While Alisdair was delivering the Saskatoon Star Phoenix this morning, an article by their columnist, Les Macpherson caught my eye. He writes:
"If nothing else, this lacklustre federal election campaign has convinced me who I absolutely do not want as our prime minister:
Yoko Ono. Yoko Ono."
"The malicious old harpy set a new standard for campaign meanness by forcing YouTube to pull a video of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper singing Imagine. This she had every legal right to do, having inherited the song's publishing rights from her late husband, John Lennon. That doesn't make it any less mean."
"Harper was touring a Winnipeg school when he performed Imagine, obviously unrehearsed, with fifth-grade student Maria Aragon. It is fine for Ono to stick it in Harper's ear by yanking the video from YouTube, but what about the little girl? How must she have felt when she learned her once-in-a-lifetime experience of performing with Canada's prime minister was expunged from the most popular video-sharing site."
"Yoko Ono doesn't care. If she has to step on a 10-year-old schoolgirl to take a cheap shot at a foreign politician, so be it."
"Protecting copyright was the means here, not the end. This was a deliberate shot from Ono at Harper. Numerous other renditions of Imagine, amateur and professional, are up on YouTube, including one by Bill Clinton, but only this one was removed for copyright reasons. It figures that Ono, a well-known lefty boohoo, would adore Clinton and despise Harper, although their differences are not as great as she might like to, uh, imagine. Clinton is more charming, certainly, but Harper is more respectful of women. You would think a self-proclaimed champion of feminism would appreciate the distinction."
"Ono's selective churlishness over copyright violates the very spirit of Imagine. The song invites us to imagine, among other things, a world of no possessions. Copyright is a kind of possession. By forbidding others from performing the song, Ono not only endorses the notion of personal property, she uses it as a stick to beat on Canada's prime minister."
"And if a 10-year-old girl from Winnipeg gets clipped by the follow through, too bad.
Too bad, as well, that Harper performed Imagine in the first place. It's a terrible song. The melody is fine and the piano riff catchy enough, but these are overwhelmed by the most nauseating lyrics in any pop song ever."
"The aforementioned line about imagining no possessions is especially hard to swallow without provoking the gag reflex. We don't have to imagine no possessions. We've seen it tried in the old Soviet Union. The record shows that it didn't work out very well. But you have to admire Lennon's chutzpah in charging $12 for a record album that urged us to reject capitalism."
"What I don't understand is how Harper, a Conservative prime minister and a tireless proponent of free markets, can bring himself to sing "imagine no possessions." It's as if he's campaigning for the NDP."
"The song also urges us to imagine nothing to kill or die for. But what about freedom?"
"This is something for which many have killed and died, to our great and enduring benefit. Lennon's very freedom to dump on the status quo that treated him so generously was paid for in blood. Imagination manifestly did not get it done."
"Lennon sounds here like one of those silly juvenile idealists who likes to pronounce that violence never solves anything. This is not only wrong, it's stupid. Violence solved Hitler and the Holocaust. Violence solved the institutionalized cruelty of Imperial Japan."
"The violence of the American civil war solved slavery. The threat of violence solved Soviet repression of Eastern Europe. It was not imagined away. To acknowledge this is perhaps too much to expect from a guy who, in the name of peace, stayed in bed for weeks."
"Somewhat easier to imagine is a world with no religion. I'm not very religious myself, so, for me, this is no problem."
"The problem would come about five minutes after religion was eliminated, when someone started a new religion. He'd have a monopoly, too, until someone else launched a competing religion. Then they'd be at it again, hammer and tongs, just as before."
"Lennon wrote and performed so many great songs, it pains me that Imagine, one of his worst efforts, is the one that endures. What I like to imagine is never hearing it again."
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
When our deliveries were finished, we came home and checked online and found the video, was actually still available. (It's posted above.)
In the words of Lennon's "Imagine" ... "You may say that I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one..." as Alisdair wants to become the Prime Minister of Canada someday. He's already started learning how to make speeches, but obviously we should be finding a music teacher so that he can also learn how to play piano for impromptu photo opportunities while out on the hustings prior to elections!
Just imagine... my son as Prime Minister Ramsay-Mackenzie! Now that WOULD be something to sing about!!