05 Jan THE WAR ISN’T OVER
There were huge billboards around my town last week with a message from John and Yoko saying “The War is over.”
—”if you want it.” Probably none missed the message for there were the Lennons on the radio and on the television, every hour on the hour and being received by the Prime Minister and run after by the kids, and the intellectuals and the phones—by everyone but tailors and barbers.
It must have been a smashing commercial success too. For out in their hidden retreat in the country—an English country house at Streetsville— the party of seven including their two Zen macrobiotic cooks apparently turned the quiet retreat into an international radio transmitter. There was a band too.
They talked to radio stations from Toronto to Europe to Tokyo. And John signed a four foot pile of lithographs described by writer Blaik Kirby of the Globe and Mail as “Sexually explicit stuff.”
“The War is over?” Nuts’. It’s a new commercial line aimed at the exploitation of our desire for peace and prosperity without paying the price.
That reminded me of the pop song that came out away back in mid-1939. ‘There ain’t gonna be no war,” they were singing in August of that year. Everybody hoped, but the smart people knew better. I wonder whatever became of that song.” I heard it the last time on August 31st, 1939.
One thing we have to get into our pointed heads, “We’re just not going to have peace in the world while there is so much bloody injustice.” And I don’t mean to be vulgar or profane.
His Holiness the Pope can preach, and the faithful can pray and the Beatles can sing and John and Yoko can play games but there isn’t going to be peace while a relatively few have all the stuff and all the fun because they have all the power, and vast numbers haven’t got stuff or fun or power and don’t like it.
I wouldn’t pray for peace if I were a Black South African.
I wouldn’t ask for peace if I were a Negro in Rhodesia or /Angola or Mozambique. I ‘‘Wouldn’t accept peace without a measure of justice if I were a Palestinian in a Jordan refugee camp, or a Black in Tennessee, or an Indian in Manitoba. Remember that line from one of the early explorers here about the Eskimos. They were such nasty people. They fought back.
assured there would be more war. Well it doesn’t look that way.
Anyway I have to be prejudiced about the Lennons, I don’t like their hair, their clothes, their music or their signs. Maybe I’m all wrong about him. If you think so just think it or tell someone else. I’ve been told before. But I have lived with a houseful of teenagers, five radios, a television set and four record players too long to feel anything but deep hostility to the Beatles. But I’m wrong about the main point.
We can’t have peace just for wanting it! Just for wishing it were so! We might as well grit those wisdom teeth, grind them if you wish, but the cost of peace is going to be very high. It will require those who have it so good in the world move fast so other people can have it good too.
And I just don’t think we’re about to do that. I wish we were—at least sometimes even though it wou cost me something too— but I’ve read too much history to expect that men who have will give it away to those who want it in order to have peace.
I just know that New Year 70’3 talk from western editors and preachers and do-gooders about peace in the worst sounds like so much cant
those who comprise the having mold.