70 years ago today, John Lennon was born.
40 years later, he was shot and killed by a man called Mark David Chapman.
I was pondering the mental state of this man commemorative day of Lennon’s birth, so I looked him up on Wikipedia and read about what he had in his mind at the very moment when he pulled the trigger. He couldn’t stop himself, this man. He was driven by obsession and a crazed hatred – Not of Lennon but of a ‘phoniness’ which had taken over his entire being, evoked by J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher and the Rye.
Sounds crazy enough to be written off as insane.
But what really interested me was going back even further and looking at his childhood. He had escaped into a world of fantasy because of his parents’ aggression toward one another. His father abused his mother, and it did something to his mind. On top of this, he was bullied in school, wasn’t good at anything and didn’t have many friends. So he talked to imaginary ‘little people’ to get by. He played God in his head.
He harboured unexplainable suicidal thoughts for years, and not even his wife had any power to save him. He hit her too. It was normal to him.
Child psychology has always been somewhat of a hobby of mine so if you are actually someone who’s educated and knowledgeable on the topic, please just bear with my contemplation here. I’ve only read books of cases and such so this is me ruminating and coming to various conclusions from my readings… But if you look at the backgrounds of most serial murderers and crazed abusers in this world, most often come with troubled pasts. Those born into abuse are worse than others and start killing before they’ve even hit puberty. The anger and confusion is channeled wherever it can be in order for them to deal with the pain.
I’m not excusing what Mark David Chapman did, and I feel sad when I think of Yoko Ono or Lennon’s son and how they had to live life without him.
But I also feel sad at this social disease. When does it end? Of course there are some who are fortunate enough to pull themselves out of the rut – but more often than not, the abused will continue to abuse.
And the cycle lives on forever, like some sick and twisted legacy.