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Beatles Foibles -- Character flaws in individual Beatles
2 February 2023
6.51pm
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Sea Belt
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I’m guessing there’s no thread on the foibles of the Beatles in terms of character flaws people have criticized about them (or any new ones BB members can think of).  This thread can also present foibles about the Beatles collectively, not just individually.
 
So for Paul I already created a thread about his OCD perfectionism. Another foible of Paul’s perhaps would be his mercenary business minded preoccupation with the money and legalities toward the end.
 
With John and George, there’s the old chestnut of hypocrisy in terms of how they pretend to be oh so spiritual while at the same time enjoying their multi-millionaire lifestyles.
 
And with John, there’s also the Yoko factor. Also with John there’s the physical violence motif that seems to crop up — whether beating up friends or physical abuse of romantic partners.
 
And finally, we get to Ringo and clearly Ringo’s major flaw is that he’s just too cute.  Oh, and his drumming tempo is too solid & consistent.a-hard-days-night-ringo-13
 
 

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2 February 2023
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Sea Belt
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After that introductory post, I’ll kick this thread off with this question about John.  Is this snarky tweet fair?  I think it’s not totally unfair.  If you think it is unfair, please present an argument defending that position.

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3 February 2023
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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Sea Belt said

With John and George, there’s the old chestnut of hypocrisy in terms of how they pretend to be oh so spiritual while at the same time enjoying their multi-millionaire lifestyles.

How is that hypocritical? Are only poor people allowed to be spiritual?

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3 February 2023
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Sea Belt
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said

Sea Belt said

With John and George, there’s the old chestnut of hypocrisy in terms of how they pretend to be oh so spiritual while at the same time enjoying their multi-millionaire lifestyles.

How is that hypocritical? Are only poor people allowed to be spiritual?

  

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can…”

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3 February 2023
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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He’s saying imagine [to form a mental image of (something not present)]. He’s not saying everybody should give away all their stuff and go live on the streets. 

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3 February 2023
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Sea Belt
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That’s not all John was conveying in that song. He’s also conveying that imagining is a good thing.  And why is it a good thing? Because if enough people do it it will translate into good action. And what is the good action? The good action is, among other good things, no possessions.
 
In this context, not only is the song devoid of any self-reflection or humility about how he’s NOT doing what he thinks everybody should do, the song even implies that he IS doing it when he says “I hope someday you’ll join US, and the world will live as one.”
 
Granted, it’s logically possible that last line could mean, “yes I am only imagining for now and meanwhile while I’m imagining I’m amassing and enjoying more possessions than 99% of the world could ever dream of having, and I feel kind of bad about that, but I think the act of imagining by itself may eventually overpower my need for possessions which I obviously have because of my cars and houses and properties I own and enjoy.”  But the song is devoid of any sense of this meaning. One would have to infer it without any evidence, unless we have some writing or communication of John where he expresses that elsewhere.

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3 February 2023
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Timothy
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said
He’s saying imagine [to form a mental image of (something not present)]. He’s not saying everybody should give away all their stuff and go live on the streets. 

  

Imagine is iconic but I also dislike how much focus gets placed on it. As John said, at the end of the day it’s just a song. People have made it to the a gospel creed to live their life by. The last verse which completes the song is probably needed otherwise the song would be too short, and it completes the general idea being presented. 

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3 February 2023
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Sea Belt
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John being hypocritical makes him human — and not admitting it also makes him human. 🙂

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4 February 2023
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Ron Nasty
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The underlying premise of the suggestion, that John’s life didn’t reflect the lyrics he wrote, therefore making him a hypocrite, is palpable nonsense. Artists, through time immemorial, have often portrayed thoughts, ideas and ideals which aren’t reflected in their lives. The Arts would be much poorer if those who create all these things which enhance and enrich our world and lives could only create things that align totally with how they live their own lives.

An artist over the course of a career will express, in whatever their medium, a multitude of ideas and thoughts, ways of seeing the world, that will contradict not only each other in places but also the lived life.

John wasn’t making a statement about his life, but rather his hopes, his prayers, as he told David Sheff during the 1980 Playboy interview:

Dick Gregory gave Yoko and me a little hind of prayer book. It is in the Christian idiom, but you can apply it anywhere. It is the concept of positive prayer. If you want to get a car, get the car keys. Get it? Imagine is saying that. If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion – not without religion but without this my-God -is-bigger-than-your-God thing – then it can be true.

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4 February 2023
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Ron Nasty said
The underlying premise of the suggestion, that John’s life didn’t reflect the lyrics he wrote, therefore making him a hypocrite, is palpable nonsense. Artists, through time immemorial, have often portrayed thoughts, ideas and ideals which aren’t reflected in their lives. The Arts would be much poorer if those who create all these things which enhance and enrich our world and lives could only create things that align totally with how they live their own lives.

An artist over the course of a career will express, in whatever their medium, a multitude of ideas and thoughts, ways of seeing the world, that will contradict not only each other in places but also the lived life.

John wasn’t making a statement about his life, but rather his hopes, his prayers, as he told David Sheff during the 1980 Playboy interview:

Dick Gregory gave Yoko and me a little hind of prayer book. It is in the Christian idiom, but you can apply it anywhere. It is the concept of positive prayer. If you want to get a car, get the car keys. Get it? Imagine is saying that. If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion – not without religion but without this my-God -is-bigger-than-your-God thing – then it can be true.

  

“Artists, through time immemorial, have often portrayed thoughts, ideas and ideals which aren’t reflected in their lives.”

That doesn’t really make my observation nonsense, and could (and probably does) substantiate it in that many other artists have also been hypocritical vis-a-vis their lives vs. their art, since that’s one necessary general component of hypocrisy — that the thoughts, ideas and ideals promulgated in their art are not reflected in (practiced) in their lives, and in fact seem to be at variance with their lives.  Of course it depends on what thoughts, ideas and ideals we’re talking about, and what they are doing (or not doing) in their lives that would be sufficiently at variance.  In another medium, the screenwriter/director David Milch is a good example. He often has written scripts about struggles with the demons of alcohol & drugs including characters held up as examples of those who win the struggles, while he himself was succumbing (and effectively losing) to those same struggles. At least he had the self-awareness to advert to that irony directly as part of the struggle.

“The Arts would be much poorer if those who create all these things which enhance and enrich our world and lives could only create things that align totally with how they live their own lives.”

No doubt true, but that doesn’t make my observation nonsense either. It could be the tragi-comedy of our lives that great art is mired in our (including the artists’) imperfections.

“An artist over the course of a career will express, in whatever their medium, a multitude of ideas and thoughts, ways of seeing the world, that will contradict not only each other in places but also the lived life.”

And such contradiction is one necessary general component of hypocrisy. Obviously not in every case; but necessarily where there is hypocrisy in an artist, it’s precisely because of the contradiction you describe, generally speaking.

“John wasn’t making a statement about his life, but rather his hopes, his prayers…”

An artist doesn’t have to be making a statement about his life in one of his art works, for his life to evince hypocrisy relative to that work. 

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5 February 2023
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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Timothy said

Imagine is iconic but I also dislike how much focus gets placed on it. As John said, at the end of the day it’s just a song. People have made it to the a gospel creed to live their life by. The last verse which completes the song is probably needed otherwise the song would be too short, and it completes the general idea being presented. 

Who are these people who view Imagine as the gospel and live their life by it?

 

Sea Belt said

That’s not all John was conveying in that song. He’s also conveying that imagining is a good thing.  And why is it a good thing? Because if enough people do it it will translate into good action. And what is the good action? The good action is, among other good things, no possessions.

  

He wasn’t calling for everybody to give away all their possessions. He’s calling for people to not fight over possessions, countries, religion. I don’t know why you’re taking it literally. The song is called Imagine and he calls himself a dreamer in it. 

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5 February 2023
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said

Sea Belt said

That’s not all John was conveying in that song. He’s also conveying that imagining is a good thing.  And why is it a good thing? Because if enough people do it it will translate into good action. And what is the good action? The good action is, among other good things, no possessions.

  

He wasn’t calling for everybody to give away all their possessions. He’s calling for people to not fight over possessions, countries, religion. I don’t know why you’re taking it literally. The song is called Imagine and he calls himself a dreamer in it. 

  

You’re adding more interpretation than is in the lyrics. John simply says “imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.” He doesn’t add at that point anything about fighting over possessions.
 
As for being a dreamer, John doesn’t call himself a dreamer, be specifically says “you may say I’m a dreamer,” and then he goes on to say “but I’m not the only one”, evidently meaning “well if you insist on calling me a dreamer, so be it — but there’s more than me.”
 
It seems disingenuous to say he’s “only” dreaming — so what are we supposed to do with that? Discount everything in the song as being worthy to aspire to? He’s clearly calling on people to translate their dreams into reality.  Action begins with imagination & hope.
 
And I think somebody else spoke of being a dreamer about the same time — give or take a couple of years, who was it…?  Oh yeah…
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5 February 2023
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Timothy
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said

Timothy said

Imagine is iconic but I also dislike how much focus gets placed on it. As John said, at the end of the day it’s just a song. People have made it to the a gospel creed to live their life by. The last verse which completes the song is probably needed otherwise the song would be too short, and it completes the general idea being presented. 

Who are these people who view Imagine as the gospel and live their life by it?

 

Do you want names and addresses or something?   

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