Friday, March 29, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 152
The Thumbsucker’s War for Human Rights (1)
© Eso A.B.

Spring is not yet acumen in...
A few blogs back, I criticized Yoko Ono for bringing to the attention of the public the blood spattered eye glasses of her husband of forty-four years ago, John Lennon, the lead singer of a famous British singing group known as the “Beatles”. John was killed (1980) at the age of forty by 25- year-old Mark David Chapman (b. 1955), who insisted that the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” (1951) by J.D. Salinger was his ‘statement’ and presumably ‘excuse’ for the murder.

At a later time, Chapman also stated that he killed to gain fame, which is the media’s way of depoliticizing a possibly political act.

I personally view the ‘murder’ of Lennon as a political assassination by a Christian  of a neoliberal capitalist tilt, though Chapman was unlikely to have been aware that he was acting on behalf of a misinterpretation of a Christian God of Acts, who stands at the opposite pole from its faked substitute (theologically indefensible) God of Words.

As my own thought centers on God (the big Other or whatever) who Acts through self-sacrifice, I view killing on behalf of God to be a terrible misinterpretation of the virtual world to create which God Acts. My personal sympathies go to the Tibetans who immolate themselves in protesting the ceremonial cabal of the Stalinist Chinese government. May Anonymous keep a list of the names of the sacrifices and send governments frequent reminders of it. May the Chinese political clique slip on the burnt Tibetan flesh at their feet.

While murder is the killing of a human being by another human being for whatever reason, an ‘assassination’ realizes a murder through political motivation in an antiquated Christian setting.

“The Catcher in the Rye” is a novel considered to be among the 20 best 20th century stories written, and still sells a few hundred thousand copies annually. Its hero is seventeen year old Holden Caulfield, who as the novel’s hero enacts the alienation and angst of an adolescent and teenage America to this day . While I do not recall when I read the novel, 1951 was the year when at the age of eighteen I graduated from high school. I may have read the book soon after its publication. I remember it as emotive and disturbing, especially to a young person who had not yet embarked on a career, or who sees his-her career in terms of ‘fate’, or even from the point of view of an abnormally normal Doris Day singing in an Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956)  ce sera sera, what ever will be will be.’ It was also a time when “The Outsider” (1956), by Colin Wilson  attracted great attention. It was also a time when many Americans felt themselves ‘frozen in time’; alienation from the mainstream was expressed in movies like Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild One, and Blackboard Jungle. The films depicted the young generation as directionless, and unhappy. Chapman was a baby of the time.

Yoko Ono brings John Lennon’s glasses to the attention of the public in the context of a government campaign to abrogate the right of Americans to purchase guns and because she supports the gun control campaign in the context of President Obama’s “open to considerations (of repression)” policies.

This is not to say that I am against gun control. However, as such a campaign usually puts the issue in terms of ‘all’ or ‘none’, and in this instance also in the context of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution which allows American citizens to bear arms , I do not sign on to the campaign. The gun control campaign, which—given, both, the corruption of the American government (surrender to private interests) and its neoliberal aggressiveness (fueled by banks with little collateral) at home and abroad—give pause for reflection. While such a stance may seem contradictory to my advocacy of self-sacrifice, the example of the Tibetans illustrates that only ‘by example’ (a certain spiritual elitism with cultural breadth) can overcome the Darwinist “survival of the fittest” doctrine  embedded in the Thousand Year Reich theology of Wordy Christianity.

As I have written before, my concerns tend to cluster about the casualness of violence by governments. I am concerned over the fact that government abrogates the right to do violence for itself, and refuse to ask sacrifice of its own elite unless it is of a soldier specifically recruited for the purpose of killing (the terrorist-enemy) and dying in the process if chance and the enemy wills it. While today governments recruit for its military from among young people who feel lost and expendable, in times of an all out war and general mobilization, such recruitment does not differ significantly from the Politburo issuing arrest warrants for the young and sending them off into an uncertain future identified with the gulags north of the Polar circle.

According to Wikipedia 1971 [at the age of sixteen…] Chapman became a born again Christian …” As a reborn man, Chapman “…is said to have been angered at Lennon's claim that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus.” While at that young age, Chapman worked with young people as a camp counselor, aided in the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees, and was an entertainer (he played the guitar) at church gatherings, he in some ways bore a resemblance to Holden Caulfield, the hero of J.D. Salinger’s novel, “Catcher in the Rye”.

In 1976, Chapman entered as “…a student Covenant College, an evangelical Presbyterian liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, Georgia”. He entered the college together with his then girlfriend, but had a sexual affair outside the relationship, and succumbed to profound feelings of guilt, which led to thoughts of suicide. In 1977, Chapman does attempt a suicide by carbon asphyxiation in his car, but fails.

In previous blogs, I have pointed out that Western Christianity (originally Catholic, and sponsored by French kings and princes) was designed to act as an agent-pacifier of the general populace against the accumulation of wealth by elites. A tactical tool used by Catholic Christianity and meant to distract the populace from the stealing of its wealth by elites was the fostering of anti-sexual phobias of all kinds. The American fundamentalist movement, most of its recruitment done among the poor and uneducated, has taken over the phobia, by allowing the preaching of wealth accumulation from the pulpit. Many 19th century Americans preached it. Among them was Russel Conwell, Horation Alger, Andrew  Carnegee, . In America, its natural resources unexploited, the ploy worked, provided jobs for many ‘media people’, fostered magazines, and did indeed make some people wealthy.

This soup of criss-cross ideas, sometimes contradictory, worked its wonders by confusing the mind of Chapman as it had confused millions of others before him. By 1980, Chapman had transferred his internal suicidal tendencies to considering murder of ‘happenstance’ others, which included “…Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, George C. Scott, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” (see Wikipedia) and John Lennon.  All of the mentioned were not only in the public eye, but were in one way or another ‘Moneyed’. However, of them only John Lennon proved to be an outright ‘peacenik’ (a non-Christian vociferously preaching peace, taking the ‘Word’ away from traditionalist Christians, and in every way playing the role of one holier than Thou), yet brazenly self-confident and unguarded.

Following his failed suicide (1977), Chapman turned from being a victim of his own will to becoming the victim of the Law by murdering another. With his sexuality blocked and denied with the help of a Christian tradition many centuries old, Chapman unwittingly rediscovered the true enemy of sexuality, i.e., Money. Whether Chapman knew of the story as told by the Daily Mail , I do not know, but it appears Lennon was aware that he was letting himself be used as a front man for capitalism: When Lennon was grumbling about business expenses, an aide reminded him by quoting from his song ‘Imagine’: “Imagine no possessions”…. Lennon shot back: ‘It’s only a bloody song!’”

In short, being taught to have a guilt feeling about lust means to be taught to be free from guilt feelings about accumulating lute. This is not to say, that Chapman had suddenly turned into a political scientist, but had become such with the help of the unseen side of his brain. When he surprised his lawyers by changing his plea from “guilty” to “it was the will of God”, he was consistent with his habit of letting another source than himself dictate his actions. When given the opportunity to speak for himself, Chapman quoted from Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”:

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.”

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