For years there seemed to be no heir to the heavily publicized interactive peace movement pioneered by John and Yoko ? until now.
You may have heard that a California couple have called for the population of the world to have simultaneous orgasms on Dec.22, which they’re calling a Global Orgasm for Peace. The basics of the plan –the “spank plank” if you will – are available at GlobalOrgasm.org:
“The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high-energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.”
The organizers are Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55. You may remember Donna Sheehan (no relation to Cindy), because about three years ago she and some friends protested the looming war in Iraq by stripping naked, laying down, and spelling out the word “peace.” This, obviously, didn’t stop the war, but it did confirm one thing most definitively: Newton’s Law of Gravity.
The problem with the Global Orgasm for Peace is this: who won’t be participating while everybody else is clutching a box of Puffs Plus and watching a grainy VHS copy of Two Moon Junction? But then, this is the entire problem with the peace movement. The ideas always require the participation of everyone or they don’t work.
It brings back memories to see some in the peace movement getting back to old school gimmickry straight from the 60’s playbook.
Consider Yoko Ono, the ”singer” whose shriek happens to be the mating call of the Tinnitus Warbler, and her lifelong efforts for peace – or at least attention. In 1964, Ono performed what she called a “Cut Piece,” in which audience members came onstage and clipped off pieces of her clothing until she was nearly naked. This somehow promoted world peace, and, not so subliminally, Pepto Bismol. Almost 40 years later, Yoko performed a sequel at a Paris theater, as well as rented a billboard in London which read, “Imagine all people living life in peace.” Now that cashiers at Piccadilly Square gift shops and bellboys at The Conrad have read the message on a daily basis, hopefully, the world is that much closer to eliminating the threat of nuclear holocaust.
Over the course of years, John Lennon released the pacifist anthems ”Imagine” and ”Give Peace A Chance,” John and Yoko promoted “bed-ins,” “bagism” and Cut Piece I and II. Through it all we saw a continuation of hostilities in Vietnam, the tragedy at the Olympic games in Munich, the hostage crisis in Iran, embassy bombings, hijackings, continuous violence in the Middle East and constant terrorist attacks around the world. Why didn’t it work? The answer is simple: Terrorists, criminals, warmongers and despots clearly don’t listen to FM radio, drive through London, read back issues of ”Rolling Stone” and attend Paris theater nearly enough.
The Global Orgasm for Peace will have the same problem. It won’t be global, and, since we participants will be horrendously distracted, the odds that we’ll be killed by maniacs increases. Worse yet, the chances that it will happen while we’re in the john, pants less, clutching the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue doesn’t add to the dignity of the passing.
The ultimate nail in the coffin for the Global Orgasm for Peace movement may not be lack of participation. Heck, there are no doubt pockets of people all around the globe who are, at this very moment, feverishly practicing striving for peace. In actuality, the death of the Global Orgasm for Peace could be more religious in nature.
What happens very often when people have orgasms? That’s right, they call out to God (with the possible exception of Michael Newdow, who yells out his own name).
This could be the downfall of the Global Orgasm for Peace. Millions of people suddenly calling out to God is bound to put some leftist undies in a non-secular twist. And I don’t even want to know how they’ll react when millions of people simultaneously light cigarettes.
Peace activists should also take caution in automatically assigning a label of harmonic tranquility to the orgasm. All through history, rapes have been committed, genocide inflicted, and torture performed, just because the despot du jour got a perverted sexual thrill from it all. Sheehan and Reffell’s definition of what constitutes orgasmic behavior could vary greatly from somebody else’s. Potayto, potahto, tomayto, bloodbath.
Even though these kinds of peace gimmicks never seem to work, maybe it’s only fair to give Reffel and Sheehan’s idea a try. If we wake up on the morning of Dec. 23 and there are still wars and conflicts, the message will be clear: Somebody faked it.