John Lennon: “Imagine”

What a peaceful, uplifting song about love and unity, bringing us all together to celebrate what—

Imagine there’s no heaven.

Whoa.  Alienating a whole demographic right off the bat.

Are you sure that’s how you want to start this?

No hell below us.

So what you’re saying is, imagine Hitler didn’t get any eternal punishment?  Wow.  That’s a depressing thought.  Are you sure this is still how you want to begin the song?

On second thought, this could just mean that Hell is located somewhere else rather than below us.  Show of hands: who’s okay with that?  Yes?  Okay.  Carry on, John.

Imagine all the people

living for today.

Combined with the previous verses, this seems to imply a call to picture a world with no consequences in the afterlife.  Where are you going with this?

Imagine there’s no countries.

And with that, no governments, no alliances, no shared national identity, no welfare, no organized defense systems, no public education, not to mention privatized social security…

Nothing to kill or die for

and no religion too.

So not only are we imagining a lack of large-scale organizations and disciplinary systems in this life or the next, we’re also imagining that people have no virtues, ideals, or beliefs that they value more than their own skins.  At the very least, many parents would kill or die to protect their children, but imagine there’s none of that either.

How is this a happy song?  Is this crapsack world supposed to make ours look better in comparison?

Imagine all the people

living life in peace.

Don’t be so sure that taking away all forms of collective identity, value systems, and regard for others is going to make everyone get along.  If anything it invites more strife and conflict.

You may say I’m a dreamer

but I’m not the only one.

Really?  That’s you’re rebuttal?  You may say that the ideas I put forth are unlikely and undesirable and therefore classify me as a dreamer, and I present no evidence to the contrary… but there are more of us!


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