October 9th 2010, John Lennon would have become 70 years of age. In the '60s, '70s and '80s he was the role model for anyone who was peace and harmony-minded. The 9th October in Liverpool and all around the world John Lennon has been commemorated. For instance here: www.harddaysnighthotel.com Google also commemorated John Lennon with a song that could well be the device of Google himself: "…make the world live as one’…: http://www.google.nl/ (only on the 9th October 2010). Is in the world a search engine to be found that would facilitates ‘make the world live as one’ better than Google?
John Lennon having been murdered
December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his home in New York ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dakota
) by Mark David Chapman ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_David_Chapman
). I still remember where I was, what I did and the lost feeling that came over me. How could anyone do this? Chapman waited calmly to be arrested, next to the lifeless body of John Lennon. How much adorable music in the time to come was wiped out in five shots? We will never know. John Lennon had just become 40 years of age. Remarkably, he was reluctant to become of this age. It happened anyway, exactly 30 years ago.
Catcher in the Rye
In 1977 Chapman had made an attempt to end his own life. That effort failed and he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Chapman himself played guitar and was obsessed with Lennon and the book Catcher in the Rye by John Salinger ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Catcher_in_the_Rye
) The book came out in 1951 and tells about the confusion amongst teenagers, about fear, about the perception of sex among young people. Salinger tells his story from the perspective of an adolescent. John Salinger's book was censored in 1960 in America. In these days America was experienced in Europe to be the best alternative to e.g. a country like Russia. In Russia quite a lot in life was censored or blocked, especially the development of the individuality. Nevertheless in 1960 in America a teacher was fired who made students read this novel.
The limits to freedom
Freedom always has its limits anywhere in the world. In China, for example, today the global concept of Nobel Peace Prize will be banned by members of the high society. A journalist will not make himself quite popular by writing about it in a positive sense. The establishment will not be amused by a cheering article. China finds this price recently having been ‘smothered’. The question now is whether other countries will need to respect this or not. Let us not be hypocrite: it occurs in any country, even in democratic countries, individuals being declared to be subversive, to be dissident. Some governments are wise enough not to communicate this in public. The commotion would attract the attention from all over the world and would also limit the possibilities to eliminate ‘the danger’. Let’s face and understand that China has not reached this insight yet. China tells the world openly who is ‘the danger to the state’. Let’s give China the time to change in the direction of the modern western international democratic community...
The fact is that John Lennon was a singer/writer who touched many listeners with his sense of justice. His repertoire consisted in that respect, of for instance these songs:
The role of journalism in the world
Fact is that the world becomes smaller '. Throughout the world, journalists record what happens. A few hours after an event in some small isolated part of the world happened, the rest of the world knows. The question is: can we assimilate all these facts? Can we work up all what goes wrong in relation to the world peace and security? How much suffering can one person handle? How many different systems being used in different cultures can we manage as a starting point for our thinking? I think we all tend to get mixed up. We tend to feel powerless. In that respect journalism can have its function throughout the world.
Yesterday in Liverpool white balloons were given its freedom in the air to pay respect to the spirit of John Lennon. Many white balloons went into the air. I add this written ‘balloon’ to these balloons. Let us make from journalism a contribution to peace in the world and let us consider what tone of voice journalism needs. Disclosure of the facts is the core-function of journalism. But what to do after the facts have been disclosed? How to feed the debate and in which direction? How to use information in that respect that more and more mutual understanding will rise in our over-informed societies? Must we polarize? Or must we explain and build bridges? I plead for the latter.
My freedom is to publish this article. But not after having thought about what and how to tell my message. What to say and what not to say? That is my responsibility. I have put this message in the right context, I know for sure. I hope this post will be experienced to be a small contribution to the pursuit of world peace. This is my dream I dedicate to the late John Lennon. He was never nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He perhaps better had been called 'A dissident'...