Sunday, August 12, 2012

And in Closing, We Will Probably Complain...

By Peter Rodman

Though much of it turned out to be a random celebration of rock music, last night's closing ceremonies in London actually helped the 2012 Summer Olympics hit their absolute peak, with a show-stopping moment that totally “gets it” about the games.
But I predict not everyone will be as pleased as the rest of the world was with that moment, here in the “let's-pretend-we're-all-puritan” States.

The 'moment' I speak of would of course be the stunning spectacle of 60,000 people drifting from “Bohemian Rhapsody” into John Lennon’s “Imagine”--the one song nearly everyone in the world knows was custom-made for such an occasion.
I say “nearly” everyone, because you can almost hear the Mike Huckabees and Rush Limbaughs of the world already slamming Britain, for having some sort of anti-Christian agenda (they don’t) and kow-towing to a secular, socialist world agenda (they didn’t).

Back to the Ceremonies: 
First, there were the hundreds of  hearing-impaired kids, assembled to gleefully ‘sign’ the song’s lyrics, as ghostly dancing creatures seemed to converge from around the world to literally assemble John’s face, like a three-dimensional puzzle.

But the real stunner--and the most amazing thing about this song, really--is how immediate the lyrics sounded, when John’s digitally restored image suddenly appeared before the whole world, to speak from the hereafter:
“Imagine there’s no countries,” he began…and you had to think, "Now that's a ballsy call, coming as it does in front of every country!" Especially after each one had displayed--no...flaunted their nationalism, during this past fortnight.

“It isn’t hard to do,” Lennon continued, and I thought “Ya know, that might make things better, if it were only possible.”
“Nothing to kill, or die for…”
Man…that’s the real Olympic spirit, i’n’it??

And then came the kicker--which would never have happened, in America:
“…and no religion, too.”

Like I say, a ballsy call--or at least it would be here.
Let me add that I agree with the whole song-- despite the fact that (perhaps inexplicably in logical terms, but on faith alone) I still count myself a Christian. 
Even 'The Queen' is made of Jelly Babies!
(Photograph by Peter Rodman)
Lennon didn’t attack Christianity, Judaism or Islam...he only spoke the truth, which is that ALL of those religions (and many others) have been at the very heart of why nearly every war has been fought, since time began.'s not the beliefs...not the faith...but the edicts from organized religion that are usually to blame--just as Lennon states.  
And finally: “Imagine all the people, livin' life in peace.” 
Last night it became very clear, John Lennon was not ‘the only one’ imagining that.  

To the rest of the world, I am quite sure this was a controversy-free moment...and I believe any viewer could easily sense this, watching the ceremony.
But here in America, we are stuck in the midst of a tyrannical tar-pit right now, which I believe will one day be looked back on as having virtually crippled us, during a curiously anti-progressive era.

I guess the whole point of this column is to say how refreshing it might be not to have to worry about "offending" the Blue Meanies, here in the States...but in truth, you just can't avoid it anymore. (Sadly, not much has changed, since 1966. Check out this video: Beatle 'Record Burnings,' 1966 )

No other nation on the planet batted an eyelash on Sunday night, over the selection of John Lennon's words...and that's a good thing.
We are alone in the world in nit-picking such things...but rest assured, if we can...we will. (And if it doesn't happen, I promise to rescind this entire blog post.) 

...your intrepid observer, in London.
 But I just can't help believin' that first thing Monday morning, most of my countrymen and women will wake up to the usual indignant tirades on hate-talk radio, or 'Fox & Friends.'

Just you watch:  
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Fox will fire up their Outrage Machine to tell us all we’re all going to hell-in-a-hand-basket (made in China, of course)...and you know why?
(That'd be us.  Follow along, People!)

Remember of course, these are the same folks who got their knickers in a twist (like that Brit-reference?) simply because a 16 year old Gold Medal-Winning American gymnast's pretty little pink uniform wasn't red, white, and blue enough.

So much for taking unabashed pride in our very best athletes. (One can't help but wonder what other color was 'off' in their minds.)

That, my friends, is where we are in this country right now.  Trapped by zealots, who talk about "principles"--but in reality, seem principle-free; they are simply addicted to outrage. 
More accurately, they'd like us to be--and all too often, we take the bait. 
The better to trick you with, eh?
These same people, if they could get away with it, would tell you Jesus himself was a capitalist~and that he would take from the poor, to give to the rich!

And how do we know this?
Well, one way we know this is because the Limbaugh/Beck/Huckabee crowd recently got nabbed selling Thomas Jefferson as some sort of gung-ho, Christian anti-slavery guy--over a period of nearly the whole last year--before conservative fact-checkers finally caught up with 'em! (Jefferson was nothing if not a secularist--and oh, by the way: He. Owned. Slaves.) 
Even the Nashville-based Bible publisher (Thomas Nelson) who put out the book they love to cite has finally withdrawn it (<<click link)--on the recommendation of several conservative Christian authorities.*

So like I say, the talk machine will be workin’ overtime Monday, to remind us good ‘muricans’ that John Lennon was a junkie/hippie/radical/atheist/socialist nut, who represented everything Amur'ca isn‘t about.
Just like all those annoying foreign countries we beat the pants off.
Yeah, man.
France, Greece, China, Spain, Russia, Sudan, Egypt, you name it...we have a long list of folks we love to hate. 
Not all of us, mind you...but enough to stir up faux-controversies daily, stoke the radio ratings, and maybe even get you angry that the sky is blue...or that John Lennon's “Imagine” got proudly sung by the whole planet last night, despite those dangerous lines about "religion" and "countries." 

Buy it, if you will. 
But if you'll buy that--and I don’t mean to insult anybody here--you might even buy (gulp)...‘Romney for President.’

Copyright 2012 by Peter Rodman.  All Rights Reserved.
*Thanks to Craig Havighurst, for calling my attention to the linked story. 
Possibly Relevant Song/Video Links:
"Always Look on The Bright Side of Life" by Monty Pythion (Eric Idle)
"Imagine" (rare 'take one') by John Lennon
"Colours" by Donovan

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