John Lennon’s murder was a sick, disgusting and terrible tragedy. Too many times famous people have met the dark and bizarro world of idol worship where the end result has been death. That we even passively idolize or look up to rock and movie star, athletes and so on, is a little disturbing in my book. (Oh hell, who am I kidding, I do it too. I just don’t get creepy about it.)

Now in full disclosure, allow me to interrupt here for a moment and be frank: I’m not a big Beatles fan. I never have been. I’m very ambivalent about their music, but I do respect them for crafting simple and brilliant pop songs. I also think they were more talented opportunists than they were artists, and the cosmos aligned to make them rock stars. Lucky (rich) them.

Now back to that idol worship thing.

During his last interview, Lennon said, “I’m not interested in being a dead (expletive) hero.” Sadly and ironically, he became what he despised.

And I think that’s thanks in large part to his song “Imagine”—a schmaltzy, joyless piece of tripe that displays his grossly naive world view. He’s also considered a bit of a rock poet laureate courtesy of this song, too.

Fuck. Why?

Because it’s John Lennon, of course, you silly goose!

Yeah, no blind celebrity/ idol worship going on there.

Anyway, as you can—here it comes, wait for it—imagine, I think “Imagine” is a terrible song. Really, it’s incredible piece of crap. So I’m going to do what most people don’t do when listening to this shitty song—react to the actual thoughts in it.

Cue the lilting and hopeless piano.

Imagine there’s no heaven/It’s easy if you try

(Ack! Why would I want to do that? Heaven is wonderful place filled with the joy and grace of God’s love. And hey, look! There’s Jesus, the Apostles and oodles of saints, let’s party! Plus, my dead dad and dog are there. I wouldn’t mind saying hello and giving one a hug and the other a scratch behind the ears. I’ll let you figure out which one.)

No hell below us
(No cosmic comeuppance for Hitler, Genghis Khan, Stalin, serial killers, child rapists, Westboro Baptist Church members, etc.? No thanks, Johnny Boy. Give me pitchforks and brimstone for those asswipes. Besides, with the existence of Hell I’m better able to recognize and see Good when I have something to compare it to.)

Above us only sky
(Sort of like now.)

Imagine all the people/Living for today
(Most of us do. Then we live for tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and….wait, this is the profound insight of a poet?)

Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do
(It’s quite easy, really: It would be fucking chaos, murder, mayhem, etc. Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” come to life. That’s because some people don’t like to play nice with other people, you see, so they kill them. The good thing is that these people tend to group themselves, so we can know where they live and avoid them. Borders help with that. And frankly, I like the diversity of all the countries. It’s fun to visit them, learn about their culture, their history, eat their cuisine, etc.. Well, most of them. Sorry, Iran, you’re filled with anti-Semitic mullah douchebags hellbent on genocide, I won’t be visiting you. You either, Myanmar.)

Nothing to kill or die for
(Yes, we know you mean war—The Vietnam War, to be exact. So, if that’s the case, killing evil people like Hitler, Al Qaeda and, say, oh the Khmer Rouge asshats responsible for The Killing Fields, etc. is bad. Really? Look, drying to protect my countrymen from genocidal vermin is not only and often necessary it’s noble.)

And no religion too
(There go 80%+ of the world’s charities, a healthy stable of our universities and schools, homeless shelters, food and assistance programs, etc. Who’s going to feed, clothe and provide shelter to the poor? The government? By the way, there’s the whole moral code/compass thingy. Not having one would also contribute to the aforementioned chaos, murder, mayhem, etc.)

Imagine all the people/Living for today
(See above.)

You may say I’m a dreamer
(Nah, just a clueless pothead.)

But I’m not the only one
(Unfortunately. And you spawned more of you with this song’s naive idealism, too. Thanks.)

I hope someday you’ll join us
(Good heavens, no thank you.)

Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can
(I’m picturing me laying on the ground during January in Seattle; it’s cold, windy and pouring on my head and I’m wondering why I don’t have a roof to stop it. Oh fuck, that’s right. No possessions, so no house. Got it.)

No need for greed or hunger
(Okay, nice thoughts and I agree with them. But really, they aren’t going to happen. So maybe we should do our best as people to root out the former and relieve the latter.)

A brotherhood of man
(You know where this phrase and concept came from, don’t you, Johnny? Religion. The thing you want to do without. Contradiction. Fail.)

Imagine all the people/Sharing all the world
(We already do. Again, another profound insight from the observant one.)

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
Blah, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Cue to the lilting piano fade, a glum Lennon sitting along side his equally glum (and musically talentless) wife in a boring and joyless music video.

I’m glad MTV doesn’t play videos any more so I don’t accidentally run into this video.

Finally, and speaking of accidents, last summer I accidentally came across the Imagine circle at Strawberry Fields for the first time while in Central Park with my wife. Everyone was solemn, respectful and, of course, quietly singing “Imagine.” You can—here it comes one last time!—imagine what was rumbling through my brain listening to all the smelly hippy idol worshippers singing along: “I wish I had a gun. No, wait. That’s too much. How about some rocks—ya know, knock some sense into them. Fuck, I’ll need a quarry. Let’s just go.”

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