"OH GODS NO MAKE IT STOP!!!"
- Your Most Humble Narrator, upon hearing "Imagine" for the latest, innumerable time.
John Lennon's "Imagine" is often cited as one of the greatest individual songs of all time. Indeed, the greatest song of all time. Its influence is undoubted and it was the subject of some controversy when it first appeared. Even today, almost forty years on from its first release, many, many people will happily shower it with praise and so forth.
It is, in short, a sacred cow in the world of popular music. And as such, I'm more than happy to turn it into so much inexpensive hamburger meat.
You see, I find the song cloying, mawkish, and naively idealistic. I also find it overrated because of the fact that unless you are willing to fap yourself red raw over the dirge-like piano melody and the hopelessly fawning lyric you are seen as some sort of, well, callous capitalist warmongering bastard whoreson. But folks... there's nothing genius about this pipe dream of everyone being all together and happy and sunny. It's been a recurring human pipe dream for millennia, however, it is also not going to happen. People are too venal, mendacious, grasping and so forth for it ever to take place. And that, friends and neighbours, you can take to the bank.
Then there's the fact it's so OVERRATED and OVERPLAYED. Why? Why? Why? Why does anyone think that some Liverpudlian stoner mumbling over a dirge (which is what it is) is worthy of note? It isn't. It's depressing, pathetic, and worse still, boring.
Oh yes. It's also a mite hypocritical, as well, that the man who wrote, "imagine no possessions" owned a specially refrigerated room in his New York abode just for his collection of fur coats. It is also hypocritical that the company that peddled this message of everyone being equal and everything shared was willing to coin it in mercilessly by flogging same, but to be fair I can't blame BMI too much. After all, there's been money in pretending to care for as long as anyone can remember. Band Aid anyone? We know it's great PR at Christmas time.
Kinda puts Rolling Stone's appraisal of the song as "virtually the Communist Manifesto" into perspective, really, doesn't it?
I prefer Cassetteboy's rework of it, where a voice says, "The Ultimate Challenge - let's make this worse," and then they mix the piano loop in with the Crazy Frog and then, after that, have someone shouting and screaming in agony, followed by a burst of machine gun fire and an ominous silence. I sympathise entirely with that poor chap.
So. Well now. Rather than going on about "give peace a chance," how about actually Doing Something to ensure that peace gets a chance. Didn't see Lennon and Ono out gettin' beaten by National Guards in the Vietnam anti-war protests, did ye? And ye don't see Bono and that other vainglorious knob, yano, the one whose kids all have bloody stupid names, Bob Geldof, out there digging artesian wells either, do ya? Well then. I would have infinity times more respect for all those wanky music critics and student politics if they actually went out there and Did Something rather than pontificated about it. And Imagine is the apotheosis of well-meaning pontification.
(Node 2 of 30 of my IRON NODES).