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V rozhovoru natočeném 19. prosince 1969 v kanadském Ontariu hovořili John Lennon a Yoko Ono o svém posledním mírovém počinu, kontroverzní billboardové kampani War is over. Otázky jim pokládal spisovatel Marshall McLuhan.

Can you tell me? I just sort of wonder how the 'War is over,' the wording... the whole thinking. What happened?
JOHN: I think the basic idea of the poster event was Yoko's. She used to do things like that in the avant garde circle, you know. Poster was a sort of medium, media, whatever.
YOKO: Medium.
JOHN: And then we had one idea for Christmas, which was a bit too vast, you know.
YOKO: We wanted to do it.
JOHN: We wanted to do it, but we couldn't get it together in time.
YOKO: Maybe next year.
JOHN: And to do something specifically at Christmas. And then it got down to, well, if we can't do that event...
YOKO: We did this.
JOHN: ...what we'll do is a poster event. And then how do you get posters stuck all around the world, you know. It's easier said than done. So we just started ringing up and find it out. And at first we're gonna have... we had some other wording, didn't we, like, 'Peace Declared.' And it started up, there's a place in New York, where you can have your own newspaper headline, you know. There's a little shop somewhere in Times Square. And we were wondering how to, sort of like, get it in the newspapers as if it had happened, you know. And it developed from that. Well, we couldn't get the front page of each newspaper to say war was over, peace declared or whatever.
YOKO: We thought maybe just one newspaper, you know.
JOHN: Well, in the end it worked. It worked like that. But we wanted, remember the Orson Welles thing, where he did something like that, you know. Like, on TV or something but it was too hard to get together.
YOKO: Telstar, we're thinking.
JOHN: Yeah, try and get live Telstar and then bam. But maybe next year.
YOKO: Oh yeah.
You aren't gonna tell us what next year is.
YOKO: No, no, we can't. We can't tell you that.
JOHN: No, no, we can't even think that far ahead. I mean, July is about the furthest I ever thought ahead. And that's six months.
When did all this happen? This sort of the War is over idea. In the fall or...
YOKO: No, no. It was sometime around summer, just late summer.
So you've been working on it quite a while.
JOHN: Yes, yes.
Guess, you're in Toronto, and you chose Canada, and I know you've been asked again and again why Canada. But why Canada and not London? Why?
JOHN: Oh, whenever we've done anything we've done it out of London, 'cuz they don't take it seriously in England. That's all. They treat us like their children, you know. It's that mad, insane guy, you know. And he should be tapdancing on the Palladium rather than talking about war and peace. Like Quintin Hoggs said, the philosopher. I don't know what word he used, you know. Some word, you know, as if politicians had...
YOKO: Why you're an entertainer.
JOHN: 'You're an entertainer, boy, now get back on the boards,' you know. So we're treated like that in England. So we did the Bed event originally in Amsterdam and then the second one in Montreal. And Canada is just a place we seem to, whatever we're trying to do, whether it's a War poster or a Bed event or a film or anything, we seem to end up in Canada without even having to think about it, you know. Because we made a lot of good contacts here. We're offered help, you know. We don't often get much help about campaigns. It's usually people wanting help. A few Canadians... we had offers that they help us, you know. So we just come like a shop then.

YOKO: And also many people are starting to help us.

JOHN: So I mean, if I say for instance, sell this album we just brought out, which was our live concert in Toronto, folks... which we did a few months back... well then I can afford to carry on, you know. I don't care if I just make money to break even to do a peace campaign, you know. So far, I'm quite good at making money. And I'll make, as long as I break even, I'll go on spending all the time, you know. And of course, if we make it, say we got amount of money for something, then we could do what other charities do or what other people do and say... 'Would you want to match this,' you know, to some really rich person. And we could get into that, you know. I don't mind going round begging. And we'll do things like that. But until we can convince people or convert peace into something economic, well, we'll pay for it. It's like with our films. We've made about eight films. We can only show them to students at the moment and on a very limited things. So we've used our own money to make the films rather than wait for people to catch on. It's like as a Beatle. If we had had money to afford recording before, 'cuz we went 'round every studio trying to get, you know, get in. And if we had been able to afford to make the record first and then show them, what we would have done is... And then that's what we're doing with peace, is like making the record and then taking it round trying to sell it, to pay for the tapes later.
What about peace. Peace is a pretty big word.
JOHN: Yeah.
You mean Vietnam, you mean Biafra, you mean...
JOHN: Yeah, we mean all forms of violence we're against. That includes my own violence, Yoko's violence, you know, violence on the street, any form of violence. Of course, Vietnam and Biafra are like manifestations of all our violence, you know. That's why we say it's all, everybody's responsibility. We really believe that those wars are manifestations of the whole world's violence. Not just America's or just the communists.
Yeah, that's the problem, 'cuz the minute you've got long hair and the minute you're popular with the kids, the whole adult on the other side of the gap says, you know, you're a bunch of left wing communists and that.
JOHN: Well, the communist fear is that and the American paranoia mainly, it's not too bad in Europe, it's a joke, you know. I mean, we laugh at America's fear of communists. It's like, the Americans aren't going to be overrun by communists. They're gonna fall from within, you know. And that's a point. People say, why have you got long hair or why did, when you gave the MBE back, you know, we... I had... I worded it against, I'm returning this MBE because of Britain's part, in protest against Britain's participation in the Biafra Nigeria thing, you know, that's the way I speak. I just wrote it as I speak. And Britain's policy supporting US in Vietnam and Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. A lot of people say, now, if you had only done it straight, it would have been much more effective. And it's the same as if you'd only get your hair cut and wear a straight suit, you'd be more effective. One, I'd be... I wouldn't be myself. Two, I don't believe people believe politicians, especially the youth. They've had enough of short hair and suits saying this is, as if, you know... It's like all, is every priest a holy man just 'cuz he's got a dog collar on, you know. Nobody believes that anymore. And we do this intuitively. But after we've done it for a few times, we always had some irrelevancy or something in the campaign, you know. And Yoko's telling me about this ancient Chinese book that tells you how to conduct a battle. And it says the castle always falls from within. Never from without, you know, hardly ever, like America. And it also says, don't have all the doors closed when you're fighting, you know. Don't have every door shut. 'Cuz the enemy will put all the pressure on and you might crumple. Always leave one door open and the enemy will concentrate their fire there and then you'll know where it's coming. So our door open is long hair, nudism, nudity whatever the word is, mentioning Cold Turkey in such a serious thing as Biafra and Vietnam, you know, and let the people point their finger, you know. 'Oh he's... they're naked,' you know. 'They look like freaks.' But it doesn't interfere with the campaign, you know. Nobody attacks peace.
Five years ago, when you first came to Toronto with the Beatles, there was a news conference. I remember asking a question using radio taping. All of you gave three word answers. A reporter said, 'Don't you guys answer anything more than a minute' And somebody said, 'What is he, a wise guy or something?' Ringo or somebody. Did you change a lot in five years?
JOHN: Well, those days the questions weren't sort of anything to give a lot of long answers to, really. And there was more pressure, and people were always wisecracking to us, you know. Especially journalists and newscasters. I mean, they're all satyrical with one eyebrow raised and all that. So we answered them in the vein that we were asked, you know.
But what I really mean is the change in you, I know that's something, I don't mean any of that seriously, but the change in your thinking.
JOHN: Yeah, I'm just sort of, I say I've grown up, you know. In Britain they keep writing up, saying, 'Grow up, you naive child,' you know and all that. Even my auntie who brought me up. And the family keep writing saying, alright, so you want peace, but you're not growing up yet, you know. You must understand that, you know. They don't know from Adam what's going on. And the, that's... I think I've just matured, you know. I mean, I've done the fame bit. I've got all the money I needed and what was it all about. There was nothing to do, you know. I mean, having money didn't answer the problem. He's running out of film, aren't you.
Ok, before 20th century technology knocked us off, we were talking about you and the change in your past five years. Sort of maturing.
JOHN: Yes, yes. It was, like the Beatles made, they had all the fame and the money they wanted and that was four years ago, when we gave up touring. And we, we sat back on it and thought, 'Well, we've made it, now what you do,' you know. 26 is something, what are you gonna do for the rest of your life? Just, I mean, my auntie always said, 'It's better to be miserable in luxury,' you know. And that was a point, you know. But there was nothing to do. There didn't seem to be any reason behind it or any hope or, you know. And then we were sort of, we hid away for two years. No press, nobody saw us for two years. And then we started coming out. We're just coming out of a two year depression. When I met Yoko and we started to pool our resources and say, sort of say, 'What do we have in common besides being in love,' you know. Because she came from a completely different world for me. And we decided it was love and peace, you know. So what are we gonna do about it. And then, as I said, we got this letter from this guy, which we like to call a paper in reverse, was saying, 'All you people with access to communication media, oh, you know, it's your duty to do something about it, to try and change the world.' And I was saying, well, I've sang 'All you need is love' to 20,000,000 people on live TV, you know. And the Beatles were always for love. And Yoko was saying, well, 'I was in Trafalguar Square in a black bag' and all that, you know. And we try to rationalize, well, what can you do about it, you know. I mean, we're only us no matter how much publicity we could get. And all that, and what can you do. What's the point, you know. It's been going on for millions of years. And we decided it's better to do something than nothing. So we started doing something. Here we are, you see. (komicky) Ta da, ta da la da da dum ta da.
What an actor on our back. What about Yoko. Just watching you, the two of you, the last couple of days. She's the silent partner in a way. But I don't think she's silent and I've got a feeling she's a real influence on you.
JOHN: She is. She is.
How do you fit in the picture?
YOKO: Oh, I mean, you know, we're doing it together and it's very... I mean, it makes more sense when we do it together, you know. I wasn't working with anybody before that. Always doing things myself. And somehow I find it easier now, because, well, I was getting into a point that it was so much tension and all that. There was very little hope so that I said, well, if I stand in front of White House, you know... and if I get shot, then the world might start to think about peace. That's how difficult it is to communicate, you know. And, of course, John has much more access to communication, you know, and all that. So, we're using that. And then idealwise, the both of us come up with ideas, you know, together. And it's easier that way.
JOHN: She's certainly not but the woman behind the man bit. In these interviews and things, in the press, obviously they direct more towards me, 'cuz I'm the famous Beatle. But any shows that we get into any depth, I have a hard time keeping up for that, you know. I rely on her, because she's highly intelligent, very strong woman, you know.
YOKO: Thank you.
JOHN: And I think a few times, you know, I'm more of a pessimist than she is, you know.
YOKO: But, I mean, both think, you know, over.
JOHN: Yeah.
YOKO: It's the first stage, after...
JOHN: She's always like, 'we' think. We, as we said at the press conference, we intend to prevent cancer, not cure it. We understand the problem of cancer or drugtaking. But the problem isn't the fact that the kids are taking speed and things like that. The problem is the society in which they live under that pressure, that makes everybody, all the adults are on alcohol, sleeping pills and barbituates, all the kids are on pot and methadrine or whatever it is. And the problem isn't what they take or the drug problem. The problem is the society which makes all of us have to smoke cigarettes, drink, take drugs or whatever. That is the problem. And we're for prevention, not cure. We like to be able to do both, you know. But we plumped for cure... Prevention, sorry. Not cure.
YOKO: And also, you know, this is just a start, you know. That's why the cynics think, well, you haven't done anything yet. Of course not, because this is just a start.