I hate the Beatles. I’m aware that a few hundred million people think that music peaked with the tale of lovely Rita, meter maid. But the argument that something is worthwhile because a lot of people like it passionately failed to make me a soccer fan, either.
Their alternately cutesy and ponderous catalog demonstrates that neither simplicity nor aspirations of grandeur, respectively, are necessarily virtues. The saccharine pop songs of the first part of their career led to the ridiculously affected pretentiousness of the second part. And liking their version of Twist and Shout more than the Isley Brothers rendition is proof of excessive Caucasianality.
Worst of all, their insipid pop ditties and tedious art rock were sprinkled with maliciously innocuous ’60s values. For one notable example, the ruinous idea that All You Need Is Love may as well be Barack Obama’s foreign policy thesis. It’s a dreadful concept to which to adhere in a world full of jerks and bills.
But their Yellow Submarine-tinged view of reality may have not been maintained over time by the entire band. For one, Ringo may be a Tea Partying right-wing radical now, although nobody has heard from him in a few decades.
As for the higher-talent portion of the band, John Lennon reportedly became a conservative by the end of his life. It’s the worst thing to happen to hippies since the invention of pepper spray.
The revelation is especially jarring when considered against his record as the prototypical silly leftist. Lennon’s post-Beatles years were most notable for his regrettable habit of railing against American policies. It’s odd that he never realized that he didn’t have to live here as he did so, particularly considering that he wasn’t exactly born in Milwaukee.
The self-righteous goofiness he inflicted in Quebec wasn’t any better. His revoltingly infamous bed-in with his dazzlingly incoherent spouse epitomized childish calls for peace. Yeah, as if war is preferable.
Woodstock-minded people refuse to accept that we’re in an imperfect world. Sometimes, bad people do bad things such as pick fights with good people, and the options boil down to getting beat up or punching back. Sergeant Pepper would have understood.
But he apparently grew up and recognized that life wasn’t like his songs. Like many on the left, he found that learning how the world works and becoming conservative are the same thing.
It just took the Give Peace a Chance guy a bit longer than most to become a sensible realist, which is understandable for a rocker who functions outside societal norms like time clocks and mortgages. On a related note, it’s interesting that people only seem to change from liberal to conservative in the same sense that it’s interesting that people only seem to head from Mexico to America.
Still, the allegation remains shocking. After all, this is the man who inflicted Imagine upon us, contender for the worst song in existence next to his aforementioned ditty about giving peace a change. The bleak paean to meaninglessness is disingenuously disguised as something profoundly inspiring, an interpretation shared by drunken jackasses singing it minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
The good news is that one other person hated the nihilistic, atheistic call to be a naïve fool, too. His name is John Lennon. He evolved, even though he scoffed at evolution. The story just keeps getting better.
He deserves respect regardless of personal taste. I didn’t care for his preachy music or his publicly-announced politics. But he seemed like a genuinely nice person who was amusing when he was not delivering lectures, and his death stands as a prime example of how evil losers can ruin life for everyone else.
Now, Lennon serves as evidence that change is always possible even among adamantly ignorant goofs. People who started on the right path should be sympathetic even if their course was different. Anyone who cheered Reagan’s reelection before getting ready for a day in elementary school should respect those who join the movement later in life.
It may be wise to always have been conservative. But acquiring wisdom is as wonderful an experience as an immigrant choosing to become American. Next, you’ll tell me that David Mamet has realized he’s a conservative, too.
Lennon offers hope that some of our misguided lefty friends can learn their lesson. I think I’ll celebrate the Preachy Beatle’s conversion by heading to Strawberry Fields in Central Park, where I’ll spend a peaceful moment paying my respects before reading Andrew Breitbart’s book.
Any “Yay Che”-types inhabiting the area may not appreciate my choice of reading material. But it will be a good exercise in tolerance for them. After all, their musical and spiritual guru may have agreed with the book’s tenets if the report about his shrewdly evolving political views is true. Imagine that.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and “Red Eye” conservative in New York City. He tweets at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy.
Cross-posted at http://punditleague.us