Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The Fat Lady Shrieks

On the anniversary of the most horrendous act of violence in American history all Yoko Ono is saying is give peace a chance.

Aside from the fact that she receives money every time a recording of the same name is broadcast or sold, why is Yoko delivering the peace message here in the United States?

That fact is, it was pretty peaceful in New York last year at this time until a bunch of misogynist religious fanatics murdered thousands of innocent people. Wouldn't Yoko be more effective preaching peace in the mosques and streets of the Muslim world?

Well, of course not. The appearance of a rich, opinionated, female, non-believer such as Yoko in the alleys of Mecca would a likely spark a whirlwind of fresh violence.

Here in the West Yoko is free to behave as if she is stoned. In the less tolerant Islamic world . . . well, you can make your own punchline.

I guess my question for Yoko is, if peace is so important, shouldn't we be willing to fight for it? Or must the price of peace always be submission and dishonor?

It costs Yoko nothing to plead for peace on the Upper West Side of Manhattan . . . indeed, it might just earn her some extra royalties. Why isn't she willing to make the same case in a place where peace is in desperately short supply?

I don't really blame her. I don't think I’d have the courage to put my life on the line preaching peace and brotherhood in some squalid Arab ghetto.

But what gets me about Yoko is that while she has tried to make herself into a sort of peace icon, she really doesn't seem to have given the concept much thought.

Presumably, Yoko believes peace comes from somewhere . . . that it can be added to situation or applied to a human interaction. As she puts it, "Let's create peace, unity and light.”

But peace is not like light. It is much more like darkness. Peace is the absence of violence just as darkness is the absence of light. You cannot add darkness to a room, you must first extinguish the sources of light. By the same token, you cannot add peace to a society, but you can extinguish the sources of violence.

Sure, you can do that non-violently . . . until you can’t.

I’m sort of surprised that Yoko would not have grasped this. After all, her husband was murdered by someone who loved and idolized him. Mark David Chapman must have listened to Give Peace of Chance a thousand times yet he still felt compelled to pump bullets into its author. What would have stopped Chapman other than force?

I’m all for giving peace a chance . . . but if it doesn't work there ought to be a Plan B.

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