Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Althouse Says No To Chapman Biopic

The generally sensible Ann Althouse is upset that a movie is being made about the man who killed John Lennon.
That man should never be mentioned, never given any attention, and no film should ever be made about him. I don't care how much the filmmakers think they are expressing disapproval, when a movie is made about a person, he becomes, in some sense, a hero. No one should ever see that man realize any part of his dream of linking his name to Lennon's. The news was reported when it happened. You can look it up if you want to know who did it. Now, the media should black out his name, forever.
This seems unworkable. As I mention in the comments at Chez A, Lennon was just a man, albeit a particularly gifted one. His killer was just another nut. This kind of write-him-out philosophy doesn't seem tenable, particularly to those in following generations who don't see what the fuss was about. What will happen 50 years from now, when everyone who has this kind of emotional connection to Lennon is dead? Are the rest of us to continue eliding M*** D***** C****** from the histories of the era? If so, why? Respect for the tastes and emotional bonds of the Boomer generation? But we don't have much respect for those things. Like our own tastes, they are (rightfully) evanescent. They should die with us.

Further, the fact that his "dream" was to link his name to Lennon's, plus his evil, doesn't change the fact that his name is nonetheless linked to Lennon's. That's what happens when you kill someone.

I understand the emotion, I think, particularly the wish that it not be possible to become famous through killing some great icon of popular culture. However, I don't think that going through history with a pair of scissors, snipping out the identity of particular evildoers, is a workable approach.

1 comment:

flint cordoroy said...

People are getting crazier all the time. Maybe if they watch Chapman's biopic they'll become self-aware of it and straighten out or get proper medication.

What's interesting about John Lennon is that a huge number of people born after he died have "emotional" attachments to his work and personality. This will probably happen more frequently since we've been recording stuff on mass media. For example, I recently got on a semi Bing Crosby kick.