For realsies

Lennon Wrecked Me for Conservatism December 8, 2012

Filed under: history,music — peachyteachy @ 1:03 pm
Tags: , ,

Does it count as history that John Lennon was shot on this date in 1980?  It does for me.

I was a bit young to catch the first wave of Beatlemania, so I was not part of any grieving masses at my school that day.  It was as if nobody even knew that something earthshaking had happened, that a huge voice had been silenced.

So Lennon died, and Reagan was elected.  Soon it became so much cooler to care about money than about peace.  Love? Pshaw! The domain of the naïve. I know that people love to hail Reagan as this icon of American-ness, but I always got knots in my stomach when he would speak. I’ve never really gotten over it, although lots of peers have morphed into staunch conservatism.

I’ve had to apply for a couple of forms of public assistance in my adult life.  For a lot of that time, I would have fallen solidly within the category of the working poor.  That may have something to do with why I never had the luxury of easing into a more conservative perspective—I would have had to vilify myself! There’s already enough of that to battle when one is struggling to feed one’s kids,  trying to do things right, but not being able to pull those damned bootstraps up high enough.  WAS a Working Class Hero really something to be? I always tried to behave as if it was. I succeeded, sometimes, I think, but I also carried a lot of shame about it.  Truth be told, I still do.

Today, I tell my students that the reason I teach them Standard English is because it is the “language of money”— that, when they get older and go for a job interview or apply to college, they will want to sound smarter than the other people who want that job or that admission.

Still, they plan to fight each other after school, and threaten to punch each other in the face for cutting in line.

It turns out that I am slightly full of crap, when I think about it. While I’m teaching the curriculum which is designed to make these young Americans “competitive” in the world market, I don’t, in the end, want to teach “the language of money.” I don’t really even know the language of money.  I don’t think the competitive language of money is worth much when you solve your problems by beating each other up.

Here’s what I want to teach (or at least teach first): all you need is love. War is over, if you want it. That is not in the curriculum.  I get no points toward my evaluation score for that.




5 Responses to “Lennon Wrecked Me for Conservatism”

  1. Way to go to to be subtle and let me know that I am MUCH older than you cos I DO remember the Beatles’ invasion in the 60’s. I did the flower power thing, didn’t shave my legs for a while, a bit young for free love, never really liked drugs esp pot which made you want to eat, who the hell would take a drug that made you gain weight?? geez. We’ve lost a lot of LOVE, now people are actually very mean. I just don’t get it. Kind of a bummer.

  2. Papizilla Says:

    Reblogged this on The Ranting Papizilla and commented:
    Very well written.

  3. mindbender99 Says:

    I was born in the 1970’s and I also missed the first big wave of Beatlemania… However, I am a big fan of their music from the time of the Beatles and the solo careers that followed. John is one of my favorites…

  4. peachyteachy Says:

    Reblogged this on peachyteachy and commented:

    This day doesn’t pass without a bit of recognition from me.

  5. Like Enchanted Seashells I was around for Beatlemania and I was in college in San Francisco when John Lennon was murdered. Although I usually watched Monday Night Football, that night I didn’t. I was in my room in my parents’ house listening to Devo when my mother burst in looking ashen. She broke the news that my father just heard delivered by Howard Cosell that John had been killed. I can still hear my mother ask, “Who would kill a Beatle?” Naturally, John was my favorite Beatle, so his death absolutely knocked the stuffing out of me. Three years later I was living in New York, on the Upper West Side, not far from the Dakota. When I first saw Yoko on the street, I wanted to tell her how sorry I was for her loss, but I respected her privacy and kept my pie hole shut. What John Lennon stood for was so positive and so sincere, I too, always remember this anniversary and I always feel immense sorrow that his life was cut short.

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