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John Lennon wasn't a good role model at all

One of his most famous songs has some scary ideas in it.

Beatlemania was a big deal in the music world 60 years ago. Colin Fleming calls 1963 "that magical and formative year for the band," "the year the Beatles found their voice," and "the band's annus mirabilis" in an article for The Atlantic. It set up their famous first trip to the United States in February 1964.

In 1963, when I was ten years old, I remember seeing black-and-white newscasts of big British crowds yelling praise at Beatles shows. John Lennon, the band's founder, co-lead singer, and guitarist, seemed to get a lot of attention. Over time, he became a hero as a peace fighter who also had a bit of the guru in him. His death in 1980 turned him into a saint in the minds of too many people.

Please stop putting John Lennon on a pedestal. He was a fool, an abuser of his wife, a phony, a liar, a homewrecker, a drug addict, and a terrible father. He even liked making fun of people with disabilities, making fun of them and picking on them over and over again.

As a member of the Beatles, he wrote some songs that people will remember. But he also wrote (or helped write) some of the worst song lyrics ever.

Fidel Castro, a tyrant and killer, came to look up to John Lennon, which says a lot. In 2000, Castro honored the man from Liverpool by naming a park after him, putting a shiny bronze statue of the singer there, and putting on a show in his honor.

Since Lennon's death more than 42 years ago, people still talk about how great he was. Older people who should know better tell young people that John Lennon was a symbol of peace and love and that since he was shot in December 1980, the world hasn't been the same. Biographies like Albert Goldman's The Lives of John Lennon tell the whole truth about him, but Lennon fans don't want to read them. Instead, they prefer to live in the same dream world that the singer often drugged himself into.
John Lennon: 80 Quotes for 80 Years
Lennon was known for treating his first wife Cynthia badly. He hit her hard in the face several times in public. The six-year marriage ended in 1968 because John beat his wife for many years, had many affairs with other women, and mostly ignored his son, Julian. Peace and love man? I don't believe it.

In 1969, Lennon married Yoko Ono, a Japanese artist who worked in different mediums and worked for peace. The two worked together on music and left-leaning political issues. They also had a son together. (Sean). They broke up in 1973, which gave John the chance to date music executive May Pang for 18 months. Later, John and Yoko got back together.

After John's death in 1980, Yoko worked hard to improve his legacy through public appearances and new songs. She lived in New York City for 50 years, but she announced last month (February 2023) that she was leaving the Big Apple and moving to the family farm in the Catskills. She is 90 years old.

In 1990, one of Yoko's projects after John ended. It was meant to mark what would have been the 50th birthday of her late husband. It was a simultaneous worldwide broadcast of "Imagine," a famous song she wrote with John in 1971.

When I first heard the song, it was at the end of the 1984 movie The Killing Fields, which was based on the experiences of two journalists, an American named Sydney Schanberg and a Cambodian named Dith Pran, during the Khmer Rouge's rule of terror in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. About a quarter of the country's people, or about two million people, died because of the rule. Dr. Haing S. Ngor, a Cambodian who was tortured and beaten until he escaped in 1979, played Dith Pran in the movie. He got an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role.

Shortly after the movie came out, I became friends with Dr. Ngor. We talked for hours about what he had done and what the movie was about. When he thought it was safe for him to go back to Cambodia in 1989 for the first time since he left a decade earlier, he asked me and a small group of other friends to go with him.

I asked Haing Ngor what he thought of "Imagine" and how it fit into the movie. He agreed that the song's melody was mesmerizing and even haunting, but he didn't agree with the Marxist message of its words. What John and Yoko asked people to "think about," Ngor had just barely lived through to tell the world about. He didn't have to "imagine" the ideal horror in the song; he went through it himself.

Sadly, millions of people have been fooled by the song over the years. It is often a favorite in Britain because of how tempting and sinister it looks. Martin Chilton, an advocate for John Lennon, recently wrote:

John Lennon described the song as “an ad campaign for peace”, and it is no surprise that his moving anthem is such a beacon for those who long for global harmony. “Imagine,” written in March 1971 during the Vietnam War, has become a permanent protest song and a lasting emblem of hope.

Think about the vision that John and Yoko ask us to accept in the song: "Imagine there's no Heaven. It's easy if you try. There's no Hell below us, and there's only sky above us."

In plain English, that means we should act like people are just a mistake. There is no God, no afterlife, no final justice or responsibility, just the here and now. That's how the worst dictatorships and mass killings in history happened, and Khmer Rouge Cambodia was the best example. By telling people not to think about Heaven or religion (and therefore not to think about a Creator), the song goes against what science is doing more and more to disprove, which is that everything came from nothing and has no starting or start.

The song says, "Think of everyone living for today." That is what they do now in North Korea, and that is what life was like in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge were in charge. Don't make plans for your future because the tyrant will make them for you. In a free society, living as if tomorrow is important is a strong reason to do the right thing today. It's also why people save money, make investments, have kids, build houses and lives. But not in the perfect world that John and Yoko imagined.

The song says, "Nothing to kill or die for." That's one of the things Heaven has, which is a place the Lennons made up a few lines earlier. I can think of a few things on Earth that are often worth killing or dying for, such as self-defense, saving loved ones, and ending or stopping slavery.

"Imagine having nothing," the words say. Now, that's a good idea. Even if you worked for it, made it, gave up something for it, bought it, or got it as a gift, it's not yours. It goes to someone else, or to the made-up "everyone." Both Pol Pot in Cambodia and Mao Zedong in China "thought up" this idea. This is not a "ideal"; it's a savage leftover from the Stone Age. It's a recipe for making a lot of people poor.

We are asked to picture "living life in peace." But do you think it would be peaceful if we didn't let people keep their things? How do you know they don't have "possessions" to begin with? By politely telling them not to get any? Good luck.

Now you know why the violent dictator Fidel Castro liked John Lennon so much. If Cuban communism is like a Disney park, then "Imagine" is its theme song, the opposite of "It's a Small World," which some people can't get out of their heads.

At the end of "Imagine," which is a sad future nightmare, John and Yoko say, "You might say I'm a dreamer." Given how stupid the song is, that would be a pretty nice thing to say. Good people shouldn't want anything to do with their bad dreams.

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