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Comments

Mary

I discovered Elvis as my best friend's twin sisters had an autographed picture of him. I thought he was handsome before I knew what he was famous for. We were sort of sheltered from the Bad stuff as a kid. Later on as a pre-teen and teenager, I saw every movie that was ever opened to the movie public that came to a small southern town. I did not know he was not a good actor because I went to hear him sing and I did not notice his jiggly behavior because I was listening to his voice. I guess you only see and hear what you see and hear.

Jilly

Elvis was the sexiest. And made some pretty good music, too.:P

Scotty Moore makes me want to practice guitar "moore" so I can play cool licks.

Robert

Hi Mary - Good lookin'? Yewbetcha! By 1960 his bad boy image had already been shorn by the Army and Tom Parker. His jiggly moves had been totally sanitized by then, and he wasn't really performing on TV any more. My sister really was into his 60s movies, though of course I was waaaay too cool by the early 60s, being into Del Shannon, Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the girl groups, Four Seasons, Motown, Chuck Berry, and Beach Boys. I still dug a few Elvis hits, but then came the Beatles, and the world turned upside down.

Hi Jilly - Very much the handsome icon even up to 1970, and still a timeless image. And if you master Scotty Moore's licks, along with Chuck Berry's, you'll know the building blocks of ALL of rock and roll!

thisreefaroundme

They announced Elvis' b-day on the morning news and it got me wondering if a deceased person's natal chart is still considered active after his/her death? Sorry if that's an astrology 101 question, I was just curious. For example: is this new moon b-day auspicious for his estate or continuing legacy, or would another's chart be more helpful in determining that now?

Thanks for the many great and helpful posts, Robert.

Timothy

Hello Robert,
I enjoy reading your reflections and hardly ever comment, but when you mention Elvis and John Lennon I have to share something. I grew up in Memphis, and though I was never an Elvis fan growing up--I think I probably heard the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at age 6 before ever hearing Elvis--I always heard many stories over the years about someone who knew him in high school or someone's aunt who once went out with him, but never imagined I would one day also have a story. One of my friends in high school would always try to get me to go to Elvis concerts, but I foolishly wouldn't go with her as Elvis by then seemed to me to be almost a joke. I was into The Beatles, and Dylan, Clapton, etc. Years later my older, wiser brother became something of a local expert on Elvis, and eventually he and his wife ended up buying the house at 1034 Audubon Drive which Elvis had bought with his first paycheck from RCA for "Heartbreak Hotel." Elvis lived there with his Granny and parents until moving into Graceland a year later. So my brother and wife lived in the house about 8-9 years and whenever I returned to Memphis I would end up sleeping in what was originally Elvis' room--before the crowds outside his window forced him to the back of the house. Using photographs from the period my brother and wife fixed up the house with 50's era decor which made the place look quite a lot like it did in Elvis' day. They were even able to put their replica of the gold record for "Heartbreak Hotel" on the wall where Elvis had the original--with a photograph next to it showing Elvis standing there next to his record. Well, in every room of the house there was a picture of Elvis in that room, so it was pretty spooky experience sometimes as it felt like the ghost of Elvis was in the house.

While I surely do wish now that I had gone to one of those Elvis concerts when I had the chance, I still think the world lost something far more valuable in Lennon, and that's because Lennon was so much more than just an iconic rock-and-roll legend. I was recently moved by the film The U.S. vs John Lennon and that led to writing this essay:
http://www.counterpunch.org/freeman12222007.html

Robert

Hi all - Will answer these and today's article comment stream now, but will be in meditation after this for most of today so probably won't be back answering other questions or comments until tomorrow.

Hi thisreefaroundme - Yes. I first noted that Sag Jimi's music got massive new play and he acquired public god-like status after years of little publicity back in 1995 when Jupiter was in Sag (seems like he got more att'n last year as well). And have also noted that the sign the Moon is in often corresponds with radio play for acts you might not hear often at other times. So I would imagine that this b'day, with Jupiter in Cap, will also usher in a new era for the King's music. The various contracts of the estate are important, i.e., incorporation, etc. Hopefully his estate will someday let the true story of his metaphysics be known. They quashed the story of Larry Geller introducing Elvis to the Wisdom a while back, forbidding the movie to be made (The scriptwriter is a friend of mine).

Hi Timothy - Brilliant essay on one of my favorite sites. I used to follow Cockburn but then when I temporarily retired from political blogging (for all the right reasons at the time), Counterpunch was one of the sites that fell through the cracks. Your writing is great, your reasoning is great, and I completely agree with your piece, both in Spirit and substance. I cannot adequately address all the nuances of this subject in this comment stream, but thanks for beginning a needed dialogue. This is an example of the kinds of things I will gladly promote in the virtual and physical center I'm formulating, which at some point needs its own dedicated space since you've offered a truly global perspective on a global problem.

But I do want to comment on your very thoughtful piece. I also saw "The US vs John Lennon," and it brought back all the frustrating memories of my life as a trained "peacekeeper" during the anti-war demonstrations of the early 70s. We were quite naive, but then again, all progressive dreams seem naive before they are actualized. While those who desire peace are always willing to Imagine and consider a reasonable dialogue, those who have a vested interest in power and money seem to consider only the immediate gratification of their desires, and all that would thwart those are "the enemy" who must be ruthlessly neutralized and/or eliminated.

Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover as well as many in government exemplified these authoritarian qualities during that era, while our present illegal war-criminal government shows an even more extreme form in present times. While John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and many millions of us desire(d) peace, it seemed then, and to some degree today, that Amerika would rather have a fascist police state than one of reasoned dialogue and humane stages of keeping peace, both domestic and abroad. That's why the police state has been endlessly fed, while the "Department of Peace" has been starved.

We truly are seemingly at perpetual war because so much money is invested in war. Here I am reminded of the quote about the truth being hard to see when your paycheck depends on not seeing it. We've been sold a myth that "the other" is the enemy, and equates with death, whether of one's body, one's home, one's nation, or one's dreams. Though it may have been true in the past to whatever degree, it is equally true that peace as a perpetual condition of collective interaction has never been tried.

Another global factor in the conditions that lead to war is that humanity loves the known and familiar, as long as it's comfortable, and this extends to its religions as well as its political biases. This sets up breeding grounds for fear. Fear, along with desire, attachment, and vanity, are said to be the four primal human emotions. These form the foundations of the causes of war. All that Kant addresses as solutions require that humanity set aside its fears, vanities, desires, and attachments. Big job not accomplished overnight, but I do not doubt we are moving in that direction more rapidly than we were when he wrote his essay.

To point out the obvious, heavy-handed authoritarian models of control are the opposite of what Gandhi espoused regarding the ability to see "the other's" point of view and argue from that basis for the common good. That's why the system seeks to exclude Kucinich from the debate, but that voice (and yours!) can only be excluded for just so long, less now because of the power of the internet.

Kant, like Saint John the Beatle, is espousing a true revolution, though enough of us humans would have to have experienced and be living somewhat consistently on the highest level of cognition in Maslow's hierarchy, that being Self-Actualization. The Ono-Lennon statement implies choice, which is a thorny issue for those who a) fear "the other" could take away what they are attached to or b) that they could not assuage their vanities of assuming the egoic "right" to assert economic, governmental, or military controls over whatever that vanity assumed. Power lends itself to corruption when fear or desire-based ego-minds start assuming vain imagnings. Critical thinking is in short supply when the powers that be require blind faith from those whose vanities cannot accept fallibility.

I do not doubt that JL was taken out by powers that couldn't imagine "Starting Over." When assassinated, he was one of the only people on Earth who could have rallied tens of millions to take to the streets in protest of the Reagan admin's actions spreading death squads across Central America and the other machinations of the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Abrams cabal. And of course I agree that John Lennon was a being on a radically different path than Elvis. Elvis was not an anti-war voice.

To bring it all back home (this being an Elvis thread), I don't know that John's later years of non-activist house-husbandry were any "less worthy" than Elvis reading "The Voice of the Silence" from the stage to thousands. I don't know that giving the world "All You Need Is Love" and "Give Peace A Chance" were "more worthy" than Elvis being the first to blow down the doors so the Beatles could have a global forum in which to thrive. To me the entire process worked to liberate the minds and hearts of the young everywhere so we could express our convictions and hopes regardless of what the official "culture" said was good or bad. I suppose any true revolution in consciousness proceeds by stages, each a link in the mystery of Spirit.

On that note, thanks for stopping by with the anecdote and your brilliant article. Stay in touch. Aum Namah Shivaya!

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