I saw a video the other day for the song "Crying for John Lennon," which is a truly pathetic piece of hero worship about a boorish, drug addicted, womanizing narcissist. Putting aside the fact that John Lennon is no person to be admired, this video and song is another entry in a long line of juvenile visions of a world where nothing evil ever happens. The trouble with such a naïve approach to life is that it presupposes that everyone agrees with your interpretation of evil. How utterly immature.
Some cultures ignore their neighbors, some cultures fight their neighbors, while other cultures eat their neighbors. There is no common ground - there is no singular interpretation of what constitutes the concept of good or bad, much less a concept of "peace."
But for that matter, many a conquered people in western cultures have believed in peace at all costs. Crowds of angry youths that have been so sheltered by the blanket of freedoms that have been thanklessly provided for them are lulled into an adolescent complacency and form a misguided view of the world which ultimately leads to their destruction. I think that John Stuart Mill put it best when he said:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
For every person that dreams of pacifism no matter the cost, there are a dozen people willing to kill them simply for their shoes. I have travelled abroad - and I have met these types of people. It's hard for simple minds to understand that there are some people in the world that hate you just because you exist. It's nothing that you've done, it's nothing that you believe, and there's nothing that you can do about it.
So while the songwriter that inspired me to write this post may be crying for John Lennon, I'm weeping for our future - because if people like this songwriter continue to have a voice, we are truly doomed.