Monday, November 24, 2008

The Limited Forgiving of Lennon

There's an important omission from the Vatican forgiving of John Lennon for his Beatles more popular than Jesus remark. They don't say they forgive him for Imagine. As it is one of the soppiest, most irritating and vacuous songs ever written, I'm with Benny on this one.

39 comments:

  1. Yep. But I think its enduring appeal lies in the fact that it makes stupid people feel clever.

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  2. Vacuousness isn't its problem. (Nothing wrong with vacuous pop songs - "I wanna hold your ha-aaa-aaand" is pretty vacuous, but it's still great).

    Over-familiarity and the victory of resigned cynicism over hippy idealism have made it trite, but 'Imagine' is the secular left's hymn, and as such it is of great historical significance.

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  3. "Imagine there's...Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too."

    Actually, I think it's got quite a nice ring to it.

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  4. The most spectacularly tasteless use of "Imagine" comes at the end of the film "The Killing Fields". "Imagine no possessions...and no religion too"? Most Cambodians under the Khmer Rouges wouldn't have to strain very hard to do that (IIRC up to 95% of Buddhist priests had been slaughtered by the regime, 100,000 Cham Muslims killed, and mosques, churches and cathedrals razed to the ground).

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  5. I think the video was shot at his mansion in Surrey.
    And he was happy enough pronouncing on no possessions, while owning a Rolls Royce.

    The middle-class need little prompting as it is to demonstrate their smugness. John Lennon gave them even more. And it's the empty-headed emoting Lennonists who are too dominant in the meeja and politics today.

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  6. Will you still need me, will you still feed me.
    When I'm sixty four.

    Well, actually John, the questions a bit of an academic one.

    I've got to admit it's getting better
    A little better all the time.

    Only up to a point mate.

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  7. Although 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' was John.

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  8. Paul, scmaul, bit sad that Brit, knowing that much about sixties pop, I bet you know every line of every Circlip Richards song.

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  9. hmm, actually, it was Paul's chaffeur, that one. Alf, I think, or was it Wilf, who really cares?

    Christian sentiment from the Vatican at last, eh? nice.

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  10. Of course I know every word to every Cliff song, Malty. I know everything there is to know. I know far more than the most knowledgeable man alive 10 years ago knew. I have Google.

    (Mind you, I knew that about the Beatles songs anyway.)

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  11. [Its enduring appeal lies in the fact that it makes stupid people feel clever]

    I would put it this way:
    The enduring appeal of cynisism lies in the fact that it makes people feel clever.

    Plus you get to name the non-cynical people naive and stupid.

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  12. Brit, congratulations and jubilation's, you want the world to know how happy you can be.
    All you need now is a living doll, or a devil woman.

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  13. I like Imagine. The lyrics may be a bit trite but the tune itself is rather beautiful. Sometimes, when vacuous words are set to music they take on greater significance.

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  14. But will Benny invite Zimmy to play for him? (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QKuWX-Pyb5s)

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  15. 'Imagine' unquestionably has a pleasant melody, but the half-rhyming doggerel Lennon croaks on top of it is dire, on a par with the 'idealism' of a 9 year old girl wishing for a pony and a river full of fizzy pop to go siwmming in. 'She Loves You Yeah Yeah' is a much more effective lyric, and crucially better suited to the ephemeral medium of 3 minute ditties in which Lennon's actual talent lay. Sadly that wasn't enough for him, and as a result he was probably the worst case since Charlie Chaplin of a popular artist believing his own hype and vanishing up his own arse, from which dark and sweaty place pretentious and inferior work subsequently issued forth.

    However Lennon's sins are ultimately greater than Chaplin's because you can easily make it through life without having to endure the Jewish barber's speech at the end of 'The Great Dictator' whereas 'Imagine' is not only cruder but brutally ubiquitous.

    Imagine Lennon never wrote 'Imagine'... alas, only in dreams, in beautiful dreams...

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  16. It could have been worse. Imagine it was Bob Geldof who sung Imagine? The Horror..

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  17. Years from now footage will emerge of Tony Blair singing 'Imagine' to his Cabinet, all stark bollock naked, on the verge of the Iraq War.

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  18. There are times elberry, when you stare into the abyss longer than you should.

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  19. So it only took 45 years for the Vatican to forgive a young and silly musician for saying something silly?

    "Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 - at the height of Beatlemania - that he did not know which would die out first, Christianity or rock and roll."

    If I wasn't an atheist I would pray that it was Christianity that would die out first.

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