I’ve said it before (Peace Art): I love Justin Gaffrey’s paintings, and in particular his peace sign paintings.
See also related posts below:
After winning the gold in the balance beam, Shawn Johnson, the impressive and mature 16-year old from Iowa, was interviewed by Bob Costas. She proudly wore a pair of simple, white “peace” earrings. Good for her! I bet they’ll be for sale soon on her store….
Updates: The interview starts about 8:34 into this video (thanks to Daniel Uffleman). “Proud Iowan” notes here that not only did she wear the peace earrings during the Bob Costas interview, “she flashed a peace sign at the camera after her routine”.
Another LRC’er writes: “She didn’t get all weepy when the national anthem played during the medals ceremony, either. She’s a tough little chica. The whole women’s team was pretty impressive this year, actually.”And one more:
“I was actually going to bug Lew to post something about Johnson’s earrings. As somebody who works with teens her age, there was something that caused me to root for her above others. After seeing those earrings I’m glad I chose her. I might buy my cousin a pair for her 15th birthday although it would probably tick my neocon aunt.
“I confess had it not been for my coworkers constantly bringing them up, I would probably refuse to watch the games believing them to be a tool by elites to promote nationalism. However after watching them, I have a new found respect for the athletes who compete in them regardless of nationality. The games are not bad, but like so many other things, the politicians ruin what should be an amazing spectacle.”
Someone told me that these “peace” earrings are popular among young girls nowadays, with no significance other than a fashion fad to them. Could be. But several things lead me to think Shawn wore them consciously. First, she is no bubblehead: she’s mature and intelligent. Second: she flashed the peace sign after her routine. Third: given the disgraceful censorship of the athletes regarding criticism of things Chinese and political–by both the Chinese and the Americans (”Shawn won’t be able to blog until after the Olympics are over due to the United States Olympic Committee’s rule not allowing athletes to post blogs”)–this may have been her way of protesting–Chinese political crackdowns; Bush-Iraq; Russia-Georgia, etc. Finally, she hawks a large number of necklaces and pendants on her store (and I say GOOD for her–boo to anyone criticizing her for doing this; I say, buy from Shawn!) and could have advertised any one of them by wearing it, but she chose not to display one she is selling, but instead a simple, elegant, visible, crisp-white unadorned peace sign, after she won the gold medal and was being put on international TV. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt for being pro-peace.
Apropos my entry Peace Art, it occurs to me this site’s slogan is “anti-state, anti-war, pro-market”–which can be boiled down to: “pro-peace.” And I have to recommend this wonderful video and song, “Peace,” by the Luminaries, which premiered at the Elevate Film Festival 2008 (see The Peace Project).
Mike S writes:
I stumbled on your blog post and while I was listening to the song you recommended, I remembered one of my favorite songs from P.O.D. called “Tell Me Why.” It’s a true anti-war/peace song and I believe you might be interested.
Another reader emailed me:
I wanted to thank you for your LRC blog post with the “Peace” music video, as well as suggest another artist who I feel has been extraordinarily dedicated to the message of peace. Michael Franti has actually travelled to Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and elsewhere in the Middle East and created a documentary called I Know I’m Not Alone on his trip, where he basically travelled all over Iraq, staying with families, playing music on street corners (and even at bars filled with U.S. soldiers, singing a song that goes “You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb it into peace”), and just talking to people about the human cost of war. He also runs an annual Bay Area music festival called Power to the Peaceful. He has many great songs, but one of my favorites (and apparently his most popular music video on Youtube) is called It’s Time To Go Home [see below]. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Keep fighting the good fight,