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"U.S. vs. John Lennon": When Crass Marketing Feels Just Fine

by Anthony Kaufman
August 2, 2006 3:25 AM
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On the corner of 7th Avenue and 10th Street in New York City later today, '60s revolutionaries may experience a flashback: the John Lennon/Yoko Ono "War is Over! (If You Want It)" billboard -- first erected in 1969 -- is back, and stands tall as a glaring reminder of what little the world has learned over the last 37 years.

Normally, I might be a bit bothered by the fact that the poster is actually an advertisement -- for Lionsgate's new documentary "The U.S. vs. John Lennon."

But then again, when the message is timely, important, and has a searing relevance beyond the movie itself, why not?

In a press release, Lionsgate marketing co-president Tim Palen said, "THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON is a film about what happened to a world-famous musician when he spoke out against an unpopular war and advocated for peace, thereby crossing a powerful and determined presidential administration that did not take kindly to dissenters. However you view the parallels to today's political climate, John and Yoko's message of peace -- that 'war is over if you want it' -- is just as meaningful now as it was then." Damn straight.

Here is a picture of the original 1969 poster:

war is over.jpg

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