Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

John Lennon's best song

Growing up, I always thought "Imagine" was his best... recently I wrote down a page or so of thoughts of mine that I had about the song Imagine when I was first introduced to it, around 9th grade, in my biography. But someone just forwarded me a link to another song of his, a song called "God". How have I never heard this?? They play Imagine on the radio all the time, but this never gets any airplay. I've always thought the intelligence of crowdsourcing generally does a decent job of picking out good songs to play on the radio from each artist (although not nearly as good a job for picking the artists or genres themselves), but this really makes me think that certain songs are intentionally suppressed due to containing ideas that are too difficult or controversial for people to process. I can't imagine why they would have thought Imagine or other songs were worthy of airplay but not this.

And yet somehow, songs like Justin Timberlake's Carry-Out "I have you open all night like you I.H.O.P" get tons of radio play, despite what should be considered controversial sexist lyrics.

Interestingly, Ferris Beuller's Day Off was my favorite movie when I was in middle school, and I had watched it so many times I could recite every line of the movie by heart, including this part where he's in the shower which was one of my favorites...

I do have a test today, that wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car."
[sings Danke Schoen into showerhead for a bit]
Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.
- Ferris Beuller

but I never knew the line "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me" was a reference to this song!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 10th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd be a hypocrite to criticize it too much, because I've enjoyed my fair share of songs with sexist lyrics (was a big fan of 2 Live Crew in middle school, and still listen to it occasionally). And the beat is kind of catchy.

Nevertheless, there's something about comparing the women you're sleeping with to getting carry out from a 24-hour fast food joint, that strikes me as particularly icky.

I guess I don't mind if men brag about the quantity of women they've banged, but when it's sort of explicitly "low quality, high quantity" that they're proud of, yuck.
Oct. 11th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
Timberlake apparently unaware that IHOP closes relatively early in most parts of the country.

Waffle House, however...
Oct. 11th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
He doesn't believe in HITLER?

I'm pretty sure hilter was real.

This would piss off too many jews who'd spin it as holocaust denialism or something.

also, i don't think the lyric about him and Yoko is very relatable. didn't most people hate Yoko? i'd conjecture that that's why it doesn't get any air time.
Oct. 11th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I didn't realize that the public disliked Yoko, but I don't know much about her. I just read over her Wikipedia page and don't see any mention of that. What did they dislike about her?

Regarding Hilter, my first reaction was the say that you're just interpreting what he's saying too literally. Obviously, he is not saying he doesn't believe a man named Adolf Hilter exist. However, I think you have a good point, that what he is saying, some Jews or others may be offended by.

I think what he is saying is, at least in part, that the legend of Hilter... like that of Elvis, Bob Dylan, Jesus, etc. grew to be much greater than the man himself and has a whole mythology surrounding it that is probably not all that representive of the real man. I think being as famous as John Lennon, he must have been keenly aware about how the press constructs images of people, and surely they did the same thing with Hilter, and we have a particular narrative about this evil mastermind. But in reality there are probably a lot of people who would have ended up doing what Hilter did if they were in his situation.

The other interpretation is that he's just saying he doesn't believe in Hilter's ideology, just like he doesn't believe in the ideologies of the other idols he mentions. But I suspect that's only part of it and you're right that there's an aspect of it that may be offensive to some.
Oct. 11th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
Well, a lot of people credit her with the beatles' breakup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles%27_break-up

While she probably wasn't the only force (see article) there is no denying that she was a contributing factor.

You're right, I'm probably being too literal. Afterall, Kennedy is on there too.

The U.S. population is... what... 85% god-believing? maybe they did play this at one point but it never got that popular.

just curious - why did you think this was better than imagine?

Oct. 12th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)

just curious - why did you think this was better than imagine?

Dunno, they're both good... maybe the novelty will wear off and I'll change my mind, who knows!
Oct. 11th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
I definitely heard this song somewhere the other day, perhaps in a shopping mall or something, and Matt pointed out to me that it's by John Lennon. I definitely wasn't familiar with it. I was just thinking that "God is a concept" is definitely wrong, but "'God' is a concept" might be right. And the line about believing in Hitler or Kennedy is probably about being a follower of Hitler or Kennedy, and not about actually believing they exist. The phrase "believe in" is always somewhat confusing.

Also, I'm not sure why you would attribute "the intelligence of crowdsourcing" to the radio. Mainstream radio is pretty transparently controlled by public relations companies. Just thinking of Lady Gaga, is there any reason why the songs Poker Face and Just Dance are any worse now than they were a year ago? If not, then why aren't they played any more, and instead we're hearing Bad Romance and Alejandro (or whatever the new single is).

I think the issue is that certain songs are chosen as the "singles" from an album, and if they are popular enough then more singles are released from the same album. But if something is never a single, then it never gets saturation airplay, and so it never becomes familiar. And then most of what people like in music played on the radio is familiarity, which is entirely shaped by which songs have already been played on the radio.

Even my local "eclectic" station (KCRW - they have an "eclectic 24" stream online which was Matt's favorite internet radio station even before we had a Los Angeles connection) definitely doesn't do terribly good coverage. It definitely gets lots of interesting songs that I haven't heard, but there are definitely songs that it plays multiple times a week, which seems to me to guarantee that they're still selecting from a relatively limited list.
Oct. 12th, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)

I was just thinking that "God is a concept" is definitely wrong, but "'God' is a concept" might be right

I think it's significant that that's not the full sentence. The full sentence is "God is a concept by which we measure our pain".

Admittedly, the phrasing is a bit awkward. But how is this any more wrong than a statement like "temperature is a concept by which we measure how hot it is outside" or "virtue is a concept by which we judge each others character".

I kind of feel like he should have said "with which" or "through which" or something.

I guess it's not the definition I would give for God, but I at least don't see anything wrong with trying to explain a concept by starting a sentence with "X is a concept which does Y,Z, and Q for you".

I guess there's a temptation to think that concepts actually refer to things "out there" in the real world, but do they? I guess we're used to speaking as if they do, but I'm not sure they really do. It's more like they are useful for capturing some of the structure going on out there.
Oct. 12th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Oh, and the reason I say it's significant that "God is a concept" isn't the end of the sentence, is because by itself, it would seem to suggest that some words refer to purely conceptual things while others refer to real things, or something like that... whereas if you have the whole sentence, it just sounds like all words are concepts, and he's explaining a particular concept.
Oct. 12th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
I agree that all words are concepts, but god isn't a word - "god" is a word. But really I'm just being pedantic that "concept" isn't the right word there - something like "unit" or "yardstick" or whatever would have been more technically correct.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


domino plural

Latest Month

May 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lizzy Enger