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This was crossposted to Nextdoor and Facebook, and shared on Twitter.


TOPIC: Christmas music, John & Yoko, violence, and peace
(actual trigger warning: murder & suicide ~4 decades ago)
(Nextdoor trigger warning: video may contain hazardous quantities of Woke™)

We've been watching the new "Get Back" documentary for the past few nights -- Peter Jackson (of "Lord of the Rings" fame, primarily) has taken the footage which was originally shot for the "Let It Be" film and used modern digital techniques to restore the images and sound, resulting in about 8 hours of footage which much more precisely captures those two weeks in 1969. As huge longtime Beatlemaniacs, Sandy and I have really enjoyed getting this clearer window into who they were as people, and all four of us have enjoyed singing along to the songs as they were being written and arranged.

Today is an anniversary to which I usually only give brief thought, but having been watching all that -- seeing those almost-fictional characters so vibrantly alive, especially including John -- made it hit home a bit more this year.

41 years ago this evening, I was listening to WQDR -- they were a very successful album-rock station for many years before they decided to switch to country/western -- on my bedside clock-radio (the kind with the digits printed on little plastic cards that flip every minute) when the DJ said something about having "a special bummer announcement": John Lennon had been shot in front of his home in New York City, after returning home from a recording session.

At first it seemed like he might be okay... but within an hour or so, the news came in that he had died on the way to the hospital.

There was an air of shock in the hallways at school the next day. My best friend, who was... kind of anti-rock/anti-Beatles (it's complicated), described herself as "having smiling fits" the whole day (yeah, she was kinda messed up in some ways). A few classmates played his songs out on the upper school deck during lunch break (I hadn't yet learned guitar).

The evening news was dominated by retrospectives on Lennon's life and music -- although I remember my dad being irritated because the MacNeil-Lehrer Report used the occasion to talk about gun control instead (...for all the good it has done, me!now observes sardonically).

There was an air of mourning which seemed to go on for months... or maybe it never really ended, but there were later deaths and tragedies which overshadowed it. The friend with the smiling fits died of suicide three years later. There were mass shootings, wars, 9/11, more mass shootings... another friend died of cancer... more wars, still more mass shootings... suicides in my online community... police killings... police fighting people protesting the police killings... literal fascists marching openly and unashamedly in the streets... people breaking into the Capitol and trying to kill elected officials...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_kj60DIq2M : "War is over (if you want it)" -- Yes. Yes, I do.

Sometimes it's difficult to believe we've made any progress since 1970.

On the plus-side, we're now much more aware of everything that's going on around us, so things might actually be improving even though it looks like they aren't.

I think we're also seeing some evidence of an extinction-burst: as people slowly back away from the Right, the Right gets louder and more violent in order to convince themselves that they still matter... while statues of confederate generals and klansmen are taken down one by one, all across the country... and the surge of sentiment against the GOP and Trompism builds inexorably even as the GOP stacks the deck higher and higher in its own favor. That house of cards is bound to fall over pretty soon. "The long arc of history bends towards justice." -- MLK,Jr. (a famous Woke guy)

So, you know... here's hoping. To peace!
[clinks cola can, cuz I don't usually drink alcohol]