill of being verbally shamed and horsewhipped?

  • Shark

    BTW: I, too, worked in an art museum, one of the top in the country. I wasn’t selling t-shirts, either; I was a senior staff member; spent two years doing research on a couple of books by our Senior Curator.

    This is not to ‘verify’ my credentials to criticize art, only to legitimize the following:

    The most intelligent, passionate insightful observations/opinions about our permanent collection were from the SECURITY GUARDS. They spent more time with the art than all of the curators put together.

    So MT, don’t be so quick to denigrate the non-experts. In my years at the museum, my opinion of “experts” went from one of awe and respect to disrespect and loathing.

  • Eric Olsen

    I AM an art museum – top that.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I ate an art museum for breakfast!

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    i thought dawn was the art museum.

  • Eric Olsen

    So you won’t be needing those coupons?

  • Shark

    Post Just for Fun:

    The contemporary art world, in general, is in deep shit these days.

    I’ll even go so far as to make a prediction: In the very near future — thanks to the ubiqituous ugliness of the world and urban reality — realism, nature, nostalgia, beauty, and the marginalized practitioners of such works/styles will be elevated, first by the public, and later, by the curatorial/scholarly world, who are always slow to catch up on trends.

    Which means a jump in esteem of museums such as National Museum of Wildlife Art, the artists they collect, and more fame and serious consideration for artists like Normal Rockwell, who has been mocked and written off by curators and scholars over the last few decades.

    When the world starts to look like a scene from Clockwork Orange, we’re going get awfully sick of painters who cut off their limbs and paint in blood and such.

    A painting of a mountain lion is going to look pretty profound when they’re all extinct.

    Invest now!

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I’m sorry, Eric, I didn’t realize…

  • Shark

    Sorry, kids, what can I say:

    I’ve had more careers than George W. Bush.

  • Eric Olsen

    Now I’m confused.

  • http://aol.com wanted to beJohn’s next wife

    You are so right. Yoko is very self-centered and pretentious. If John were alive, he would have not still been with her. Because he didn’t really love her, he only made believe to love her.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.blogspot.com Lono

    Yoko can suck it! I say that not because she broke up the Beatles (or was rumoured to). John loved her and valued her company and that is all we need know.

    However, it is everything SINCE John died that makes me hate Yoko. She is a crass commercialist. Somewhere there is a turd lying in a piece of tupperware at the Dakota somewhere that Yoko is waiting to sell. She talks about John’s memory, but is working harder for the money.

    With respect to Yoko though, she is not on the level of evil spouse who has spent her life working against her late husbands’ wishes status: Courtney Love…
    but she isn’t too far behind in my playbook.

  • dave

    What a great article, I have not read all the comments but did anyone suggest stabbing her in the back with the sizzors like she did to all the beatles and their fans. How about opening the sizzors and doing both of her eyes at once, like a 3 stooges type move. Or how about a sticking some electric sizzors in her “area”.

    I mean who doesn’t hate YOKO. John’s drug use really messed him up on that choice of humanity.

  • Von Zipper

    lot of class there, Dave

  • violetta

    This article is so friggin hilarious! And oh, so true. I’m an American teen, and wasn’t the least offended about the ‘Ugly American’ reference. That person sounded totally brain dead.

  • Steve

    Excellent article! It’s a shame that you have to defend yourself and clarify what you say because people are too stupid to understand what you are getting at with this article. And yes, Yoko is a self-serving asshole. Thank you for feeling free to express your mind and the truth. Great article.

  • Candace

    I don’t know how self-aware she actually is, but my assumption is -very-.

    According to his ex-wife Cynthia, John Lennon became disenchanted with the Maharishi when he realized how very interested this “spiritual” man was in publicity and celebrity. If he were alive now it seems unlikely he would have anything to do with Yoko at this point… his fascination with her combined with his heavy drug use at the time was probably the only thing that kept him from seeing through her then. Or maybe he did and stayed anyway… who knows.

    The article seems to portray her pretty accurately as far as I’m concerned. I think she’s phony as hell and kind of a nasty person (Forcing Julian to buy back postcards he’d mailed to his own father? That’s nasty.)

  • Matt

    Funniest thing i have ever read. Keep up the good work

  • Sundragon

    And do not even get me started on the crappy way she treated Julian. Come on.

  • Manda

    All this stuff is true. If only chapman had aimed a little to the right. Damn. Oh well. I hate that “thing” and her language of hell called singing and “art”.

  • zingzing

    yoko ono is an excellent conceptual artist. she’s also a fantastic musician. her directness is one of her virtues. she makes you think about things in a very real way.

    and if you think she broke up the beatles, you don’t know much about the beatles. it was money and the fact that they had grown apart since the end of touring and epstein’s death.

    if this article isn’t a satire of the stupidity of ono critics, then it’s just a hateful bit of shit.

    i seriously doubt that any of you bashing her music have actually listened to any of it. whip out your copy of double fantasy and see who actually has the better songs.

  • ergo nash

    Will I get in?