Today is the 27th anniversary of the senseless murder of John Lennon, outside of his New York apartment on Central Park West. Yoko Ono has posted a short notice on the website Imagine Peace about that day.
What’s strange about this personally, other than the personal significance of that number, is that yesterday I was in a small antiques shop on the outskirts of Montreal looking at the National Enquirer from December 30th, 1980 with a claimed last ever picture of Lennon at rest in the morgue on the cover.
Rest in peace, John. You, and many like you, are sorely missed.
My talented writer friend Jon popped over to Iraq a while back for Wired. While he was there he wrote some of his own dispatches from the ‘peaceful occupation’ that are a fascinating glimpse into the military complex.
Had a wonderful night out last night in Williamsburg with Laureano down in Iona where I made lots of new chums who ended up asking me to help them set up a refuge for technologically challenged arty-type folks… This was all in-between discussing the usability of various forms of weapon for death-type activities. Oh, and there were cats too.
Apparently in the Iran/Iraq conflict the Americans had helicopters with automatic gun turrets. The gunner would watch a video screen and ‘point and click’ to select the ground targets he wanted attacked. Then, once this sequence of violence was programmed, he simply presses a button and off the gun goes spewing destruction where it was told. Problem was that, on at least one occasion, someone targeted US troops – they spotted this once they’d triggered off the actual firing sequence but were unable to prevent it carrying through its ‘orders’, with consequent ramifications. This design arose from the emotional and psychological issues that many soldiers went through when asked to actually, physically point a gun at someone and shoot to kill, something that is hard to do even for soldiers.
A splendidly bizarre and un-expected evening session, much like the mango chutney and brie sandwich I made earlier which was simply delicious.