The new year heralded a new commotion, what with assorted atheists and Lennoites castigating crooner Cee Lo Green for his end-of-year take on Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.
Cee Lo’s crime? Changing Johnny-boy’s “…and no religion, too” lyric to “…and all religion’s true”: from idyllic irreligion to sloppy syncretism with just two words.
Predictably, the Lennon laity didn’t take kindly to their holy hymn being desecrated in such a fashion; however, they came across as models of restraint compared to the Atheist Army. PZ Myers, for example, came out all guns blazing with his response…
It’s only a pop song, but it’s the same sentiment that led the Church to hammer the penises off of classical sculpture; that inspired Islam to blow up Buddhas; that has sects fighting over who owns which piece of rock in Jerusalem; that leads cults to burn books and records. They must pretend that dissent not only does not exist at all, but never existed any where at any time.
Whilst I can see where Myers comes from, it sounds like a lot of ire for such a pathetic palliative; despite Cee Lo being accused of trying to “kiss-up to the religious Right”, I believe him when he says cackhanded communalism, rather than rigid religiosity, motivated his message.
Indeed, with ‘Imagine’, it really does come down to a case of “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”. I mean, when I listen to the lyrics of the original, I envision a crapsaccharine world where all difference, dissent and deviation have been drained out of the gene pool in a collective Care Bear Stare: a monopsychic, if not monotheistic, nightmare.
At bottom, how does Lennon’s “brotherhood of man” differ, in any fundamental way, from Jehovah’s post-apocalyptic Paradise; or, more pressingly, Cee Lo’s syncretic sludge world?
Imagine no revision…
…it’s still the same to me…
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