Guest Spot is a recurring topic on Natetheworld. In it, I provide a guest author a piece of media and they write a response to it. This month, I am featuring my sister from another mother, Stephanie Jensen. As an aside, she produced this piece before Sept, 11th. I am really slow.
To see the original Rolling Stone Article, click here.
John Lennon was never my favorite Beatle.
I understand it’s heresy to say that as a Beatles’ fan.
I realize I just surprised most people who believe they understand my musical tastes.
John Lennon was never more delusional than when he wrote this song. Hope is a sort of delusion though, isn’t it? The concept of a peaceful world is as concrete to me as Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is to a sober listener. I can list a dozen songs I think have as much power as Imagine does, but as I listen to the beautiful Eddie Vedder sing it for the first time publicly, I kind of believe the hype.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, because a day like that is necessary since suicide is reaching epidemic proportions. More veterans now die by suicide than in combat. War is hell. Tonight President Obama will speak to the country about ISIS, about conflict, about things we think we know the answers to but expect him to fix instead. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. Tomorrow is a reminder of a day when people just jumped, because they could not see another way.
Playing this just once, and only after all these years, changed my comprehension of the song. While I’d not engage in a Pearl Jam versus Beatles discussion, I will say it took this performance for me to feel better about my own stance on war. Because, you see, I am not anti-war. I’m anti-war without cause. I’m too humble and insignificant to believe I should make the call of when to go, or when to bring them home. I’m pro everything Eddie Vedder says here: humans, peace, love. While I’m no longer willing to call myself a cynic, it’s simply unrealistic to me to believe in a world without war.
Because even if we stop fighting over borders and religion and oil and egos, we have to battle inner demons—our own and each other’s. Today, though…today? I can listen to this song over and over and respect Eddie Vedder for making a massive impact by simply responding with art. By defending himself and his band with someone else’s better words. By finally reaching a girl in Oklahoma who is fighting to put her feet on the ground every day, in a world that is the opposite of these lyrics.
No, John Lennon was never my favorite Beatle, but he did say I was a dreamer and, because of him, this song, and this performance I can’t help but believe I’m not the only one.