Monday, September 01, 2014

The Grandchildren of Imagine | According To Hoyt

Imagine is one of the songs which gets me talking to the supermarket loudspeakers, and not in a good way. If I’m alone in a section I might go so far as to give the speakers the double middle finger. (The others are mostly Phil Collins.)
The problem with Imagine is not that it’s lousy, kitchy, superficial art (it is) or that I tend to like songs that have a bubbly meaning on top and more layered meanings underneath (“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell. I know, right now you can’t tell, but stick around and soon enough you’ll see another part of me.”) I also like plenty of songs that are objectively tempests of sound and percussion signifying nothing.
No. What really gets me going about Imagine is that its pretty, shiny bobbles of concepts are infantile, wrong AND pernicious. And also that it is largely the same concepts I was raised with (not by my parents, but my brother, his friends, the schools, the popular entertainment, etc.)
Take for instance that “Imagine there’s no religion…. Nothing to live or die for, a brotherhood of man.”
Imagine the copybook headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

No comments: