Recently I happened on some event, an over-dramatized sporting event if I recall correctly, but it really doesn't matter exactly what. At some point, there was some aspirational point in the event, and for some reason -- habit, I guess, inadequate original thought -- the background music was the Beatles' song "Imagine".
I turned to another channel.
I would like to think it is not just me, but I really have a lot of issues with that song, and would be very happy if I never had to listen to it again. OK, if you play an instrumental version, I suppose I wouldn't walk away. It has a decent enough tune with harmonic variety we didn't always see back then. And it wasn't really a Beatles song but a John Lennon solo, to be fair.
But you see, it starts out asking us to "imagine there's no Heaven", and kind of goes on a George Soros dream from there; no countries, no religion, no possessions, and, we would assume, a bunch of happy communists in the background pulling all the strings behind the curtain, because ain't no one going to do any productive work in that fantasy land.
I really am bothered on so many levels. First of all, I have no interest in wanting there not to be a Heaven. Heaven is the aspirational goal, after all, the promise made by God if we will accept His love and forgiveness for our sins. Why would I not want that?
And what is the aspiration that the song offers us? A "brotherhood of man", where we all gather round in a big circle, speak the same language and go la-la-la. No borders, of course, because there are "no countries", which we are also supposed to imagine. You want to "imagine" something? Imagine about two hours of that.
We can logically assume that means no cultures, either, since that would make us actually different and not all run through a leftist meat grinder until we are all the same, obedient types easily able to be inculcated by some Dear Leader, if you know what I mean. No cultures, gee, the left wouldn't like that.
Way back when I was a boy, my dad pointed out a children's song that was in the background of some event, or on the radio. It seemed innocuous enough until he explained the not-very subtle message that was similar to "Imagine" in that it too called for some utopian unreality where we were all the same. My dad, who always voted Democrat but I'm sure would not do so today, used the line "That's straight from Moscow" to describe it (Dad was not quite 93 for the 2008 election but I'm guessing he might have actually voted for a Republican; I'll have to guess on that one).
I didn't quite completely understand at the time, but I did learn to listen to lyrics after that, and I expect that John Lennon's imagining and my own would have few points of similarity. Given his political proclivity, I'm sure there was intent.
I didn't want to start the week off on a downer, given that everyone seems to love the song, but I'd been meaning to do this short piece for a while. Hearing the song again reminded me that I always react negatively to it -- and hope that you will at least remap your interpretation of the words a bit next time you listen to it.
I will be busy reminding myself that there is indeed a Heaven, and that's a good thing.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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