[sixties-l] On her Ono (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Mon Oct 28 2002 - 13:59:59 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 10:42:20 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: On her Ono

    On her Ono


    Mike Holden manages to drag Yoko Ono away from her futon for a chat about
    world peace

    "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
    simple emphatic,
    "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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