Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Most Idiotic Song Ever" - NOT

Not to knock down a fellow-blogger, but Glen Dean's rant about a song he calls the most idiotic ever, the John Lennon tune, "Imagine", has me puzzled. Even in his comments section, which is properly filled with debate, Dean admits his fave band is the Grateful Dead, and as far as goofy lyrics go ... well, let's just call some of them goofy and leave it at that.

But I can of think of many other tunes to qualify as idiotic - "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies or that "Mmm-bop" song by them little Hanson boys. And I personally find great irony that Dolly Parton's song about breaking off her ties with Porter Waggoner, "I WIll Always Love You", is now most often heard during a wedding.

But I digress.

Here's what Glen says:

There has never been, nor will there ever be a song this idiotic. Every verse is stupid, but the final verse takes the cake.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

Sounds like a typical fantasy for an egalitarian commie like Lennon, nothing to work for, nothing to stand up and fight for, nobody having any more than anybody else. After all, nobody deserves more. No wonder they played this song at the UN.

I don't understand why society made Lennon out to be some kind of peace activist. Peace has never been achieved by sitting around and imagining that there is no religion, no heaven or hell, and no bad people in the world. We are free today because of soldiers, sailors, and marines, men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could live in peace. Freedom was fought for, not dreamed about."

Society did not make Lennon a peace activist - he did it himself, along with help from Yoko Ono - by expressing to the press in multiple interviews that he thought the Vietnam War was wrong and should end. He called in the international press on his honeymoon so they would report that he and his new bride were holding a "bed-in" to protest the war. The event was worldwide news. And then there was the song, "Give Peace A Chance" which he wrote intentionally as an anti-war anthem.

The US at the time labled him an "activist" and tried for years to keep him out of the country, especially since many millions of people were joining him in protesting the war. It was a case which the US goverment ultimately lost.

Sounds kinda like an "activist" to me.

And then there is that artistic metaphor of the tune itself - first, you have to be able to conceive, to imagine a world which you then work to make a reality through your actions. And history shows that from the sit-down strikes of Ghandi to the non-violent resistance of Martin Luther King Jr. that "sitting" and "stopping" can in fact cause revolutionary change.

And again, speaking personally, the song never expressed a rejection of religion or money, but rather an endorsement in the power of the individual to create a better world - a brotherhood created out of a realization that we can all change our lives for the better if we wish it and act to be inclusive and not divisive. It expresses to me that each person can do much to determine the reality of the world around us - but that action is preceded by vision, imagination, and viewing the world outside of the status quo.

Freedoms often must be fought for, sung about, talked about and I dare say the writers of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution began by "imagining" a world where religion and government were not the authority of humans - that instead we are all Free to be self-determining.

As for "imagining" there were "no heaven or no hell" - to me that meant that we are accountable in this world first for the way we live. So perhaps the here and now is the place to begin making a better world, not out of fear of some future Judgement, but from a desire to make the world we live in more humane and compassionate.

And this post isn't meant to defame Dean - thank God he is Free to write as he wishes. And so am I.


  1. Glen Dean10:40 PM

    Joe, I actually think you wrote a good post. I still hate "Imagine", but all of those pop tunes are also pretty bad. Thanks.

  2. I'm sort of ambivalent about Imagine, although at times it really suits a mood, if that makes sense. I do think it is a compassionate song and it sometimes hits me like a brick bat, then other times I zone it out.
    I guess it is one of those songs that serves as a reminder just when you need it.
    Did that make a lick of sense?

  3. yes Newsoma it does indeed make sense- it isn't like it's my favorite songs of all time, but Dean'scomplete mis-reading of the tune stuck in my craw.

  4. Imagine??? Most Idiotic Song Ever? about this?

  5. Oh yeah, Tits - you nailed it. The Winner, hands down!!