The Roads To Hell?

I know a sense of what the headline says, to be true. For I encountered a road, a slide – to a place, I did not like. The simple and most common descent. The slide from youth to cynicism.

For my record – I wanted to put down a couple of ideas that have occurred – from self-reflection – hopefully articulate.

The Beginning

When we are young. We don’t want to be like old people. Become the people they are. What old represents. 

We want to follow, fulfil – the bloom that our youth, that we felt in youth, that we grew up with -meant.

We want to stay – the there – where we were in our minds – when younger – that said automatically: yes – to things. That saw things purely at face value.

Growth Has To Be Made

Unless that attitude of mind – the youthful want – is fostered and supported, it goes. 

It can’t stay – as the teenage naive – forever. It must grow, to learn. But its core, the happiness in itself for itself, the easy appreciation of the world. The forgiveness, and charity of mind – that can endure. With decision.

It can be subsumed – by two things.   

The first – the Popular Objective – which if accepted dazzles the spirit – coarsens and callouses the emotions. 

And the second – which is a state of mind, quite common – the Paralysed Subjective.

The Popular Objective

The Popular Objective is the popular, thoughtless. The Popular Objective promotes instant gratification. The Popular Objective stigmatises anything that does not conform to a very narrow band of already-decided-fact. 

The Popular Objective dominates mass-market entertainment. It can be found predominantly on the TV, movie, and games screen – but also via the sounds of popular music and the headlines of mass-market journalism.

A stand-up comic, is the exemplar of the Popular Objective. Spouting words into cadence, necessarily flippant. The stand-up tells nothing to snag and conflict the mass-opinion. Don’t make them think – outside the accepted. 

Laughs, the comic lives by – views the Popular Objective wants. 

The new, the novel, the different. Actually, the old. But like washing powder: BIGGER, better, brighter – NEWER – faces, designs which can only recycle the tested.

The Popular Objective forever demands. There is no fundament to the Popular Objective.

The Popular Objective Simply Is

Individually, there is nothing wrong with the barrage that is the Popular Objective. 

The Popular Objective can try. Telethons – it can donate its time. 

Better to have good Popular Objective than have copyists with political agendas, or violent or sexual kinks to sell.

But if the Popular Objective is accepted as all – if it is a monopoly on a person – if there is no beacon of alternative natural intellect – it represents a blizzard – of fog – that can overwhelm anyone but especially – the ungrounded, the wounded-inside, the growing, the wanting-to-please – person.

“Do you measure up? Are you cool? The NOW is what matters – don’t be boring! (such a crime) You tried – you failed – personally I never bother trying – hahaha. Learning isn’t cool – Billy-no-mates is a weirdo possible pederast.”

The implication is solid. The inference a reinforcement from the pack. Stay away from the open-road, path – of the not-one-like-us.

In The World Where Unaffected People Live

People have space to grow – and that growth is in their point-of-view – mental growth. Breadth-of-view, it would better be described as.

 ‘In the kingdom of the insane, the sane are at odds,’ runs the thought. 

The truth is more:

‘In the kingdom where popular has a megaphone – and the majority think what the popular shout is normal and correct – it can be problematic to think alternative thought valid’.

‘Don’t overthink – just go with the flow,’ said someone. 

Current, is interesting. Should be questioned, before becoming joined, and embedded. 

The Paralysed Subjective

         The Paralysed Subjective is a default frame-of-mind. The Paralysed Subjective is defined more by what it excludes from thought, than what the frame-of-mind includes. 

What it excludes is very simple, but very controversial.

The Paralysed Subjective can be found in people from all ends of the political spectrum. The Paralysed Subjective can adopt positions on societal issues. The Paralysed Subjective, like the Popular Objective favours the yes/no – school of debate.  

The Paralysed Subjective has feelings ranging from distrust to dislike, to virtual hate for the entertainment offerings of the Popular Objective.

The Paralysed Subjective cannot accept, cannot process, that the entertainment side of the Popular Objective is merely catering – to the easiest to hit: the uninhibited mind.

This is because the Paralysed Subjective has lost – or hid – somehow put away – their memory of the time they had an uninhibited mind. 

There is a tragic laugh to be gained from someone with the Paralysed Subjective mind, in its deepest state. They will maintain a central part of their belief: the rest of society has a closed mind.

Pity The Paralysed Subjective

A loved, happy child has an uninhibited mind. Someone with peace-of-mind has a virtually uninhibited mind. There are absolute benefits to possessing an uninhibited mind. 

A person who develops and grows properly – can use their uninhibited mind to reflect on their self – fairly. They can be objective about themself. Take unkind circumstances into account, be fair.

A Paralysed Subjective does not have an uninhibited mind and will either be unfair on their self – or unfair on the outside world’s connivance – in their issues. 

The judgement of someone affected by the Paralysed Subjective – of themselves, of others of – everything – will be coloured by their affected mind. Affected by the thing that has rid them of their uninhibited mind. Affected by the consequences of a closed and prejudiced view of the world. Like a snowball of consequence, the issues will compound. A Paralysed Subjective mind, lives at the centre of a most vicious and unforgiving circle.

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‘Awakenings’ by Anthony De Mello

A book that’s never far from me, is Anthony De Mello’s ‘Awakenings’.

I bought it in 2013. At the time – I read the first page, then I put it down. 

It was too simple. Too – explicitly, life is – like this – and I knew it was – and I wasn’t ready for it.  

The ‘what-made-me-buy-it’ brought me back. 

And what made me buy ‘Awakenings’ was – something – I kept thinking – I should – make a note of. But I didn’t. And I can’t remember anymore. It was a thought subtle. It must have been. 

Because you’ll find ‘Awakenings’ under Xtian (Xtian – see P.S below) Literature. (De Mello was Jesuit) I know that this will put some off. I know that – because at one time, even a very small hint, at Xtian lit – would have put me off.

I would have assumed sanctimonious bore-fest. I would have assumed recommender, was recommending – to convert. ‘Because they all want to, those believers. Sooo – self-satisfied – and sure? – they think everyone should be like them.’

That’s precisely how I used to think. 

*That First Page*

The first sentence of the book:

Spirituality means waking up.’ Which I liked. Then, on that first page I got four things.

A hit, a promise, a hit, and a joke.

The first hit – I got – probably – it spoke to my literary-cool, detached vanity – this:

Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep, without ever waking up.

Then came, in a sentence, the promise of the whole book. The sentence chipped at the basics of literary-cool – that sensibility filtered via robust materialism:

‘They (the asleep) never understand the loveliness and beauty of this thing, that we call human existence.’

Then came the second hit. 

‘… all is well.  Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure.’

‘All is well’. It’s an idea – which disowns the Xianity I had encountered in a foray into the philosophy of C. S Lewis, that says the world is partly broken.

‘All is well’ It’s an idea I understood and believed. Though tyrants and monsters might try to break the overriding peace of the world.

Though natural, and not-so natural disasters might cause hardship, might rip like a chainsaw through people’s lives – ‘All is well’.

For outside of landmark events – the vast majority of events exist. All the simple, peaceful interactions between individuals. Getting on, with their normal day-to-day lives, working and caring, quietly. And doing it in love and peace.

This – the mundane – the beautiful in its mundanity – is many, many times, more common than the unwell.

A note here: the fact the idea – the thought – ‘All is well’ is included in the book – maybe, is the reason – why the Catholic Church (De Mello was a Jesuit – Jesuits are a Catholic order) do not recommend De Mello.

*How The First Page Nudged Me* (this gets personal)

wasn’t going to repeat the joke. I have edited it:

A man knocks on his son’s door.

‘Wake up son. Time for school.’

‘I’m not going’

‘You have to go.’

‘I’m not going – it’s dull – the kids tease me – I hate it.’

‘Son – it’s your duty – you’re forty-five – you’re the head-master.’

De Mello then explains what he means. In context, he was a therapist. He was used to people asking him for help. So much so, he knew what calls for help really meant. And in explaining he helped me see me. For I knew what – at the time – I wanted the book, for. Steroid self-help – or something like it.

Wake up. Wake up. Stop playing with your toys. Most people will tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but don’t believe them. Don’t believe them! All they want you to do is mend their broken toys. “Give me back my wife. Give me back my job. Give me back my money. Give me back my reputation, my success.” This is what they want; they want their toys replaced … people don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief. A cure is painful.

Stop playing with your toys. 

I’d always wanted to grow up. I knew I hadn’t. When I read the above – that line about toys, that stung. ‘Life’s like this …’ Stop playing with your toys … I knew – De Mello knows

I put the book down and away. I didn’t think what for. I didn’t know at the time. I didn’t know I put it down, till I started reading it again.

P.S Xtianity = Christianity – it’s the same formation that makes Xmas. Comes from early Christians who used X as standing for Christ

The Idea of a Malevolent Global Elite Designing a Hell For The Rest of Us, Doesn’t Hold Up – if You Really Think About It

They’re making chocolate bars ever smaller. 

Producing TV series’ that go on and on … when the story could be told well in a movie. 

Do the ‘global elites’ and ‘ruling classes’ have any other malevolent agendas?

The phrases global elite and ruling class are an irritant to me.

Both ideas, are all over the place – in texts – directly, or unconsciously, supportive of Marxism – or its extended family.

However – many believe there are global elites and a ruling class, and, the two are not linked to Marxism – but they do have a malevolent intent. 

I am not one of those people.

I think belief in global elites and ruling classes and their taking part in an organised malevolent agenda, other than keeping the status quo where the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer – by age-old tricks, hidden in plain sight, ever used– is wrong.

*You Can’t Just Deny Their Existence*

To simply deny the possible existence of malevolent global elites (Hereafter abbreviated to MGE), is to do a disservice to the young, or uneducated.

Someone young, someone uneducated may be under the mentorship or parenthood of someone they respect, who has decided a belief in MGE

To some people, belief in MGE who are planning something awful for them and the world of normal people, is a day-to-day affecting belief – part of their real life.

*Difficulties*

Any conspiracy theory – any *thing* where evidence can be interpreted subjectively – from your own point-of-view – like belief in God. Can’t be completely proven or disproven.  There’s always a counter argument.

‘look at God’s infinite variety’

look at evolution’

In the case of History- humankind, is full of special-interest groups. Why not an MGE club. We’ve heard of the Freemasons. Couldn’t MGE be something like the Freemasons? Something exclusive but not so solid profile.

Certainly, could be.

Only at this point – rather than showing how easy it is to support what I believe to be a delusion. What’s the real possibility that MGE exist.

Detectives say every crime has a motive. Malevolence is a crime. 

What is the MGE motive? 

*MGE Don’t Need To Hide*

A correspondent wrote to me: ‘it makes perfect sense for the rich and powerful to conspire together to promote their own interests.’

True. But don’t they already do this? As Conservatives in the UK? Republicans in the US? and … (sorry for my restricted knowledge – I’m short on other countries’ equivalents.)

Political parties on your side are all you really need. What more than experienced virtual machines that know how to mobilise the majority to points-of-view that may not be in that majority’s best interest? 

‘*You don’t understand, you’re one of the Sheeple – MGE want to control us.”*

What does this mean?

Control us to do what? 

We can only spend our time and money where we can. And here is another rub.

            Any MGE is going to need a few people. The believers in the conspiracy of MGE have (wanted) poster boys. Prime suspects: Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Musk. 

Those guys are in competition. They want you. For your money and your time. And half of that wish is hoping the others – don’t get you.

They all had a big idea, and they’re all trying to maintain what they built from that idea. Yeah – they might meet at wherever the super-rich hang out. But if X came along one day and said to Y:

            “Want to put together a MGE”

            Y is plain suspicious. Y thinks X has an idea to get an up on Y’s business. 

MGE doesn’t promote business.

*I Apologise To Bill Gates*

The attack on Bill Gates by the MGE conspiracy theorists points out the blind spot of the conspiracy theorist.

They give their targets too much credit. Bill seems an okay guy to me – so much so I don’t like to draw attention to the fact – the conspiracy theorists are saying he’s got an evil plan for the world – and he couldn’t keep his infidelities hid. 

Maybe his marriage had reached a conclusion. But he couldn’t stop his fortune being split. Right there you have a comedy Bond villain.

 *Covid was an MGE Idea*

Covid stole our freedom – is a call – and not just from conspiracy theorists. A lot of conspiracy theorists further believe Covid was a test by MGE to see what it could get away with.

I have a very conventional take on Covid. I believe it was a virus, not a government ruse. None of my freedoms were taken away. My personal life was inconvenienced, to a degree that upset people I care for. But reason was understood. It was happening all over the world.

*A Movie*

There is one crackers scenario where MGE could have motive. I include this, so I cannot be accused of omission. The scenario is possibility included in a comedy-action-movie.

The Bond type villain decided climate change had reached its tipping point. The only solution was to get rid of most of the world’s population.

He started to recruit people to his plan. 

The problem: absolute confidentiality was needed till the killing day. To ensure this, he implanted the recruited with a chip type device which monitored their complicity.

Which humour does actually speak of the human problem logistics of a group. Keeping everyone on the same page, and silent.

Subjective People, Doublethink, Climate Change

I wrote some lines, i often do. I do not say poetry. I shy from using the term poetry.

Reason being, in educated, past years, there were parameters,referring, to – the art. Now – Walt Whitman may have … no. I’m not writing a thing about history of poetry.

I am simply aware of my status (habitue of post-modernworld, virtual man-of-that-world) and do not feel comfortable describing self with title bestowed on particular, past masters:

It is straight edges i understand

all i get are curves

outside of me reality swerves

can seem real underhand

the lines are personal, they refer to a particular accumulation of incidents.

However, I believe – the words could speak for the universal mind – or at least a lot of people. 

Anyone can have a reasoning within, where according to their opinion things can make complete sense. They may not be able to articulate the thing, the fact – the idea – they know to be true. What makes it true, But they know (they believe) it is.

Outside their head, however, what they know, is denied. In a way that doesn’t even address – what they know.

*Objective and Subjective*

The anyone’s I am talking about, I think, may mostly – be people, who do not have in their mental toolbox, comprehension of the points-of-view – objective and subjective.

There are those who say the objective p-o-v – a judgement *not* influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts – can *not* – exist.

I think those people must be too tied to their belief club. They probably don’t even get doublethink. See below.

Anyway – even a smarty pants like me – I do think I have the two ideas understood – can come unstuck.

*Doublethink?*

Going to sleep the previous night – before I virtually woke up with the first two lines:

it is straight edges i understand, all i get are curves’ –

several issues, were on my mind.

A couple of the issues I could look on objectively – in cold clear – what is – light. 

A couple – I thought on subjectively –in warm fuzzy – what I want – fog – though I knew there was an objective answer. 

Doublethink indeed – though I might add here I’ve latterly considered Mr Orwell’s concept from novel 1984 – to be a pedant’s invention. 

Discuss it to its source – the world is neutral.  Wrong and right are meaningless terms. Therefore, Doublethink: the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s mind at the same time –quite natural. Most people do it all the time. They know eating a surfeit of sugary food is bad for them – they give and accept it as gift.

Not a fantastic intellectual example – there are more (plenty)cerebral examples available on request.

*A Point*

I started writing this thing as part of a personal email exchange talking about climate change. 

My own views on the subject were formed the night a person explained to me that all – oil, coal, all fossil fuel, all composed of former living things – had taken carbon from the air at the time they were alive – had died and been buried – and this had gone on for millions of years. 

Till about 1850 when we started digging them (it) all up and,in all cases effectively burning it (them) – thereby quick-releasing the carbon.

Did I say it had taken millions of years for the carbon to be taken out of the atmosphere?

My own view on the subject is that if carbon does, things –things must happen as a result of that quick release of tons of the stuff. 

‘To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’: Newton’s third law (I looked)

*Trouble Is (‘Nice Thoughts’ follows Trouble Is)*

1/ 

The objective and the subjective and those who don’t know the difference, and those like me, who can get them mixed up.

All the science in the world can shout, but – ‘a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest’ is a line from a Paul Simon song, and it does illustrate quite well the subjective trouble – and the issue with ones like me who can get caught on the fence.

2/ 

We are all snowflakes (wait – this is a metaphor) caught in an avalanche. Bottled water. Strawberries in winter. Holidays via flights. We aren’t going to vote for sackcloth and ashes.

3/

China is still building coal fire power stations.

*Nice Thoughts*

Technology. 

Hidden away you come across reports. Like how turning deserts into crop land is a big thing these days. How Graphene will revolutionise (importantly drop the price) of turning seawater into water that can be used. I’m just a general reader. There must be many more such advances that mean the world that does stagger into the climate changed time, will not be the same as this one. It will be better equipped. 

That does not mean it will not suffer a ‘silent spring’, which for someone like me who thinks birdsong is the finest music, is pretty bad – but the world will at least, have a way to survival, for the many, not purely the few. 

*And Other Stuff*

My correspondent tells me I’m wrong to be optimistic about technology bailing us out on the effects of climate change.

He says I should look at some stuff he sends me.

There’s lots of it. Covid is a sham – type stuff – and another thing – a video of guy speechifying. There’re intro notes:

‘the global elite getting together in an unprecedented movement to stop 1848 style revolutions taking place … The ruling class believes they have a small window of time to cement their power on the heels of the historic AI revolution.’

I get as far as that last sentence, and I demur. I have respect for my correspondent, but I’ve not read far and already there’s ‘global elite’ ‘ruling class’ … to use those phrases, the writeraccepts stuff – has a life-view – I don’t share. I find as anathema. 

Mind you – does bring to mind – a very wonderful thought I read: 

Artificial intelligence: neither artificial, or intelligent

Pronoun IT (rhymes with git)

how to represent this most varied picture

walking the earth, IT can transcend all fixtures

can fear neighbour, can love enemy

can worship mud, can pursue alchemy

to explain IT to visiting alien

ITS design, species’ justi-fee-cation

i’d start with two words ‘bout ITS dark and light

strands in ITS mind that can focus owner’s sight

‘fear’ and ‘love’ the words i’d offer

touch’d in first verse these abstracts make matter

love – that respect for – hope – fair and concern

fear – disbelief in – stuck on self-discern

i’d comment on matter, how love can set free

while fear keeps within, can nurture conceit

i’d say how these habits can grow on for years

compound with others – to crazy courses veer

i’d add how rare is split to binary

both elements show, in the majority

i’d suggest this right but love needs emphasis

fear still there to guard the heedless

i’d tell how love and fear’s influence

IT rarely considers in ITS daily busy-ness

decisions IT makes, point-of-view maintained

how self-question, might, held positions – defame

for fear is shyness, demanding on top

that negates the spirit, gives love the brush-off

acts not for ITS best, just don’t like unknown

fear? maybe vanity? never knows grown

my audience i think would question the sense

why more is not done, stop fear’s prevalence

i’d explain – earth’s growing, fear can sell big

lots of ITS love – what if? avoiding – what is, right now

John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ Is It Secular Hymn – Anti-Religious or Hypocritical Elitism?

Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine has described John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ as “twenty-two lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith, in the power of a world, united in purpose, to repair and change itself.”

On Imagine’s 1971 release, Robert Christgau – major music critic and long-time senior editor for ‘The Village Voice’ – hailed the song “both a hymn for the Movement and a love song to (Yoko)”. When Christgau used the term Movement he meant the anti Vietnam war, a counter-culture, movement.

To the general public’s eye, the 2021 equivalent might be Extinction Rebellion.(Christgau said something else, to which I will return.)

Following the song’s original release, in 1971, Imagine got to number three in the US and number one in Canada.

Since then the song has made appearances in charts around the world. In Britain on its first release in 1975, it got to number six. After Lennon was murdered, in 1980, it got to number one and stayed for a month.

In 1999 ‘Imagine’ showed it had worked itself into the Brit consciousness – a BBC listener’s poll – to mark the turn of century and millennium – Brits voted it the nation’s favourite song lyric. I repeat – song lyric.

For some the song will always retain its particular beauty. The single piano’s gentle opening – the pretty turn of notes, then Lennon’s voice, sounding vulnerable to my ears – as he makes suggestion, to a simple thought experiment:

‘Imagine there’s no heaven …’

Flatterers and detractors have called it a hymn.

“How dare he make a hymn-like song – that praises the secular!” say the detractors.

Yoko Ono, Lennon’s wife, was sat in the room the morning he completed the song. Ono said, in 2001:

“‘Imagine’ was just what John believed: that we are all one country, one world, one people. He wanted to get that idea out”.

Lennon himself said the song was a sugar-coated version of another song he wrote ‘Working Class Hero’. That thought starts another level of thought concerning Lennon the artist, and irregular man, that this short commentary is unqualified to pursue.

Ono’s words reflect perhaps the major way in which the song is viewed by us, the audience – as voice promoting a world where brotherhood-of-man rules. Lennon actually uses the words ‘brotherhood-of-man’ in the third verse.

For such values choirs have sung the song – over 100 artists have performed or recorded the song. From Joan Baez to Lady Gaga – Jeff Beck to Stevie Wonder.

After all – what could be wrong with a song that sings about – what Ono says … one country … one world … one people.

A couple of things, if fixed religion is your thing, and also if you think pop stars can’t talk about idealistic values.

Negative Criticism

In 2006 the headmaster of a primary school in the UK, made national news when he decided those first four words of the first verse:

‘Imagine there’s no heaven … ’

together with four words at the end of the second verse:

‘ … and no religion too…’ made ‘Imagine’ anti-religious.

It does take an uncommon understanding and maturity – in what you believe in – to accept another asking you to put the thing aside for a moment. To accept that anything under the sun – is a human-made thing, with human-type frailty.

Surely it is a high form of spirituality that can consider – for a moment – the world neutral, empty of any such creations.

‘Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can …’ begins the third verse and this fires up a squabbling body-of-opinion.

Its followers say, when Lennon sang that line, he became a hypocrite.

“Because he was rich,” they insist.

I believe a lack of imagination regarding the spirit of the song, and a type of jealousy – combine, to destruct the accuser’s conception – of what a hypocrite is.

To be a hypocrite – is (roughly) to say one thing and do another.

Yes, Lennon had a pile of money.

But why shouldn’t he suggest – for this is what I believe – makes the song live:

A thought experiment.

Nowhere does Lennon suggest anyone gives away their money – while he keeps his.

When he wrote the song he was merely doing his job. Being a songwriter.

The song has also been described as sanctimonious. I don’t hear it.

I just see the “22 lines of graceful plain-spoken faith” as noted by Jann Wenner … ‘Imagine …’ an exhortation to thought experiment.

What Lennon Said

In the 1980 Playboy interview Lennon was asked directly what inspired ‘Imagine’. He answered:

“Dick Gregory gave Yoko and me a little kind 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.”

Thought experiment.

Which opinion I shall hold cause it fits without issue when I hear the song.

Thought experiment.

Oh it pains me to write … in the same sentence that Robert Christgau called ‘Imagine’ a hymn for the movement, he also said it celebrated Herbert Marcuse – a man in his lifetime known as the father of the New Left.

And Lennon in another interview said things that supported the far left:

“No more country no more politics” Lennon began and reportedly continued: “is virtually the Communist Manifesto.”

No it’s not John – and as for you Herbert Marcuse … both souls believed that Marxism, and all its theorised allies, Communism etc – are sweet, benevolent ideas, that if implemented could result in that brotherhood-of-man.

I couldn’t agree less. Like religion all such made ideas are the product of frail man. Unlike religion they have no philosophy for forgiveness or the sanctity of the individual soul. The Communist Manifesto is far far from ‘Imagine’. The Communist Manifesto is ultimately responsible for millions of deaths (see Solzhenitsyn).

Lennon and Marcuse were out the 1960s into the 70s. They believed a system could be changed. They believed if you started a communist system from the ground up, unlike Russia and China, you could make it work. They probably would have believed in Pol Pot. Look at Pol Pot.

Yoko’s Contribution

In the Playboy interview Lennon goes on to say:

“The song was originally inspired by Yoko’s book ‘Grapefruit’. In it are a lot of pieces saying ‘imagine this – imagine that’. Yoko actually helped a lot with the lyrics, but I wasn’t man enough to let her have credit …’

In 1964 Ono had relocated to New York and was mixing with the likes of John Cage (4.33). She had released ‘Grapefruit’ a poem collection – several began with the word ‘imagine’.

One of the poems ‘Cloud Piece’, was reproduced on the back cover of the original ‘Imagine’ LP.

It took time for Ono to get her deserved credit. Ono had it in time for a 2018 solo release of the song.

Meditation

After all is said and done, remains the song. It keeps with people. ‘Imagine’ is there for people to bring its sense and magic to their need.

Since 2005 ‘Imagine’ has been played in Times Square, New York every New Year’s Eve. The 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (in 2021) have all seen performances of ‘Imagine’.

Pre-recorded in the case of Tokyo. Performances by John Legend, Keith Urban, Alejandro Sanz and Angelique Kidjo, music by Hans Zimmer.

Particularly worthy of note was a virtual spontaneous performance. The morning after the November 2015 Paris attacks -when 89 concertgoers were murdered on a night-out at the Bataclan.

The next morning, Pianist Davide Martello brought a piano outside the venue and played an instrumental version.

Following this, Katy Waldman of Slate pondered the song’s life.

“The plainest and least complicated key … gentle as a rocking chair … underpins lyrics that belong to the tradition of spirituals that visualise a glorious after-life – without talking of any end to suffering on earth.”

I can only add:

The alchemy of that “gentle as a rocking chair melody” that exhortation – ‘Imagine’ – it makes us think.

About a world – a little different. A world that may not even – ever – exist.

But it makes us think about it. Imagine it. And in that moment, we are better for having the song.

It’s more or less what Ringo Starr said, when faced with questions about the song on a Barbara Walter TV interview.

“Imagine” Ringo said, “just – imagine.’

Bob Dylan Nod At Smokey Robinson – Move to Frank Sinatra

I once played a kind of a trick at an open mic. Up in front of a room and I said:

‘In the 1960s Bob Dylan – called the writer of the next song I’m going to play – the USA’s greatest living poet.’

It was a modern music educated audience. There were calls:

‘Ginsberg?’,

‘Leonard Cohen?’

‘Joni Mitchell?’

I beg their forgiveness across the years as I remember how I started playing the simple and cute ‘You Really Got a Hold On Me’ a Smokey Robinson song.

It amused me – when I read, that – how during the 1960s Dylan claimed Smokey Robinson as the greatest living poet.

Did Mr Bob Dylan really believe it? I figured he probably did. I figured it would generally be thought of as unthinkable by a Bob Dylan audience – would confound their ideas – which is what makes me dub my question ‘a kind of a trick’.

Mr Dylan Did Write Love Songs

Bob Dylan always knew what really makes the sane world go round. From the beginning he spoke about his emotional life with regard to a significant other.

Perhaps he heard the spirit in Smokey R’s recordings and recognised someone who just got things so right.

For myself- for this is about me – a love song – Fly Me To The Moon – is a song I one day realised I really liked – after realising – I sang it to myself whenever I was especially in a holiday humour. ‘Yup’ I thought ‘I must like it on a deep – almost subconscious level’.

Covid lockdown found me spending time with the guitar – and in the above realisation – I looked at the song and wondered could I do it on a guitar. Could it be made to work?

The best known version – Sinatra pattern – is big band. That big sound does a lot of work. There’re two verses – then big musical break – works-as-bridge – then closing verse.

With just a guitar, my level of guitar, I couldn’t go anywhere near the standard version, which meant, repeating verses – which I didn’t want to do.

So I got the Bic out and scribbled to try and find a way to add a verse to make a through-line.

Finished version I’ve added a verse – and altered the existing verses to make it a more inclusive love song. Rather than it just being a – satisfy me – thing.

e,g: ‘Fill my heart with love …’ has become ‘Let both our hearts be full …’

I’ve given it a ‘songy’ ending. Sinatra version works with the big band to end.

Sometimes when I play it, I get the feeling it’s a got a touch of the chansons (French, life real) about it.

Think that feeling, makes me think – it works. Am planning to play it pretty soon, so will find out.

1 Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars

Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars

In other words take my hand

In other words lady kiss me

2 So let’s try out for joy in our hearts a song store

You are all I live for all I worship and adore

In other words let’s both be true

In other words – if we do we could find love – us two

3 Yes let’s strike out let’s leave all the greyness behind

Looking for a place, with just love in mind

In other words let’s make this time

In other words faith in each other we’ll find

4 Yeah let both our hearts be full and let us sing for ever more

World is calling out for us to get wise and explore

In other words let’s keep the true

In other words – let us both grow

In other words – let us both know

In other words – let us both feel

I,

love,

you

P. S: song was originally named, – by its composer, Bart Howard Gayle: ‘In Other Words’

Eileen Aroon

G. C. G

I know a valley fair Eileen Aroon

G. C. G

I know a cottage there Eileen Aroon

G. C. Em

Deep in that valley’s shade

Am. D7.

There lives a friend I’ve made

G. Em. C. G

Think that’s where I’m going to stay, Eileen Aroon

Is it the laughing eye Eileen Aroon

Or is it the gentle sigh Eileen Aroon

Or is it the tender air, sign of a heart that’s fair

All in all a spirit rare, Eileen Aroon

Beat I was by less than truth Eileen Aroon

Found me space I found a truce Eileen Aroon

So dear your charms to me, dearer your laughter free, so dear your company Eileen Aroon

When like the rising day Eileen Aroon

Here comes the morning rays Eileen Aroon

What makes the dawning glow changeless through joy and woe,

Only the constant know, Eileen Aroon

Only the constant know, Eileen Aroon

A song in Irish tradition. Written originally in Gaelic. Covered by, among others, (in English), The Clancy Brothers and Bob Dylan.

Eileen Aroon is widely spoken about on the net. The Aroon part of the title is not a surname. The title Englishified, completely, would be ‘Eileen my dear love’. Aroon standing for three words – therefore the Gaelic was kept by the original translators.

The words above are my particular version. I used the original words as template then altered things so I could do the song, without the thought that a listener might turn off for other reason than the song’s *quality*.

In the first verse, for instance. Every other version I’ve seen runs as ‘there lives a gentle *maid* …’

How Karma Came To The Canteen Kitchen

When the head, and assistant chef, stepped into the pot-wash, on most occasions, they would accompany the pans and dishes they set down for washing, with a comment.

Almost all were directly aimed at Barry, the permanent employee I was partnering.

When I had started the holiday cover week, the head, and assistant chef had spoke about Barry.

‘He’s simple-minded, slow.’

The comments they made on their visits to the pot-wash weren’t so nasty. But they got irritating. The same thing. Recalling a verbal half-slip Barry had made the week before.

After about the fourth incidence, I asked Barry about what was being said.

He explained, insouciantly.

After about the fifteenth time, over the course of perhaps an hour-and-a-half, the paucity of imagination of the head and assistant chef struck me.

‘Speak your mind gents,’ I imagined intoning, and enjoying the silence.

Perhaps the head-chef, realised he needed to mix it up. Very shortly after that he started producing some pre-school French phrases:

‘Bonjour Monsieur’ and

‘Parlez-vous Francais’ to which I reacted by saying:

‘Estoy aprender un poco espanol’ and similar and the head-chef recognised I was saying *something* back to him and eventually a small exchange took place in which I, courteously explained I knew a little holiday Spanish. (With detachment there is a sickening thought that I was trying to explain I was not just a dish-washer… oh pointless pride.)

‘You should say something to Barry,’ the head-chef said, who continued as though speaking in almost wonder, ‘he’ll just look at you.’

‘Why would I do that?’ I answered the h-c immediately – and the h-c said nothing as he customarily left the pot-wash, and me with my thoughts.

Immediately my thoughts were not kind to the h-c. He was supposedly a grown-man, yet his treatment, his, empathy/humanity toward Barry, was no better than a snobby late-teenager.

I slightly admonished myself. I wished I’d said:

‘*What* would I do that for?’ – in order to give the h-c a question he might think to answer for himself. Perhaps the more directly interrogative *what* would find the answer – and the h-c would be ashamed at the answer he couldn’t avoid:

He liked the thought of making another human being a spectacle, a figure of fun.

Part Two

Slightly later on in the morning, a blonde woman, who I had, in my first days found sociable – but who had become un-sociable, nudged my uncomfortableness with her, a whole lot further.

‘Can we …’ she started, as she suggested a task for myself and Barry.

I find the indirect verbal construction ‘can we?’ especially irritating. I wonder at its origin. I think the phrase’s only possible decent use, might be as part of a podium speaker’s rhetorical question.

Off the podium, no-one, who has ever used the phrase ‘can we’ has ever took any part in the task they want others to perform.

No-one who has ever used the phrase ‘can we’ has ever had any intention in helping in the task they want others to perform.

I believe the ‘we’ when used by one person, toward a small group of others, is a method of detachment.

The person has an inability to say the more human and natural ‘can you.’

Perhaps the person who uses the phrase should be pitied.

Perhaps.

At the time, I was in the middle of a sweating, working day, and pity for a virtual boss was in short supply.

In fact I felt the opposite. I wanted revenge from this mealy-mouthed blandity.

A thought crossed the mind. A direct approach:

‘My father told me never to trust anyone who said ‘can we’ cause everyone knows – they never will.’

I discounted the consideration. I was a temp. Making an issue of something like that, *like that* would be seen as misfit aggression. But how was I to vent my sudden and demanding frustration?

I found a way. And maybe, ironically, I have to thank the head-chef – for his earlier attempts at continental tongue.

Perhaps without the head-chef’s earlier words, my month’s previous dalliances on the Babbel app would have remained dormant. But they didn’t. From somewhere I remembered the Spanish for *blonde* – and from other reading the fact that in Spanish, ‘burro’ is synonymous with donkey, and stupid.

Stupid is not what I wanted to say about the blonde, but it was near enough.

‘Usted Rubio burro,’ I said to myself.

Anyone with Spanish, might point out that as I was not addressing the woman I should have said ‘ella’ not ‘usted’. But it doesn’t matter. I had satisfied, articulated my frustration.

‘Usted rubio burro’ I said at the head-chef when he stepped into the pot-wash. And *that* made it even better.

Because the head-chef looked at me, blankly – and said:

‘What are you talking about?’

He spoke. He didn’t ‘just look at me’ but it was virtually the same happened, as he had told me would happen in another.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It, But … (After Plato?

If we live in an infinite universe, and the science says it may very well be the case, there is an ideal planet somewhere, that you are a part of, where you are your ideal you. 
If you met that you, living your ideal life, is there anything you, living your life now, would want to avoid in conversation? Would have to explain, excuse, be ashamed of?