Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What is this thing called, love?

There are many unanswered questions in the world of popular music, such as "why do fools fall in love," "where do you go to my lovely," "who put the bomp" and "how did Oasis get away with it for so long?" Mr Ian Wishart, in the current issue of Investigate, poses another question which may not have occurred to us hipsters: "is John Lennon in Hell?"

It makes you think, doesn't it? It makes you think "how can Wishart hope to retain any credibility when he prints crap like this?" But then, he knows his readership better than we do. They love crap.They love Hi-Fi as well: Investigate always carries advertisements for expensive stereo systems. I am not sure how gullibility and high fidelity go together, but they do.

Anyway, back to Hell. Apparently a group of Colombians who had recently converted to Catholicism (I have my doubts about this detail: surely everybody in Colombia is Catholic by default) were rewarded for their faith by none other than Jesus himself: He took them on a guided tour of Hell and Heaven. He is that sort of guy. And what was even better about this tour is that they didn't even have to leave Colombia: Jesus gave them a collective vision, so they could have the whole Heaven and Hell experience without leaving home; and, better still, they didn't have to bother stopping off at Limbo, since that doesn't exist anymore (I wonder what happened to the inhabitants, all those unbaptised babies and pre-Christian worthies; perhaps they were upgraded to First Class, after what seemed like an Eternity and would have been, if God hadn't changed his mind recently).

So I expect you are wondering what Hell is like. Unfortunately, the Colombians cannot remember much. It's not that they weren't paying attention, just that Heaven was so good it made them forget most of the details of Hell. What they do remember is that it was really nasty in a carefully stratified bureaucratic way, much as it was when Dante wrote about it. Some things never change, although these days society does have a very different attitude to a grown man having a huge crush on a fourteen year-old. Unfortunately, many Roman Catholic priests have yet to catch on to this aspect of moral relativity.

Anyway, it turns out that John Lennon is in a department of Hell where he is forced to fall to bits and then pull himself together, then fall apart again, over and over again. This constant disintegration and reintegration is rather irksome with Lennon, who pleads with Jesus for mercy. Jesus, who obviously has not got over the whole Yoko Ono thing, turns his back on Lennon.

And that is about it. The Colombians have nothing to say about anybody else in Heaven or Hell, it seems. Their only memorable encounter was with a rock star who once asked us to imagine a world without either Heaven or Hell. Apparently they did not notice or cannot remember what happened to all the really important people; useless tossers.

Some might say (some really cynical people, that is, who probably have a section of Hell specially reserved for them) that all this Heaven and Hell business is just a revenge fantasy. They might say that Hell is just a place where you wish all the other people who are different from you would go. These people would draw attention to the photographs which accompany this article, showing John and Yoko doing leftish things like protests and sleep-ins. They might say, those cynics, that Mr Wishart is a dreamer, who imagines there's no lefties, that they will all have gone to special places where they will suffer for their sins, for Eternity. But he's not the only one; Internet is packed with fundies describing their visions of the Last Judgement, where all the atheists and pinkos and queers and weirdos will get what they deserve.

The whereabouts of Linda McCartney remain unknown.

Here's Nick Lowe:


Anonymous said...

Why do I suspect that Wishfart has been reading the utterly sad and vile conspiratorial tomes of David Noebel when it comes to Lennon and the Beatles in general?

Probably because he has nothing better to do with his time...???

Craig Y

Anonymous said...

Noebel authored "Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles: An Analysis of the Communist Use of Music" (1965), "The Beatles: A Study in Drugs, Sex and Revolution" (1967) and "The Legacy of John Lennon: Harming or Charming A Generation?" (1982).

He was the guest of the Maxim Institute at one of its youth indoctrination camps a few years ago.

Craig Y.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, *this* looks fun!

...Mark Sullivan "More Popular Than Jesus: The Beatles and the Religious Far Right" Popular Music (October 1987): 313-326.

However, as for more silly fundie attacks on long-dead popular cultural icons...

"The Evil Legacy of John Lennon"

"The Unholy Legacy of the Beatles"

Craig Y

Lyndon said...

I am not sure how gullibility and high fidelity go together, but they do.

Well, to start you off, James Randi is now offering his million dollars to anyone who can prove the $7250 speaker cables someone's flogging are better than the ones from the equivalent of Dick Smith.

Jake said...

Following up on the gullibility/hi-fi thing, this thread should be instructive:

(I haven't yet figured out how to do links in comments on this thing.)

HORansome said...

Coffee? Friday/Monday, Strata?

Psycho Milt said...

Of course, apart from Catholicism, Colombia is also well known for drug-crazed mutants. Personally, I suspect the guided tour of heaven and hell is more directly related to the drug-crazed bit than the Catholic bit.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, has anyone read the rather amusing perspective by Hebrew University's Benny Shanon?

Apparently, when Moses allegedly received the Torah high on Mount Sinai, he was *really* **high** on Mount Sinai, courtesy of either wild rue or acacia tree concoctions, which apparently have an effect similar to ayahuasca, that plant beloved of the late
William Seward Burroughs.

Shanon should know. He's ingested ayahuasca about one hundred times since being introduced to it at a Northern Brazilian religious ceremony...

Craig y

Anonymous said...

"forced to fall to bits and then pull himself together, then fall apart again, over and over again"

like when Key does a media interview?

The Reluctant Botanist said...

I think Imagine must have been the straw that broke the camel's back...

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

That's going the right way for a spanking...

Paul said...

Horansome, Monday at Strata would be good. Email me;

Jake, I advise using wooden coathangers, for a more mellow sound.

Eric Olthwaite said...

"John Lennon is in a department of Hell where he is forced to fall to bits and then pull himself together"

Forced? Or else what?

Jake said...

First vinyl and turntables make a comeback, and now you're suggesting I revert to wooden coat hangers? I find that kind of sentimentality appalling.

I'll wire my stereo system with thermoplastic polymer coat hangers, or not at all.