---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 10:42:20 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: On her Ono
On her Ono
Mike Holden manages to drag Yoko Ono away from her futon for a chat about
"You have to make people realise that everyone has families they don't want
to die and want to protect. If everyone thought as if they were the other
then no one would kill. When a person looks inside themselves to find peace
then they will become a peaceful person."
Als sprach Yoko. Peace was the main topic ofconversation, in fact, rather
than John Lennon or
Yoko's own art work.
This message was heard by many in a Union debating chamber literally packed
to the rafters, but not by all. Some were unable to discern Ono's more
subtly-voiced pronouncements as she was clearly tired and unable to project
to the back of a hall acoustically dampened by receptive ears and the
attached bodies. After addressing the chamber and taking questions, Yoko
had to retire to a specially provided futon in order to recuperate; still
not bad, though, given that she will be 70 in February.
Yoko was born in 1933 into a very wealthy Tokyo family, but her father was
away for most of her early life. It was against this extremely strict,
formal upbringing that much of her art produced in
later life rebels. Her family fled Tokyo in the face of heavy American
bombing, but settled in the US after the war.
Talking on violence, particularly incidences related to guns, she said,
"Over 676,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John was
shot on December 8, 1980. This is 10 times the
number of Americans killed in the Vietnam war." She went on to compare
existence in the US to "living in a war zone. I want us all to realise
that, so hopefully the healing process can begin. John
would have wanted to say this to you."
Ono recently hired out billboards in London's Piccadilly Circus, Times
Square in New York and in
Tokyo, as well as a spread in the New York Times with only the words,
"Imagine all the people/living life in peace," written in stark
black-on-white. Ono explained this by saying: "After the horrible events of
11 September, I thought it was a very important time to remind people of
this message, because the world needs peace."
Yet however good the intentions behind the message Ono is trying to convey,
what she said still lacked precision. Generally, she expressed noble
intentions but without specific plans of
methods of effecting the changes she asked for. This occasionally led what
she said to degenerate in haiku-esque aphorisms and trite platitudes. To
take the message of peace to
oppressed peoples with restricted access to information she merely said,
"There are other ways to power than to use force and violence. Peace and
words are power. Use propaganda." In order to bring about peace, Ono says,
"There are many things wrong in the world but it is from inside that change
must come. Know that if you are a good person then you can make good for
the world. So the difference is made from the inside. The thing to change
is the self." When pressed on the issue of oppressive dictators, in
particular on how to stop such leaders being oppressive, we are told to
"use computers, the internet; that is what they are for." I couldn't quite
believe this at first. If anyone knows Saddam's email address, could you
forward it to me, I'd be most grateful.
However, there was no suggestion that Yoko had become disillusioned. A
"No," and a laugh was the response to a suggestion that the peace campaign
had been in
vain and was trying to achieve impossible aims. This represents a striking
aspect of her
personality: she really believes in what she is saying and doing, and her
campaigns are for
the best of intentions, so for that credit should be given. She offered a
warning against apathy
and disengagement. "Now [as opposed to the sixties] people realise it is
hard to get change,
so maybe that is why people are not waving flags on the street. But if you
don't tell the
politicians what you want, they won't know, you have to shout your message
loud so they
know. You should not give up even when it is hard."
And to those scornful? "Remember you are loved. Remember to love others."
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