This story originally ran in Smashpipe on Dec. 24, 2015

By Tony Sokol

John Lennon has been dead for thirty five years, leave him alone. This is the first in a series of stories asking “when did the John Birch Society become mainstream?”

It’s the Christmas season and if you’re not feeling it yet, and you’re supposed to, maybe you’re just not listening to the right music. Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas to me when I was a kid, until I heard the Beatles Christmas messages that used to play on the radio, and were later collected onto Vinyl. You see. I was a Beatles baby, my first words were “yeah yeah yeah,” according to my mom and every year my parents bought me their albums or singles for Christmas. They bought it for themselves during the year.

Now, if you’re like me, which is unlikely in most cases, you find yourself at Yahoo News every once in a while. It seems that, for the past year, Yahoo News culled all these really nasty headlines about John Lennon. All old news to us Beatles Fans who, like they said on The Simpsons once or twice, knew The Beatles and already forgave them. For what, I don’t know, I never saw the problem. As a matter of fact, I’m probably their worst spokesperson because part of the reason I like the Beatles, and Lennon in particular, is some of the bad things that are being thrown at them.

When I was a kid my old man did construction at the Little Red Schoolhouse in the Village and I was free to run the streets because he took me to work. All was fine until I hit 4th Street and 10th Street and it blew my four-year-old mind, so accustomed as it was to those streets running parallel. But it was there in that state of mind that I saw a pile of books with the title Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles with a bad cartoon drawing of my favorite band. Budding thief that I was at that age, I snatched about a dozen.

Holy shit what a find. It would be years before I tried to plow through it and I couldn’t understand a word I was reading, even then, except that this guy, Rev. Noebel, was a whacko. When I later got into National Lampoon, I thought maybe the book was a satire and opened it again, but no, the paperback writer was clearly insane. He said the Beatles didn’t write their own songs; that they were built in a Russian lab; that the lyrics were just a series of random phrases used to trigger people into being anti-Christian sexual slaves and all I could think was yeah, yeah yeah. I was probably six so give me a break. I didn’t get it.

Now I know that this was part of a much larger problem and mainstreaming of the ideas of the John Birch Society and the whole Tavistock travesty. Which brings me to Mark Steyn and the contemporary right wing intellectual misreading of John Lennon: Steyn got his nuts in an uproar because someone sat down at a piano and played the song “Imagine” after the Paris attacks. He went on and on about how we now live in that world and it’s not working out the way it was promised. Steyn says that there are no countries in Europe any more on account of the European Union and that not only can everyone imagine that heaven doesn’t exist, every single European gave up their belief in god. Except the Muslims.

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Now all of this is untrue even with the most extreme spin put on it. It gets worse when you actually look at the facts, but what’s most frightening is that Steyn, the intellectual republicans like to pull out of their ass, is perpetuating an old idea that was laughable when it was new, which it never was. These ideas go back to the time that Mick Jagger first created dirt, sorry, since Craig Kilborn’s Daily Show Jagger and Old As Dirt are forever locked in my mind. But as to rock and roll it was as old as rock and roll. Noebel’s book or treatise as he liked to call it, went back to what the John Birch Society had to say about “race music” that was making negroids of white people by making their hips swivel. And what the fuck were negroids anyway? It meant they were like negroes or something but weren’t. Were they brothers from another planet? God I love that movie. Probably another nail in my left wing coffin.

Paul McCartney was the only Beatle to officially admit in published interviews that he was an atheist in the early days of Beatlemania and no one thought twice about it. It wasn’t until Lennon told a British reporter that “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me,” that he got caught up in the fervor. The record burnings and protests were all just a publicity stunt for some southern radio station, but the idea has stuck around since. Even after Lennon swallowed his pride and apologized. Even after, years later, he admitted that he was a “most religious fellow.”

So, all year they’ve been dumping this Anti-Lennon shit at me. And to me they’re still and always will be taller than Christ. Even Ringo. So that’s what I want for Christmas: Either leave Lennon alone or somebody bring me Mark Steyn’s two front teeth.

War is over, it you want it.

 

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