Chapter 4: Great Politics

I finished this chapter a couple days ago. If I’d tried to write something about what I read on a daily basis, it’d come out a lot differently than it is now. It’s interesting to me that if I’d have written about it only yesterday this post would be .., no, this post wouldn’t be. I think about that sometimes, about how the things I’ve done as I’ve done then, the things that have happened as they’ve happened, what I’ve wanted, what’s been realized, anyone who’s ever lost something they’ve written knows that a moment comes only once.

Yesterday, instead of writing about Chapter 4, I ran over to the East Van Cinema and watched US vs. John Lennon. I was 10 when John Lennon was shot. I remember where I was when I heard. At least I think I remember, but I missed pretty much his entire life before that. I’d heard his music. It’s the kind of thing a child enjoys. I still enjoy it, in the same way I eat oatmeal everyday. But during the film there were two moments I saw someone incredible. He’s dancing on the street, wearing a white suit, with Yoko. He does a leg kick. Pure magic. He moved like a god among men. The other moment was at a press conference for the WAR IS OVER billboard campaign he and Yoko ran. One question was who’s paying. John was, but he mentioned that some others were coming forward to help with the cost. The follow up question was, “How much?” and John says I don’t know, less that someone’s life. The way he said it, without thinking and without dwelling on it, I mean he was talking about something else immediately was pretty powerful, like a punch in the stomach. A punch in the stomach is different from one to the face. When you feel the pain in your face you’re thinking ouch, I just got hit, but to the stomach you’re aware you’ve been hit, and then you’re thinking ouch, that hurt.

Lennon says in the movie, “I’m an artist first, a politician second.” He was a great artist, and a great politician, in the sense of Nietzsche’s great politics. The great politics about fighting for the power to make the decisions about what counts as truth. Nietzsche instructs us to Fight for this power. Jasper writes, “From the standpoint of great politics it means fighting with the aid of the creative thoughts which invisibly shape and transform men. Truth attains actuality only in the struggle for power; here lies both its source and its limit.”

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