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Imagine by John Lennon


What do you think about it?  

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Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... Aha-ah...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

With all the talk of socialism these days, I thought it might be fun to revisit this song. I kind of wanted to post this in the FFA but I can’t ignore the political nature.

I haven’t decided how I want to vote in my own poll. I could make a case for all three options.

 

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I voted for "profound statement."  He begins by suggesting we don't focus on heaven or hell ...don't look ahead.  It's a poetic way of saying: You've got one life on this earth, so make the most of it.  So given where we're at, we all should work together - "all the people" - living for today; living life in peace; sharing all the world. 

An interesting contrast is that Lennon calls for "no religion too," yet imagines "a brotherhood of man," which is in keeping with the early Christian church and many religious ideals.  :headexplodes:

I still remember my anticipation of hearing this song (ultimately performed by Neil Young) during the Tribute broadcast after 9/11.  That was a special moment.

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I can’t take a guy who drives a Rolls Royce and owns a multi-million dollar property overlooking Central Park singing about imaging “no possessions” seriously.  Takes me out of the mood of believing that even John believes.

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1 hour ago, Gary Coal Man said:

I can’t take a guy who drives a Rolls Royce and owns a multi-million dollar property overlooking Central Park singing about imaging “no possessions” seriously.  Takes me out of the mood of believing that even John believes.

He was asking people to imagine it.

I dunno. Maybe it’s like this guy telling the working class of America that he will be their champion https://images.app.goo.gl/jBgxYL94WHKSv8GN9

 

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1 hour ago, Gary Coal Man said:

I can’t take a guy who drives a Rolls Royce and owns a multi-million dollar property overlooking Central Park singing about imaging “no possessions” seriously.  Takes me out of the mood of believing that even John believes.

Did he own the Dakota? I thought he just lived there. 

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7 hours ago, timschochet said:

Did he own the Dakota? I thought he just lived there. 

I thought he owned the particular flat he was in.  Maybe he was just renting one of Mahattan’s priciest properties while asking others to imagine no possessions.

Edited by Gary Coal Man
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Just now, Gary Coal Man said:

I thought he owned the particular flat he was in.  Maybe he was just renting one of Mahattan’s priciest properties will asking others to imagine no possessions.

He's including himself. This is rocket surgery. It's a thought experiment.

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I've always hated this song, and that was back when I was a liberal. 

No, seriously, William F. Buckley did this once in a column, and so did my professor in political philosophy in college, an ultra rare thing to actually have a conservative professor dinosaur milling about the faculty. 

I loved the thought exercise and like it now. It also parallels the Beatles (not Lennon's solo career, I know) kind of nicely. I always thought the Beatles, when they got "consciousness," were rather ridiculous. Pop culture aside: The Brits never did hippie well, IMHO. They sure did our blues and rock n' roll ten times better than we ever could, but they never quite got what made us tick in that respect. 

But the song is kind of utopian pabulum. I'm not even sure it's utopian -- it describes a state of being in life I don't even seek to accomplish, so I sort of disagree with its premises as a whole.  

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7 hours ago, OrtonToOlsen said:

He was asking people to imagine it.

I dunno. Maybe it’s like this guy telling the working class of America that he will be their champion https://images.app.goo.gl/jBgxYL94WHKSv8GN9

 

Exactly.  If you know the messenger is blowing hot air it’s hard to take the message seriously.

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There is a stage of humanity that each of us can achieve and that society itself might attempt if enough individuals get right (in shorthand, the Jesus track), but it's a long way away. Since Americans have realized personal liberty, they've actually become more selfish instead of continuing in the direction our freedom struggles pointed us and i don't see us turning outward again until circumstances force it, so.......I have come close to transcending the animal dictates of my own behavioral structure but, to be honest, it makes the rest of y'all look so repulsive that it makes me question the effort. But it's there and it's beautiful, if not incredibly useful, and very much worth imagining

Edited by wikkidpissah
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4 hours ago, rockaction said:

If anything, we've likely evolved from the theoretical state Lennon imagines.  

Idk man. If you asked me I would say we were closer to his Utopia back in the 70s than we are today. Obviously I didn't live back then so I'm not fully aware of the day to day culture and lifestyle, but today humans seem extremely divided.

Also, I'll just ETA that if we did without the religion stuff...or the country stuff...or the whatever the next thing is stuff... discrimination/violence/hatred in some form would continue on. I think it's just the human condition to look to group and separate stuff. We would just find the next thing to divide people about. So no, I don't even think the concept is attainable.

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4 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

I think it's just the human condition to look to group and separate stuff. We would just find the next thing to divide people about. So no, I don't even think the concept is attainable.

Seems so obvious, but I’m sure some of the people on these boards who are most entrenched in in-group vs. out-group, us vs. them thinking will see it otherwise without a hint of irony.

Edited by Gary Coal Man
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4 hours ago, Gary Coal Man said:

John was also asking the world to live as one while he wouldn’t even live as one with his own son...

“Dad was a hypocrite. He could talk about peace and love to the world but he could never show it to his wife and son”

Not exactly the best start to the Utopia.

 

And let's forget that Lennon admitted that in his younger day, he was a "hitter" when it came to women. 

Regardless, Imagine is a timeless classic, a great tune, but Lennon is not a guy we should be looking at for advice. 

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8 minutes ago, ShamrockPride said:

Idk man. If you asked me I would say we were closer to his Utopia back in the 70s than we are today. Obviously I didn't live back then so I'm not fully aware of the day to day culture and lifestyle, but today humans seem extremely divided.

Also, I'll just ETA that if we did without the religion stuff...or the country stuff...or the whatever the next thing is stuff... discrimination/violence/hatred in some form would continue on. I think it's just the human condition to look to group and separate stuff. We would just find the next thing to divide people about. So no, I don't even think the concept is attainable.

But it's time to start catching back up to the technology. In the years before cars, planes, phones, we were closer to 2000 years before our time than we would be to where we'd be in ten years time. And again. And again. And again. And we made enough things and proved enough things to cause real doubt that everything came from God or whatever. So we grew away from that - the code, the ethic, the rulebook - and that was probably a good idea. But did we write a new one? Not yet.

So we created a world that got 200x more complicated each decade at the same time we were throwing away the Western owner's manual for behavior and inner resolution & guidance. We started following a little of who we were told had invented psychology, but he was largely wrong. He was wrong because he was necessarily put in a situation to become focused on sickness rather than health. He did an interesting job describing aberrance (though i believe he would have been a lot closer to right if he'd put animal rage as the reason for everything and the sexual stuff as secondary to that rage), but not explaining & guiding appropriate behavior, and the "science" of mental health largely followed him.

Ain't many improvised their way thru as many courses of life as i, and what it taught me is that improvising & happiness are anathema. Improvising once you're running on happiness is heaven, the chaos after the order is interesting & delightful. Improving beats improvizing almost every time and we know that in almost every aspect of life except behavior & personality. And improving takes training, practice & commitment. Cooperation with others, as with anything else, lightens the load and heightens the yield. And we do none of it.

I imagine people who know and have improved themselves along formal lines of an ethic understanding how much more important giving is than getting, sharing than showing and, somehow, that's even weirder than what Lennon came up with. But we'll be looking for the right song to sing til we do.

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5 hours ago, Gary Coal Man said:

John was also asking the world to live as one while he wouldn’t even live as one with his own son...

“Dad was a hypocrite. He could talk about peace and love to the world but he could never show it to his wife and son”

Not exactly the best start to the Utopia.

 

HE ALSO WASNT REALLY A WALRUS!  

FRAUD

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20 minutes ago, OrtonToOlsen said:

Wait until you find out that only one of The Beach Boys could surf.

Wait until someone is naive enough to believe a Beach Boys song is “a profound statement on the possibilities of the human race.”

Although, tying the thread together, Paul McCartney did believe that one particular Beach Boys song was a profound statement on songwriting and composition.  That’s why Paul names “God Only Knows” as his favorite song ever.

Brian Wilson & Paul McCartney performing “God Only Knows” together.

 

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:19 PM, Gary Coal Man said:

I can’t take a guy who drives a Rolls Royce and owns a multi-million dollar property overlooking Central Park singing about imaging “no possessions” seriously.  Takes me out of the mood of believing that even John believes.

Is this Mark David Chapman?   

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You don't need to imagine if you eliminate relgion and country there will still be lust, greed, jealously, laziness, power-crazy, ego, etc.  It is clearly tripe.  Religion and country are not the cause of the human condition, just a tool which will be replaced by another tool.  

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On 7/28/2019 at 1:33 PM, Gary Coal Man said:

Wait until someone is naive enough to believe a Beach Boys song is “a profound statement on the possibilities of the human race.”

Although, tying the thread together, Paul McCartney did believe that one particular Beach Boys song was a profound statement on songwriting and composition.  That’s why Paul names “God Only Knows” as his favorite song ever.

Brian Wilson & Paul McCartney performing “God Only Knows” together.

I was going to say when I read your first sentence that "God Only Knows" might be the most definitive non-definite statement two people could possible have with each other in the age of the agnostic, and that's a whole lot more than a squalid, warmed-over Manhattan (the City, not the Beach) communitarianism. But that's a cheap shot of my own at Lennon's song and I would encourage striking it so that my positive vibes about the Beach Boys' song takes precedence.  

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