Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dion DiMucci on Lennon's Imagine

John Lennon was a beautiful man, but Imagine represents a huge failure of imagination. In 1971 we didn’t need to imagine atheistic internationalism. Communism was living and active, in a least two forms, and it wasn’t producing peace.  . . . What made it possible for so many leaders to issue the orders for atrocities over the course of a half-century and more? They feared neither heaven nor hell. Imagine that.
— Dion

18 comments:

im-skeptical said...

"But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow"

- John Lennon


Dion DiMucci can't imagine what John Lennon was talking about.

B. Prokop said...

Victor,

I read Dion's autobiography The Wanderer Talks Truth last year, and posted a review on Amazon. Here's what I wrote:

Dion DiMucci has an important story to tell, and he tells it well. Normally I don't care much for "ghostwritten" books, but if a musical genius like Dion felt the need for a little help (from Mike Aquilina) in setting his life's journey down in words, who can possibly blame him?

At the height of his success, with a wall full of million-seller hits behind him, flush with more money and fame that his wildest childhood dreams could have possibly imagined, and married to the most beautiful woman in the world, how could Dion have ever felt empty and unfulfilled? What could ever drive such a worldly success story to drugs, alcohol, and a raging fury that threatened to destroy it all? We can quite literally thank God that Dion discovered in time what was missing in his life, and that he was able to take steps to fill that gap before (like all too many fellow musicians and others in the "entertainment" industry) he fell into it beyond hope of recovery.

Some reviewers here have complained that this book is too "preachy". Well, let me assure you that if I had been pulled back from the abyss as was Dion, if I had been rescued from alcoholism, heroin addiction, and an all-pervasive anger at the world, destructive to both him and to his family, you can bet I'd be a bit preachy as well. It'd be weird if I weren't. So Dion's grateful acknowledgement of God's grace in his life is perfectly appropriate. He humbly tells us that he just kind of fell into success, all the while pursuing behaviors fully capable of causing it all to come crashing about his head. This book is his story of how he avoided that fate.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Victor Reppert said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWD8YI1Mqhs

im-skeptical said...

Victor,

Do you mean to imply that a few pasted-together words form John Lennon is somehow indicative of his opinions? You are aware, I presume, that Forrest Gump wasn't filmed until years after Lennon died, and that this "conversation" never occurred? I could just as well paste together some snippets of your own words to show that you hold just about any opinion. How would you like that? Or do you think it might be just a bit dishonest?


Victor Reppert said...

No, I think the difference between Lennon and Lenin is that Lennon was just dreaming, while Lenin had a plan for turning Lennon's imagination into reality.

im-skeptical said...

" Lenin had a plan for turning Lennon's imagination into reality. "

And so we return to my original comment: Dion DiMucci (and apparently you) can't imagine what John Lennon was talking about.

B. Prokop said...

Curious that Lenin launched the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and Lennon recorded Imagine in 1971. Coincidence? I don't think so... // insert ironically smiling emoticon here //

Jezu ufam tobie!

Victor Reppert said...

Well, what IS he talking about? He thinks we should imagine no heaven, no hell, no countries, and no possessions, and if people get into that state of mind, there will be nothing to kill or die for, we would have a brotherhood of man, and we would live for today in peace.

Why think that this is a realistic possibility, or that these would be the result of thinking in these ways? The picture does seem to be that of a socialist paradise that is indeed supposed to be the end result of the inevitable advance of the dialectic of matter. But, apparently, we aren't supposed to achieve this by violent revolution. So, how, pray tell me, are we supposed to achieve it. By dropping lots of acid and smoking lots of pot? Does "nothing to kill or die for" leave us with nothing to live for?

What the Forrest Gump scenes show is that what Lennon asked us to imagine is what actually happened in the People's Republic of China. But the rest of the picture was pretty ugly.

B. Prokop said...

Victor,

Especially chilling in Lennon's song are the words, "I hope one day you'll join us, and the world can live as one." See? You, comrade, are the one who needs to see the error of your way, to expunge your politically incorrect ideas (or have them expunged), to think only in conformity with us, the sole arbiters of what is acceptable to believe and to think. You must never again engage in thoughtcrime. If you dare to dissent, then in the holy name of "living as one", in the great principle of "tolerance", we will utterly refuse to tolerate your existence.

"Nothing to kill or die for?" Hah! Lennon's little ditty is a blueprint for mass murder on a scale that would make Stalin himself blush.

Jezu ufam tobie!

im-skeptical said...

"What the Forrest Gump scenes show is that what Lennon asked us to imagine is what actually happened in the People's Republic of China."

You're wrong. Lennon imagined something much better than what you have in mind. And it sure wasn't some totalitarian regime. By nothing to kill or die for", he means the ideologies (both political and religious) that divide mankind. Perhaps Lennon's vision wasn't something we could reasonably expect to achieve, but then people like you really think they're going to spend eternity in paradise. Lennon's vision is more achievable than that.

Victor Reppert said...

I'm perfectly willing to see this is as a pretty idealistic song. But if someone is serious about trying to bring it to pass, then I get worried. I can understand someone being an atheist, believe me. What I find insane and dangerous is the idea that somehow the departure from religious belief will lead to some sort of secular paradise. With a religious paradise, it takes God to bring it into being. With a secular paradise we can, and are supposed to do it ourselves. If you take a vision of the secular paradise, and then you accept a combination of "everything is permitted" and "the end justifies the means," and you have a formula for bloodshed that will permit you to outstrip the body count of all the religious killings in the history of the human race.

im-skeptical said...

"If you take a vision of the secular paradise, and then you accept a combination of "everything is permitted" and "the end justifies the means," and you have a formula for bloodshed that will permit you to outstrip the body count of all the religious killings in the history of the human race."

That's your religious view of what a secular paradise would be. But you don't understand secular morality. At all.

B. Prokop said...

As a useful thought experiment, just "imagine" what it would take in the Real World to realize Lennon's vision:

- Armies of confiscatory agents to expose people refusing to surrender their possessions, empowered to seize any they find (shades of the Bolsheviks requisitioning grain throughout the starving Ukraine in the 1930s)

- Reeducation Camps set up to brainwash (excuse me, deprogram) people from any undesirable beliefs, such as religion (shades of the Cultural Revolution in China)

- Strict and pervasive censorship to ensure that no one writes, talks, or (especially) thinks about Heaven, Hell, or God (shades of what the USA is about to become in a few years, as evidenced by this chilling New York Times editorial "Church leaders must be made to take homosexuality off the sin list." (emphasis added))

- An all-powerful World State, which is the real meaning of "no countries" (shades of the European Union imposing its Brussels-based bureaucracy upon formerly sovereign states)

- (Bonus Bullet Point) An end to proper grammar, as in "Imagine there's no countries." Really? A singular verb conjugation with a plural subject? (shades of W's "Is our children learning?")

Just imagine.

Jezu ufam tobie!

im-skeptical said...

"Armies of confiscatory agents"
"Reeducation Camps"
"Strict and pervasive censorship"
"An all-powerful World State"

None of those things are the outcome of a world where destructive ideologies are absent. Of course, being a follower of one of those destructive ideologies, Bob simply can't imagine the kind of world that Lennon could. What he imagines is a fate worse than any of those things for everyone who doesn't buy into his horrific ideology.

And here's a bonus point for you, Bob: did you ever hear of poetic license?

Ilíon said...

Who are you and what have you done with B.Prokop: "As a useful thought experiment, just "imagine" what it would take in the Real World to realize Lennon's vision:

- Armies of confiscatory agents to expose people refusing to surrender their possessions, empowered to seize any they find (shades of the Bolsheviks requisitioning grain throughout the starving Ukraine in the 1930s)
"

Oddly enough, when *I* condemn "Armies of confiscatory agents to expose people refusing to surrender their possessions, empowered to seize any they find" that's just "proof" of my status as a signatory to "Hell's Own Governing Constitution" or some similar twaddle.

B. Prokop said...

THIS is for Ilion (enjoy).

Ilíon said...

About Those IRS Budget Cuts ... it seems that -- as usual -- when "liberals" start moaning about "cuts" in some area of tax spending, the "cuts' are really increases, just not as great increases as they want to tax-and-spend.

"Enjoy"

Michael Bolton and whoever the even more annoying monkey is? Enjoy?

im-skeptical said...

the "cuts' are really increases

As usual, Ilion can't help but lie. It's just part of his nature. Those so-called "welfare handouts" that he cites are in no way part of the IRS budget, any more than taxes collected are part of the IRS budget. The fact is that budget cuts for the IRS are real. he ought to be jumping for joy because it's less likely that he'll be caught when he cheats on his taxes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/12/12/house-slashes-irs-budget-now-up-to-the-senate/