I just watched the movie "US vs John Lennon" with a group from my meeting. It's a documentary about Lennon's (and Yoko's) political activism, and it was very interesting and well done.
It left me feeling somewhat hopeful and somewhat depressed, which I think is generally the state I'm in regarding peace activism in general these days. I'm hopeful that some people will catch on, but depressed that even in the '60s and '70s when peace was popular, it's hard to see the good it did in changing American policy or who's in power. And now it's depressing to see a majority of that generation--those now in their fifties and sixties--living like normal Americans. Did they lose hope? Did they become disillusioned? Did they fall in step with The Man and give in? Did they lose all their leaders to political assassination???
And it's also depressing to see my own generation, which hasn't even paused to "Give peace a chance."
And although it's really cool to see how John & Yoko's clever use of media brought the idea of peace to a whole generation, it's depressing to see how media is used today to speak the language of worldly power and fear. We don't see what is happening in Iraq like they saw Vietnam. People aren't beaten and arrested at protests because that would be something to report. Instead protests are a non-event, evoking no news accounts. Pop stars who speak out for causes are seen as one more rich person with too much time on their hands trying to get publicity.
There's hope, too--I mean, look at all those people who assembled and wanted to work for peace! Look at the hope in their eyes, listen to the cry for a revolution that seeks justice nonviolently for the oppressed! This is the desire of our hearts, if we only listen to it. This is the desire of the hearts of so many, and it's already here if we believe it. Like the posters John & Yoko put up:
So you say you want a revolution? Who's going to lead us? It's a dangerous job...it's not comfortable and it takes creativity and you might get crucified or shot. I don't know. It's not going to be me. But I'll follow you if you start one!
(If not me, then who?
If not now, then when?)