Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Is Mark David Chapman Still Alive After All These Years?

"John Lennon's killer marks 25 years of infamy"...

As much as I love the Beatles, and as much as I appreciated the members' solo efforts, I never agreed with John Lennon's politics.

I never agreed with his atheism, materialism, self-professed social activism, justified hypocricy and Yoko Ono.

Why is this man
still alive?
But these were no grounds for what Chapman did on a cold New York night December 6, 1980.

I was feeling a little run down that night and went to sleep listening to Q107. I woke up to "Blackbird", followed by the announcement that John Lennon was shot and killed by Chapman.

For me, this was one of many days that the Music died. While Paul McCartney provided the bouyancy, George Harrison the riffs and Ringo Starr the beats, John provided the soul, the darkness, the edge. Chapman took them all away.

Everytime I hear Lennon's "Feels Like Starting Over", a creepy feeling of irony would wash over me. Queen's "The Show Must Go On" may also be considered ironic when listened in context of Freddie Mercury's battle with AIDS, but that Lennon tune had marked me deeply, if only because that song exuded optimism, hope that after all the time spent away from life's mainstream that there would be a second chance, a renaissance, a redemption.

Chapman took all of them away.

And now he languishes in prison, secluded from gen pop because of what he did.

[...] Chapman developed an obsession with J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," the landmark novel that focuses on a disaffected youth, Holden Caulfield, during a trip to New York City.

Though previously a great fan of the Beatles, Chapman began attaching Caulfield's favorite slander — "phony" — to Lennon. He made that assessment after seeing photos of Lennon atop his exclusive Manhattan apartment building, the Dakota.

"At some point, after looking at those pictures, I became enraged at him and something in me just broke," Chapman would explain later. "I remember saying in my mind, `What if I killed him?'"

"I felt that perhaps my identity would be found in the killing of John Lennon."

In a perfect world, Mark David Chapman would've been executed - retribution being justice's final say. But when you look at the Hell that has replaced his life, it's understandable that he deserved something far worse than the ultimate punishment.

And to this day, that Lennon song still haunts me.

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