History Headscratchers / JohnLennon

19th Dec '15 6:55:23 AM DoctorNemesis
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**** "everything is meaningless" OP sounds like one of those victims of religious propaganda who thinks that death is what gives meaning to life, what a pitiful joke!

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**** "everything is meaningless" OP sounds like one of those victims of religious propaganda who thinks that death is what gives meaning to life, what a pitiful joke!
19th Nov '15 2:43:00 PM calamondin
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* On a different note for the same song Music/DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.

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**** "everything is meaningless" OP sounds like one of those victims of religious propaganda who thinks that death is what gives meaning to life, what a pitiful joke!

* On a different note for the same song Music/DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.
17th Jan '15 9:01:11 AM Patachou
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* JohnLennon's ''Imagine''. Imagine everything is meaningless, and people only live for the moment. Plus, nothing to kill or die for? That means there's no freedom and no love. And this is supposed to be a HopeForABetterWorld song.

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* JohnLennon's ''Imagine''.Music/JohnLennon's ''Imagine'' from ''Music/{{Imagine}}''. Imagine everything is meaningless, and people only live for the moment. Plus, nothing to kill or die for? That means there's no freedom and no love. And this is supposed to be a HopeForABetterWorld song.



* On a different note for the same song DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.

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* On a different note for the same song DavidBowie Music/DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.
10th May '14 6:30:11 AM ading
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* On a different note for the same song DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.

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*** But the whole point of dying for something is that you eliminate a threat to it. If there are no threats to love or freedom, how can you kill or die for them? You already have them, and they're not going to be taken away.
* On a different note for the same song DavidBowie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftjxN_KJoM did a cover]] why cant I buy this.
26th Apr '13 2:31:35 AM superawesomephoenix
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Added DiffLines:

** I think the OP was pointing out that most good things, such as freedom and love, are things people see as worth killing or dying for, not that they can only exist if you kill or die for them. A lot of romance stories revolve around the idea that love is worth dying for, after all.
17th Feb '13 7:19:25 PM LorienTheYounger
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Added DiffLines:

** It seems significant that the original person who posted this apparently thinks that freedom and love can't possibly exist without people killing each other or dying for them. When the song itself implores the listener to imagine a world where there could be love and freedom without death and destruction. Perhaps such a concept is beyond the boundaries of their imagination.
27th Oct '11 10:35:13 PM IHaveAHeadAche
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* I think John was coming out of his shell musically when it came to his solo career, but was unfortunately cut off before his real prime.
** John probably didn't put out any more or any less tripe than the other three, but the difference (and something that really JustBugsMe) is that TrueArtIsIncomprehensible, TrueArtSticksItToTheMan, and DeadArtistsAreBetter have combined to massively inflate his reputation... one could say ''over''-inflate. Paul was at least GenreSavvy enough to write "Silly Love Songs."
** Also, even though people saw John as a better artist, Paul is by far the most successful Beatle. He's outsold George, Ringo, AND John.
*** Although technically speaking George has had the biggest selling solo album -- ''All Things Must Pass'' is the only Beatles solo album to go 6x Platinum. Accumulatively Paul's sold a lot more, but then he's also released a lot more as well.
*** Interestingly, in the first 5 years after they broke up (before John essentially put his career on hold for to be a stay-at-home dad) Ringo actually sold the must albums, at least in America.
* Imagine a world with no religion? It really is easy to do. Just look up Katyń forest massacre, or Pol Pot killing fields, for start. It's a headscratcher for anyone to think getting rid of religion would make people more peaceful and less violent.
** Sadly, it's a very, very, ''very'' commonly expressed view, to the point of exhausted cliche--and mark my words, it's only a matter of time before someone posts a response below saying something like, "Well, it's an exaggeration, but historically religion ''is'' the #1 cause of death blah blah blah...." One of the twenty thousand or so types of hypocrisy commonly found among proponents of atheism and nonreligion is the way they use religion as a scapegoat for everything wrong with the world and then two minutes later bitch and moan about atheism being used as a scapegoat. Just like talking about religion as a mental illness and then getting defensive when psychoanalyzed as to the alleged reasons for their atheism. And so on. Bottom line: you can't get away from the argument in question and you never will, so just buck up.
** But did Pol Pot killing fields etc. happen because of the lack of religion? Not that I think getting rid of religion would make people more peaceful, but I don't think it would make people more violent either. The only people I know of who used lack of religion to justify their actions is Jeffrey Dahmer.
** Yeah, because [[SarcasmMode those dirty commies only cared about whether or not you were religious, and as long as you were an atheist you could bitchslap Stalin if you wanted to, and everything would be A-OK.]] Saying that everyone would be nice and peaceful as soon as they dropped religion? Naive, stupid, and insulting to religious people. Claming that having no religion leads to killing people? Double-sized stupid with fries and a large coke, not to mention the UnfortunateImplications up the arse. Also, if you really believe that having a religion is the one thing keeping people from murder (disregarding things like law, human empathy social pressure, a conscience and a moral upbringing), I for one wouldn't want to be anywhere near you if you ever have [[AxCrazy a small crisis of faith]].
** While Imagine was overly simplistic in my opinion that is just a dumb thing to say its one thing to argue that it wouldnt change most people its another thing entirely to say that a lack of religion makes people more bigger assholes. Its not even an argument you just stated violent actions done by atheistic groups I can do the same thing to argue for why religion causes people to be evil, Just look up the Mountain Meadows Massacre, or the Livonian Crusade for start.
** The evil of religion, if you want to call it that, is that it is the ultimate appeal to authority. God told me to do it. If God tells you to do something, you'd better do it, hadn't you? It has been used as an excuse not to think since they first came up with it, or a reason for you not to think. God said it was alright, do whatever. Religion or non-religion is not a source of violence. People are a source of violence. Religion is just a truly great excuse to do what you want. So, if there was no religion, there would be no super authority to appeal to. Go find me an atheist who ever killed someone because God told them to. Find me an atheist who ever used God as an excuse or a reason ever. God, the ultimate scapegoat.
* ''Imagine'' is a poem based on simple ideas from Buddhist philosophy. It's not a political manifesto, for anyone, on either side of politics. It is asking the listener to consider the issues for a moment, and make a personal decision. I performed it for some Thai Buddhist monks once, and they liked it a lot. They hadn't heard it before, and just asked, "Is it a traditional song?" Which is exactly what it sounds like. To a Buddhist.
** I meant overly simplistic musically not in terms of philosophy.
** I don't have any proof at the ready so far all I know it may be a case of GodNeverSaidThat but I have heard more than one apparently reliable person quote Lennon as saying the song is basically "The Communist Manifesto" set to music. He was always brutally honest about himself and his work, after all. (For instance, he was a large part of the basis for Billy Mack in "Love Actually".) All the same, being both a non-Communist and a deeply religious man I am not exactly offended by the song (Spector's Wall of Shit notwithstanding). Lennon isn't trying to make everyone follow his particular vision; he's arguing that everyone should ''have'' a vision, their very own, and oh by the way while we're at it here is his.
** Plus, let's be honest; it's just a three-minute pop song. Agree with Lennon's ideology or not, I think we can all agree (including Lennon, probably) that basing an entire society on the tenets espoused solely within ''any'' song, never mind one as brazenly idealistic as "Imagine", is just asking for trouble. As the Troper above notes, the point isn't necessarily that Lennon expects anyone to seriously construct an entire world order based entirely on the song, it's that he's expressing his hopes and beliefs and asking the listener to consider them.
* The idea of ''Imagine'' doesn't seem to be ''against'' politics, religion, possessions, territories or the precepts of heaven and hell. The ''subtext'' seems to be that such subjects and concepts are so tightly held and passionately argued over by [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] (often who throw "Thou Shalt Not Kill", etc. out the window) that they lead to fighting and bloodshed and man inflicting pain upon his fellow man. If we can get rid of ''the less desirable attitudes that come with'' politics, religion, possessions, territories or the concepts of heaven and hell, the territorialism and didacticism and dogmatism that come with such subjects, we can have peace. Or, cynically, if such concerns would for some people lead them to war and oppression and judgmentalism even in spite of our best interests, we might as well (hypothetically) think of a less divisive way to live our lives.
27th Oct '11 10:34:03 PM IHaveAHeadAche
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** The FridgeLogic of that song is that what he's describing is his own personal [[MundaneAfterlife Boring]] [[GoodIsBoring Heaven]], while mentioning the idea of heaven as one of the evil influences on life. Of course, he's talking about people striving towards a heaven after life, as opposed totrying to create heaven-as-a-place-on-earth (oooh, baby, do ya know what that's worth? sorry...)
** I thought the implication was (and is supposed to be) that everyone would have freedom and love already and therefore they ''wouldn't'' have to kill or die for it.
** I believe the World State from Huxley's ''BraveNewWorld'' satisfies every requirement listed in the song. Naturally, it's a dystopia in which people have shallow, meaningless existences.
** Living for today, with nothing to kill or die for, does ''not'' mean there is no freedom or love! It means there is ''only'' freedom and love -- not being bound by religion or nationality, sharing all the world... ''How'' could this be interpreted as "no freedom and no love"? The mind boggles.
*** Someone clearly hasn't read Brave New World.
**** Right, because all utopian visions ''must'' automatically equal dystopian subversions like "Brave New World". There's no chance that someone actually might long for a better world where there is no need for killing and war, and where people can live their lives in peace and live them to the full. Suuuuure.
**** Yeah, they should. The reason Huxley wrote that novel was to satirize the optimistic utopia outlined by H.G. Wells in Men Like Gods. Why? BECAUSE THIS IS FUCKING REALITY! Lennon's disgustingly dull utopia that he envisioned, like ALL utopian visions, are simply NOT POSSIBLE! Why? Because humans are humans and Real Life is Real Life. I may sound like a cynic, but there's a REASON that cynics have a tendency to be accurate in their observations: they draw from Reality. This troper, however, is a very optimistic person in truth, but he becomes very cynical whenever someone brings up a "perfect world" as outlined by John Lennon and other liberal optimists...
***** It's called Imagine. It's called "it just bugs me" not /b/
***** Just because a perfect world isn't attainable doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try not to fight and kill one another. There can be some sort of happy medium between Real Life dystopia and Brave New World dystopia.
***** I do agree that we should avoid needless bullshit in our lives. However, the TastesLikeDiabetes that Lennon envisioned just sickens [[SickBritKid this troper]] due to the sheer impracticality of it and Lennon's dogmatic adherence to said philosophy. Perhaps it's his Conservative-born cynicism showing through, or maybe he's always hated Lennon for being the mega-douche he became after meeting Yoko Ono, a major contribution to the Beatles' breakup, who knows? The thing is, the sort of world outlined in Imagine would only be achievable if Brave New World became reality. The reason Imagine's vision is bullshit is the same reason Communism is the best governing system on paper and one of the worst in practice: humans are humans.
***** You know what JustBugsMe? When certain *ahem* "people" insult musical geniuses for being the least bit optimistic, suggesting that we work together to build a better world, and push it aside as *ahem* "communist bullshit", when the song itself is basically aimed at that very same group of people who acknowledge it as such. Just because the prospect of a utopian society ''appears'' unobtainable, it is not by far synonymous with a ''dys''topian one. If any optimism appears to you as *ahem* "Tasting Like Diabetes", then why bother complaining? Lennon admits that he is a dreamer in the song, but is it not true that working toward your dreams gives them a chance to come true, especially if you're not alone? Being liberal, and being optimistic are not crimes.
***** Who's going to do all of the work if there's no money or possessions? There's nothing to make them want to. Subservient class? Brave New World.
***** Whatever you may think about the logistics of ''Imagine'', what you're doing when you say "Someone clearly hasn't read ''Brave New World''" is questioning ''John Lennon's motives'' -- which is completely unjustified. Whether or not ''you'' think this means a ''Brave New World''-esque dystopia, John Lennon sure as shit didn't. Why are you looking for an ulterior motive that just isn't there? Lennon doesn't say "There will be a world where..." or "I will make a world where...": he says "''Imagine'' a world where..." That's the point, to imagine the destination. Not to quibble about whether it can be realised word-for-word in real life. And definitely not to theorise that John Lennon -- John Lennon, of all people! -- was actually advocating a classist dystopia with himself at the top. That's where cynicism becomes unwarranted and just plain stupid.
***** John Lennon was, at heart, an arrogant and pretentious prick who loved to wail on religion, class, ect. to make himself feel better and put himself above other people. "Imagine" is, in short, an outlining of his beliefs and his viewpoints. They fit Brave New World like a bloody glove.
****** All you're doing is shoehorning John Lennon's played-straight vision of a utopia into Brave New World's subversion-of-utopias vision of a dystopia, and acting like that's what he meant all along. The lyrics of "Imagine" are all very general: "living life in peace", "sharing all the world", etc. -- no specifics are given because the specifics aren't important. But in your warped view of "Imagine", you're arguing that "living life in peace" ''must'' mean "...under the dictatorship of an oppressive World State", that "sharing all the world" ''must'' mean "...as part of a de-individualised caste system with subservient classes of artificially-inseminated people", and so on, and that John Lennon ''meant it that way, WITH those dystopic specifics''. Which is utterly ridiculous, and, judging by your last comment -- "arrogant and pretentious prick", etc. etc. -- seems to stem from an irrational hatred of Lennon on your part.
****** I love how you're trying to apply specifics when I've mainly been talking in general terms. And how would despising Lennon be irrational? He was a self-indulgent hypocrite, and Imagine shows it. To quote Mitch Benn: "John Lennon DID sing 'Imagine no possessions.' But he sang while playing on a ''white Steinway in the middle of the drawing-room of his thirty-two acre estate in Barkshire''!" Overall, Lennon's little Utopian vision was idealistic at best and utterly moronic at worst.
******* You haven't been talking in general terms at all -- saying "Brave New World fits all the criteria" ''is'' applying specifics. And yes, it's idealistic -- '''that's the whole point'''. That's why the song's, y'know, called "Imagine".
******** The point is, however, is that idealistic visions are nothing but folly. Socialism and Communism are manifestations of idealistic visions of "equality" and "happiness for all." It goes without saying that Socialist and Communist agendas have crashed and burned rather spectacularly throughout history.
********* So... you think it's wrong to want equality and happiness for all. Um, okay then...
********** No, I think it's wrong to preach something that's completely and utterly unattainable. It wasn't a "want", Lennon actively preached that crap for years, hell it was his bloody niche he found post-Beatles! Not to mention the fact that the only way to attain that sort of thing would be if the individual identities of the human race were stripped away and they were forced into subservience. THAT is what it would take for that to happen. Why? People are people.
*********** ^^^ So shall we stop preaching the American Dream as so few can attain it?
**** [[FlatWhat What]].
** The thing s/he's getting at is that if you truly love someone/something, you would willingly die for them - or conversely kill for them, if absolutely necessary. If you don't consider something worth dying for, you don't really love it, do you?
*** I strongly disagree. I find that the best way to appreciate my favorite things in life is to spend time with them, which has the notable prerequisite of ''being alive''.
**** You're missing the point. It's not about dying as a requirement to show your love, it's about willing to do anything to protect the thing you love, including giving your life, ''if necessary''.
***** And Lennon's saying that the world would be a better place if such actions weren't necessary.
** What bugs me about this song, is so many people say it's about the best thing John Lennon ever wrote, but it's not that good. I mean, it'd be mediocre if it were coming out of any other artist, it's just bad when you consider it's from John. He had plenty of way, way better songs.
*** I knew that there would be at least ''one'' person who was going to say something like this. Just accept that some people ''do'' think it's a great song, you don't, and that's it. No-one's opinion is more ''right'' than anybody else's.
*** John himself said Imagine was probably among the best things he ever wrote, but at the same time he didn't like it, saying it was sugar-coated and watered down.
*** The song has a very significant redeeming quality. [[YokoOhNo Yoko Ono]] spends the entire video sitting next to him, and she doesn't sing a single note. We should give thanks daily.
** ''Imagine'' is merely a song to endorse Marxist politics.
*** So? There is nothing inherently wrong with them just that some of the people who preached them where hypocrites.
** This troper once saw a rather good parody:
--->Imagine no possessions
--->It isn't hard to do
--->No joy or freedom
--->No food or water too
--->Imagine all the people
--->Dying in the dirt
--->Uh, uh-uh
--->You may call me a cynic
--->Well I'm not the only one
--->We saw Lenin ruin millions of lives
--->Lennon's just another one.
*** "Posession" can mean more than one thing, but regardless of which definition you use, "no posessions" does not mean "no water".
*** Hmm, those first six lines sound rather reminiscent of someone living in poverty in a capitalist society...
**** Most people in poverty in a capitalistic society are there of their own actions. Many are not, but most are.
***** And is there any actual evidence to back up the claim that most people who live in poverty in capitalistic societies are there because of their own failings? And keep in mind that not all capitalistic societies are found in first-world countries.
***** Yeah. Third-World capitalistic societies are bound to fail. An efficient and profitable capitalist society MUST exist in a First-World country simply because it requires a burgeoning industry and middle class to function. In poor third-world countries, those with little to no industrial production and no middle class, the power of capitalism is instead left in the hands of the super-rich and the poor workers are thrown by the wayside. Citing THAT, you have a point. But in first-world capitalist societies, many of the people below the poverty line are people who simply do not want to work and instead are content to live off of meager government paychecks via Section 8. Note John F. Kennedy, who drew the poverty line during his presidency. He stated that everyone below that line was entitled to Welfare. When that happened, more than 50% of the population of New Mexico, in one example, dropped out of the workforce and became unemployed, as they could now live off of free money from the government as opposed to having to work for it.
***** You're going to need some ''serious'' sources, links, documents, the works if you want to get away with making the jaw-droppingly offensive claim that most people below the poverty line are there because they're lazy and don't want to work. The troper above you asked for evidence, not anecdotes. And considering you named the wrong president (it was Johnson, not Kennedy, who initiated the War on Poverty) and New Mexico has ''never'' had a jobless rate anywhere near 50%, I'm not impressed. For the record, here's what TheOtherWiki says about the program:
---->In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level to date: 11.1% . They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since. Since 1973 poverty has remained well below the historical U.S. averages in the range of 20-25%.
***** Perhaps 50% was an exaggeration, but this troper has a grandfather that remembers the Kennedy and Johnson years well. Also, mind telling me how I was "jaw-droppingly offensive"? This troper has a grandmother who rents out several houses to people. Most of those houses are rented to Section 8 scum who beg their money out of the government, spend it, and then try and pass on their rent for the month. This troper's grandmother, who has her a good share of resources, does extensive personal background checks on every renter she has going through her system. Almost every Section 8 family she has living in her rental houses are people who choose not to work, instead wanting to sap the system's money. Now, this may not be a good indicator of people below the poverty line, but it is kinda hard to argue when your own grandmother has to basically squeeze Section 8 renters for cash nine times out of ten. As for Johnson, yeah I got the president wrong. That doesn't change the fact that almost every single one of Johnson's policies were taken directly from JFK's agenda(Welfare and the Civil Rights Act) or more or less the same as a policy JFK had in mind(The Great Society was proposed by Johnson after considerable input from Joseph Kenndy). Johnson was basically JFK but in a much older body and a lot less popular...
****** You really want to know how you were jaw droppingly offensive? Calling people "Section 8 scum" for a start!
**** And?
***** This is shockingly offensive because you made an inflammatory remark about impoverished people then when people asked you to prove your inflammatory statements you responded with bald-faced lies throwing out bullshit statistics then when someone rightly called you on your lies and bullshit statistics after that you hastily hid your complete lack of research behind unverifiable claims about how someone you knew rented out a house where she had to get money out of renters who where on welfare ignoring that there are completely legitimate reasons why you will have barely any money with welfare like food, medicine, and other basic necessities claiming this only because of a few examples is just overgeneralizing lots of people. Because you will almost definitely saying you where not lying or merely exagerating here are some facts, the war on poverty was incredibly successful bringing the poverty rate in the U.S.A to the lowest it had ever gotten until it was ended by Richard Nixon, Then there is the sheer gall to say that maybe fifty percent of people just up an stopped working was exagerating If unemployment even got near those levels ever it would be a sign of a nation about to collapse there have never been unemployment rates that high in American history, the highest unemployment rate in American history was around 22% during the great depression. Then there is a very simple fact living off of welfare sucks I have had to live off welfare I know people who have to live off welfare it is not pretty, you barely have any money I don't know if you have ever tried to budget around 1'000 dollars into anything you could live off of but it leaves you with pretty much nothing for anything other than the basic necessities of food, and shelter. No one ever wants to live like that don't even try to pretend that anyone other than the desperate would try to live that life.
*** So why is it there exist people on Welfare who're content to sit around and NOT go out and look for a job? Who DON'T want to work for a living and instead just sit around and suckle the government teat? To deny their existence is to deny reality.
**** How do you know they aren't looking for a job? Getting a job when you are poor and don't have much of an education is hard already then you add in the fact that the economy is falling apart and even well trained professionals have to fight and claw their way into jobs and its almost impossible to get a job.
*** MitchBenn has a similar take on the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zP0xYv0sZk here.]]
*** While you're busy red-baiting John Lennon, I'd like to point out that it was Lennon who wrote the song "Revolution". Y'know, the song arguing ''against'' a communist revolution...
---> ''But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao''
---> ''You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow''
---> ''Don't you know it's gonna be all right, all right, all right...''
** "Nothing to kill or die for" does ''not'' mean there is no freedom and no love. The whole point is that because there is ''only'' freedom and love, there is no need to kill or to die for them. I also take issue with the assertion that "living for today" means "living a meaningless life" -- it means living life to the full because there is no need to worry. In fact, it seems to me that the cynics above are looking at each individual line of the song in the context of the world today, as opposed to looking at them all together as one vision of a utopian world.
** Did Most Overrated Music Producer Ever Phil Spector, Murderer of Both Women and Music, have to wreck the song with his Wall of Shit-er, sound, like he did the album "Let it Be" (though he didn't wreck anything by the Beatles as badly as he did the Blue Oyster Cult album "Spectres")? I mean, the song did not need those lugubrious strings!
*** The weird thing is that I don't hate everything he did to Beatles music. The ''Let It Be...Naked'' version of "The Long and Winding Road" actually sounds empty without all those strings. But why did he ever add that angelic choir to "Across The Universe"? It didn't fit the song at all. But he did a masterful job on George's ''All Things Must Pass'', and his influence is almost nonexistent on ''John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band''.
** From the BrokenAesop page: "Some people have criticized John Lennon's most famous song 'Imagine' [because] it's kinda broken to (in the music video) sit behind a giant expensive piano in a giant expensive house next to a giant expensive wife, and then tell people to 'imagine no possessions'."
*** If the video was in a cardboard box and played on a $5 dollar used piano keyboard with half of the keys yellowed and broken and with gum under them and half of them missing and none of them on key it would sound ear-bleedingly AWFUL.
** People who deify John for writing "Imagine," and then bash Yoko Ono in the same breath. "Imagine" was based on a poem THAT SHE WROTE.
** I seem, oddly enough, to be the first person to point it out, and somebody should: the song is one of the most overplayed pieces of music ever written by any human being. Like "Hotel California", it lost any emotional oomph it might (debatably) have once had the 374,220,631,996th time we heard it.
*** My biggest peeve about this song is similar: why is it constantly getting used in the media as an ''uncontroversial'' optimistic vision? In ''QuantumLeap'', Sam sings it to cheer up a little kid; in ''{{Glee}}'', it's the deaf show choir's "our troubles don't get us down" song, and the main cast all pitch in... if we were talking about a Bowdlerized version, that would be one thing, but these shows never even leave out the religion-bashing verses! Do the creators somehow miss those lines every time, or do they just not care how much of their audience they're slapping in the face? (Lennon's fame doesn't fully account for it either -- it's not like ''all'' his songs are used this much.)
**** Glee's a Left-leaning show that loves to throw in potshots at various right-wing ideologies and figures to the point that it's a goddamn Drinking Game. Maybe that'll help shed some light...
**** Point of interest: In the ''Quantum Leap'' episode, yeah, Sam sings "Imagine" to cheer up a kid, but it has the [[SubvertedTrope opposite effect]]; she bursts into sorrowful tears instead.

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** The FridgeLogic of that song is that what he's describing is his own personal [[MundaneAfterlife Boring]] [[GoodIsBoring Heaven]], while mentioning the idea of heaven as one of the evil influences on life. Of course, he's talking about people striving towards a heaven after life, as opposed totrying to trying to create heaven-as-a-place-on-earth (oooh, baby, do ya know what that's worth? sorry...)
** I thought the implication was (and is supposed To avoid {{internet backdraft}} We'll shorten it down to be) that everyone would have freedom and love already and therefore they ''wouldn't'' have to kill or die for it.
** I believe the World State from Huxley's ''BraveNewWorld'' satisfies every requirement listed in the song. Naturally, it's a dystopia in which people have shallow, meaningless existences.
** Living for today, with nothing to kill or die for, does ''not'' mean there is no freedom or love! It means there is ''only'' freedom and love -- not being bound by religion or nationality, sharing all the world... ''How'' could this be interpreted as "no freedom and no love"? The mind boggles.
*** Someone clearly hasn't read Brave New World.
**** Right, because all utopian visions ''must'' automatically equal dystopian subversions like "Brave New World". There's no chance that someone actually might long for a better world where there is no need for killing and war, and where people can live their lives in peace and live them to the full. Suuuuure.
**** Yeah, they should. The reason Huxley wrote that novel was to satirize the optimistic utopia outlined by H.G. Wells in Men Like Gods. Why? BECAUSE THIS IS FUCKING REALITY! Lennon's disgustingly dull utopia that he envisioned, like ALL utopian visions, are simply NOT POSSIBLE! Why? Because humans are humans and Real Life is Real Life. I may sound like a cynic, but there's a REASON that cynics have a tendency to be accurate in their observations: they draw from Reality. This troper, however, is a very optimistic person in truth, but he becomes very cynical whenever someone brings up a "perfect world" as outlined by John
this, Lennon and other liberal optimists...
***** It's called Imagine. It's called "it just bugs me" not /b/
***** Just because a perfect world isn't attainable doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try not to fight and kill one another. There can be some sort of happy medium between Real Life dystopia and Brave New World dystopia.
***** I do agree that we should avoid needless bullshit in our lives. However, the TastesLikeDiabetes that Lennon envisioned just sickens [[SickBritKid this troper]] due to the sheer impracticality of it and Lennon's dogmatic adherence to said philosophy. Perhaps it's his Conservative-born cynicism showing through, or maybe he's always hated Lennon for being the mega-douche he became after meeting Yoko Ono, a major contribution to the Beatles' breakup, who knows? The thing is, the sort of world outlined in Imagine would only be achievable if Brave New World became reality. The reason Imagine's vision is bullshit is the same reason Communism is the best governing system on paper and one of the worst in practice: humans are humans.
***** You know what JustBugsMe? When certain *ahem* "people" insult musical geniuses for being the least bit optimistic, suggesting that we work together to build a better world, and push it aside as *ahem* "communist bullshit", when the song itself is basically aimed at that very same group of people who acknowledge it as such. Just because the prospect of a utopian society ''appears'' unobtainable, it is not by far synonymous with a ''dys''topian one. If any optimism appears to you as *ahem* "Tasting Like Diabetes", then why bother complaining? Lennon admits that he is a dreamer in the song, but is it not true that working toward your dreams gives them a chance to come true, especially if you're not alone? Being liberal, and being optimistic are not crimes.
***** Who's going to do all of the work if there's no money or possessions? There's nothing to make them want to. Subservient class? Brave New World.
***** Whatever you may think about the logistics of ''Imagine'', what you're doing when you say "Someone clearly hasn't read ''Brave New World''" is questioning ''John Lennon's motives'' -- which is completely unjustified. Whether or not ''you'' think this means a ''Brave New World''-esque dystopia, John Lennon sure as shit didn't. Why are you looking for an ulterior motive that just isn't there? Lennon doesn't say "There will be a world where..." or "I will make a world where...": he says "''Imagine'' a world where..." That's the point, to imagine the destination. Not to quibble about whether it can be realised word-for-word in real life. And definitely not to theorise that John Lennon -- John Lennon, of all people! -- was actually advocating a classist dystopia with himself at the top. That's where cynicism becomes unwarranted and just plain stupid.
***** John Lennon was, at heart, an arrogant and pretentious prick who loved to wail on religion, class, ect. to make himself feel better and put himself above other people. "Imagine" is, in short, an outlining of his beliefs and his viewpoints. They fit Brave New World like a bloody glove.
****** All you're doing is shoehorning John Lennon's played-straight vision of a utopia into Brave New World's subversion-of-utopias vision of a dystopia, and acting like that's what he meant all along. The lyrics of "Imagine" are all very general: "living life in peace", "sharing all the world", etc. -- no specifics are given because the specifics aren't important. But in your warped view of "Imagine", you're arguing that "living life in peace" ''must'' mean "...under the dictatorship of an oppressive World State", that "sharing all the world" ''must'' mean "...as part of a de-individualised caste system with subservient classes of artificially-inseminated people", and so on, and that John Lennon ''meant it that way, WITH those dystopic specifics''. Which is utterly ridiculous, and, judging by your last comment -- "arrogant and pretentious prick", etc. etc. --
seems to stem from an irrational hatred of Lennon on your part.
****** I love how you're trying to apply specifics when I've mainly been talking in general terms. And how would despising Lennon be irrational? He was a self-indulgent hypocrite, and Imagine shows it. To quote Mitch Benn: "John Lennon DID sing 'Imagine no possessions.' But he sang while playing on a ''white Steinway in the middle of the drawing-room of his thirty-two acre estate in Barkshire''!" Overall, Lennon's little Utopian vision was idealistic at best and utterly moronic at worst.
******* You haven't been talking in general terms at all -- saying "Brave New World fits all the criteria" ''is'' applying specifics. And yes, it's idealistic -- '''that's the whole point'''. That's why the song's, y'know, called "Imagine".
******** The point is, however, is
have believed that idealistic visions are nothing but folly. Socialism and Communism are manifestations of idealistic visions of "equality" and "happiness for all." It goes without saying that Socialist and Communist agendas have crashed and burned rather spectacularly throughout history.
********* So... you think it's wrong to want equality and happiness for all. Um, okay then...
********** No, I think it's wrong to preach something that's completely and utterly unattainable. It wasn't a "want", Lennon actively preached that crap for years, hell it was his bloody niche he found post-Beatles! Not to mention the fact that the only way to attain that sort of thing would be if the individual identities of the human race were stripped away and they were forced into subservience. THAT is what it would take for that to happen. Why? People are people.
*********** ^^^ So shall we stop preaching the American Dream as so few can attain it?
**** [[FlatWhat What]].
** The thing s/he's getting at is that if you truly love someone/something, you would willingly die for them - or conversely kill for them, if absolutely necessary. If you don't consider something worth dying for, you don't really love it, do you?
*** I strongly disagree. I find that the best way to appreciate my favorite things in life is to spend time with them, which has the notable prerequisite of ''being alive''.
**** You're missing the point. It's not about dying as a requirement to show your love, it's about willing to do anything to protect the thing you love, including giving your life, ''if necessary''.
***** And Lennon's saying that the world would be a better place if such actions weren't necessary.
** What bugs me about this song, is so many people say it's about the best thing John Lennon ever wrote, but it's not that good. I mean, it'd be mediocre if it were coming out of any other artist, it's just bad when you consider it's from John. He had plenty of way, way better songs.
*** I knew that there would be at least ''one'' person who was going to say something like this. Just accept that some people ''do'' think it's a great song, you don't, and that's it. No-one's opinion is more ''right'' than anybody else's.
*** John himself said Imagine was probably among the best things he ever wrote, but at the same time he didn't like it, saying it was sugar-coated and watered down.
*** The song has a very significant redeeming quality. [[YokoOhNo Yoko Ono]] spends the entire video sitting next to him, and she doesn't sing a single note. We should give thanks daily.
** ''Imagine'' is merely a song to endorse Marxist politics.
*** So? There is nothing inherently wrong with them just that some of the people who preached them where hypocrites.
** This troper once saw a rather good parody:
--->Imagine no possessions
--->It isn't hard to do
--->No joy or freedom
--->No food or water too
--->Imagine all the people
--->Dying in the dirt
--->Uh, uh-uh
--->You may call me a cynic
--->Well I'm not the only one
--->We saw Lenin ruin millions of lives
--->Lennon's just another one.
*** "Posession" can mean more than one thing, but regardless of which definition you use, "no posessions" does not mean "no water".
*** Hmm, those first six lines sound rather reminiscent of someone living in poverty in a capitalist society...
**** Most people in poverty in a capitalistic society are there of their own actions. Many are not, but most are.
***** And is there any actual evidence to back up the claim that most people who live in poverty in capitalistic societies are there because of their own failings? And keep in mind that not all capitalistic societies are found in first-world countries.
***** Yeah. Third-World capitalistic societies are bound to fail. An efficient and profitable capitalist society MUST exist in a First-World country simply because it requires a burgeoning industry and middle class to function. In poor third-world countries, those with little to no industrial production and no middle class, the power of capitalism is instead left in the hands of the super-rich and the poor workers are thrown by the wayside. Citing THAT, you have a point. But in first-world capitalist societies, many of the people below the poverty line are people who simply do not want to work and instead are content to live off of meager government paychecks via Section 8. Note John F. Kennedy, who drew the poverty line during his presidency. He stated that everyone below that line was entitled to Welfare. When that happened, more than 50% of the population of New Mexico, in one example, dropped out of the workforce and became unemployed, as they could now live off of free money from the government as opposed to having to work for it.
***** You're going to need some ''serious'' sources, links, documents, the works if you want to get away with making the jaw-droppingly offensive claim that most people below the poverty line are there because they're lazy and don't want to work. The troper above you asked for evidence, not anecdotes. And considering you named the wrong president (it was Johnson, not Kennedy, who initiated the War on Poverty) and New Mexico has ''never'' had a jobless rate anywhere near 50%, I'm not impressed. For the record, here's what TheOtherWiki says about the program:
---->In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level to date: 11.1% . They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since. Since 1973 poverty has remained well below the historical U.S. averages in the range of 20-25%.
***** Perhaps 50% was an exaggeration, but this troper has a grandfather that remembers the Kennedy and Johnson years well. Also, mind telling me how I was "jaw-droppingly offensive"? This troper has a grandmother who rents out several houses to people. Most of those houses are rented to Section 8 scum who beg their money out of the government, spend it, and then try and pass on their rent for the month. This troper's grandmother, who has her a good share of resources, does extensive personal background checks on every renter she has going through her system. Almost every Section 8 family she has living in her rental houses are people who choose not to work, instead wanting to sap the system's money. Now, this may not be a good indicator of people below the poverty line, but it is kinda hard to argue when your own grandmother has to basically squeeze Section 8 renters for cash nine times out of ten. As for Johnson, yeah I got the president wrong. That doesn't change the fact that almost every single one of Johnson's policies were taken directly from JFK's agenda(Welfare and the Civil Rights Act) or more or less the same as a policy JFK had in mind(The Great Society was proposed by Johnson after considerable input from Joseph Kenndy). Johnson was basically JFK but in a much older body and a lot less popular...
****** You really want to know how you were jaw droppingly offensive? Calling people "Section 8 scum" for a start!
**** And?
***** This is shockingly offensive because you made an inflammatory remark about impoverished people then when people asked you to prove your inflammatory statements you responded with bald-faced lies throwing out bullshit statistics then when someone rightly called you on your lies and bullshit statistics after that you hastily hid your complete lack of research behind unverifiable claims about how someone you knew rented out a house where she had to get money out of renters who where on welfare ignoring that there are completely legitimate reasons why you will have barely any money with welfare like food, medicine, and other basic necessities claiming this only because of a few examples is just overgeneralizing lots of people. Because you will almost definitely saying you where not lying or merely exagerating here are some facts, the war on poverty was incredibly successful bringing the poverty rate in the U.S.A to the lowest it had ever gotten until it was ended by Richard Nixon, Then there is the sheer gall to say that maybe fifty percent of people just up an stopped working was exagerating If unemployment even got near those levels ever
it would be a sign of a nation about to collapse there have never been unemployment rates utopia, whether or not that high in American history, the highest unemployment rate in American history was around 22% during the great depression. Then there is a very simple fact living off of welfare sucks I have had to live off welfare I know people who have to live off welfare it true or not, [[{{flamewar}} is not pretty, you barely have any money I don't know if you have ever tried to budget around 1'000 dollars into anything you could live off of but it leaves you with pretty much nothing for anything other than the basic necessities of food, and shelter. No one ever wants to live like that don't even try to pretend that anyone other than the desperate would try to live that life.
*** So why is it there exist people on Welfare who're content to sit around and NOT go out and look for a job? Who DON'T want to work for a living and instead just sit around and suckle the government teat? To deny their existence is to deny reality.
**** How do you know they aren't looking for a job? Getting a job when you are poor and don't have much of an education is hard already then you add in the fact that the economy is falling apart and even well trained professionals have to fight and claw their way into jobs and its almost impossible to get a job.
*** MitchBenn has a similar take on the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zP0xYv0sZk here.]]
*** While you're busy red-baiting John Lennon, I'd like to point out that it was Lennon who wrote the song "Revolution". Y'know, the song arguing ''against'' a communist revolution...
---> ''But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao''
---> ''You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow''
---> ''Don't you know it's gonna be all right, all right, all right...''
** "Nothing to kill or die for" does ''not'' mean there is no freedom and no love. The whole point is that because there is ''only'' freedom and love, there is no need to kill or to die for them. I also take issue with the assertion that "living for today" means "living a meaningless life" -- it means living life to the full because there is no need to worry. In fact, it seems to me that the cynics above are looking at each individual line of the song in the context of the world today, as opposed to looking at them all together as one vision of a utopian world.
** Did Most Overrated Music Producer Ever Phil Spector, Murderer of Both Women and Music, have to wreck the song with his Wall of Shit-er, sound, like he did the album "Let it Be" (though he didn't wreck anything by the Beatles as badly as he did the Blue Oyster Cult album "Spectres")? I mean, the song did not need those lugubrious strings!
*** The weird thing is that I don't hate everything he did to Beatles music. The ''Let It Be...Naked'' version of "The Long and Winding Road" actually sounds empty without all those strings. But why did he ever add that angelic choir to "Across The Universe"? It didn't fit the song at all. But he did a masterful job on George's ''All Things Must Pass'', and his influence is almost nonexistent on ''John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band''.
** From the BrokenAesop page: "Some people have criticized John Lennon's most famous song 'Imagine' [because] it's kinda broken to (in the music video) sit behind a giant expensive piano in a giant expensive house next to a giant expensive wife, and then tell people to 'imagine no possessions'."
*** If the video was in a cardboard box and played on a $5 dollar used piano keyboard with half of the keys yellowed and broken and with gum under them and half of them missing and none of them on key it would sound ear-bleedingly AWFUL.
** People who deify John for writing "Imagine," and then bash Yoko Ono in the same breath. "Imagine" was based on a poem THAT SHE WROTE.
** I seem, oddly enough,
going to be the first person to point it out, and somebody should: the song is one of the most overplayed pieces of music ever written by any human being. Like "Hotel California", it lost any emotional oomph it might (debatably) have once had the 374,220,631,996th time we heard it.
*** My biggest peeve about this song is similar: why is it constantly getting used in the media as an ''uncontroversial'' optimistic vision? In ''QuantumLeap'', Sam sings it to cheer up a little kid; in ''{{Glee}}'', it's the deaf show choir's "our troubles don't get us down" song, and the main cast all pitch in... if we were talking about a Bowdlerized version, that would be one thing, but these shows never even leave out the religion-bashing verses! Do the creators somehow miss those lines every time, or do they just not care how much of their audience they're slapping in the face? (Lennon's fame doesn't fully account for it either -- it's not like ''all'' his songs are used this much.)
**** Glee's a Left-leaning show that loves to throw in potshots at various right-wing ideologies and figures to the point that it's a goddamn Drinking Game. Maybe that'll help shed some light...
**** Point of interest: In the ''Quantum Leap'' episode, yeah, Sam sings "Imagine" to cheer up a kid, but it has the [[SubvertedTrope opposite effect]]; she bursts into sorrowful tears instead.
discussed here.]]
16th Sep '11 11:45:49 PM Schroeder
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** Plus, let's be honest; it's just a three-minute pop song. Agree with Lennon's ideology or not, I think we can all agree (including Lennon, probably) that basing an entire society on the tenets espoused solely within ''any'' song, never mind one as brazenly idealistic as "Imagine", is just asking for trouble. As the Troper above notes, the point isn't necessarily that Lennon expects anyone to seriously construct an entire world order based entirely on the song, it's that he's expressing his hopes and beliefs and asking the listener to consider them.

to:

** Plus, let's be honest; it's just a three-minute pop song. Agree with Lennon's ideology or not, I think we can all agree (including Lennon, probably) that basing an entire society on the tenets espoused solely within ''any'' song, never mind one as brazenly idealistic as "Imagine", is just asking for trouble. As the Troper above notes, the point isn't necessarily that Lennon expects anyone to seriously construct an entire world order based entirely on the song, it's that he's expressing his hopes and beliefs and asking the listener to consider them.them.
* The idea of ''Imagine'' doesn't seem to be ''against'' politics, religion, possessions, territories or the precepts of heaven and hell. The ''subtext'' seems to be that such subjects and concepts are so tightly held and passionately argued over by [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] (often who throw "Thou Shalt Not Kill", etc. out the window) that they lead to fighting and bloodshed and man inflicting pain upon his fellow man. If we can get rid of ''the less desirable attitudes that come with'' politics, religion, possessions, territories or the concepts of heaven and hell, the territorialism and didacticism and dogmatism that come with such subjects, we can have peace. Or, cynically, if such concerns would for some people lead them to war and oppression and judgmentalism even in spite of our best interests, we might as well (hypothetically) think of a less divisive way to live our lives.
16th Sep '11 12:19:09 AM DoctorNemesis
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** I don't have any proof at the ready so far all I know it may be a case of GodNeverSaidThat but I have heard more than one apparently reliable person quote Lennon as saying the song is basically "The Communist Manifesto" set to music. He was always brutally honest about himself and his work, after all. (For instance, he was a large part of the basis for Billy Mack in "Love Actually".) All the same, being both a non-Communist and a deeply religious man I am not exactly offended by the song (Spector's Wall of Shit notwithstanding). Lennon isn't trying to make everyone follow his particular vision; he's arguing that everyone should ''have'' a vision, their very own, and oh by the way while we're at it here is his.

to:

** I don't have any proof at the ready so far all I know it may be a case of GodNeverSaidThat but I have heard more than one apparently reliable person quote Lennon as saying the song is basically "The Communist Manifesto" set to music. He was always brutally honest about himself and his work, after all. (For instance, he was a large part of the basis for Billy Mack in "Love Actually".) All the same, being both a non-Communist and a deeply religious man I am not exactly offended by the song (Spector's Wall of Shit notwithstanding). Lennon isn't trying to make everyone follow his particular vision; he's arguing that everyone should ''have'' a vision, their very own, and oh by the way while we're at it here is his.his.
** Plus, let's be honest; it's just a three-minute pop song. Agree with Lennon's ideology or not, I think we can all agree (including Lennon, probably) that basing an entire society on the tenets espoused solely within ''any'' song, never mind one as brazenly idealistic as "Imagine", is just asking for trouble. As the Troper above notes, the point isn't necessarily that Lennon expects anyone to seriously construct an entire world order based entirely on the song, it's that he's expressing his hopes and beliefs and asking the listener to consider them.
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