This was a thought-provoking article, shared with me by its author, and I share it here, for its relevance to today's main blog topic:

Why John Lennon matters in the ongoing War on Consciousness

I'll depart from my usual practice in tidbits to say a few extra words of editorial opinion. Lennon - and for that matter, the Beatles, and the whole contemporary rock tradition on up to when popular music itself succumbed to corporate promoted uglification sometime in the 1990s - matters also because he stands in the broad western classical musical tradition(yes, I said classical) music that began in the High Renaissance, continued through the Baroque and Classical periods, and in many cases, through the Romantic era and on into the 20th century. He is much more in that tradition of craftsmanship and beauty than, say, the calculated artificiality and deliberate anti-music ugliness (yes, I said ugliness) of the serialists like Schoenberg or Berg, the polytonal and screeching cacaphonies of some of Stravinsky, and so on. Nothing wrong with polytonality or polyrhythms mind you (CPE Bach tried his hand, successfully, at both(look at the first movement of Wq. 27 if you don't believe me[and for the musicologists out there, yes, I know, within figured bass one can have what later theorists will call polytonalities, without being "polytonal", but the effect, in my opinion, is the same], and there were even significant stabs at serialism in the Baroque era). Lennon, and the other Beatles, kept alive a tradition of tonality, of melodic beauty, and of creativity, without having to invent "new forms" to "prove their originality". As for the musical uglification movement, that too was perhaps best characterized as an assault on consciousness.

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Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. Urr12 on October 22, 2014 at 7:04 am

    You know something Joseph, if by chance we meet one day I won’t be able to help – with all due masculine reserve – simply hugging you. I’m relatively immune to the Beatles because I was born in the next generation, and I find many rock stars, Beatles included, to be rather unpleasant characters. Besides in that subsequent generation there was another wave of great pop music from England and the US (with only a precious few good bands from my native France) and it was difficult to admit liking the same music as one’s parents. I very much enjoy those few times when you talk about music. There were organ and harpsichord players around when I grew up so I understand where you speak from. Once with Ms. Hughes you talked about improvisation drawing analogies between classical and jazz and it was fascinating.

  2. Reno on October 18, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Imagine can be easily be read as a globalist call for a new world order. Just get rid of countries “and the world will be as one”. Aren’t the globalist immigration policies doing just that. Red Ice is always ranting about this: The end of Sweden etc. The first stanza reads like an attack on a God based spirituality, a materialist point of view will replace religion and we all will be free to live in the moment and in peace. Wasn’t that Bolshevism’s promise? Remember George wrote in a different direction: “My Sweet Lord”. Imagine ends: “I hope some day you’ll join us” – well who is the “us” ? John and Yoko’s comments on overpopulation are spot on. This is an example that sometimes “rock stars” have something to say in interviews. Mr. Garcia’s interview on the history of rock where he talks about the absurdity of tanks rolling down the streets of Haight Ashbury comes to mind.

  3. RAJM on October 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    He wrote ‘Imagine’. Could there be a greater critique of rabid violent materialism than this song?

  4. bdw000 on October 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    “an assault on consciousness”

    Probably an exact technical description of the situation.

  5. Enlil's a Dog on October 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve always thought his murder was more than just the actions of a psychotic ‘fan’.

    His voice, today, even in his seventies, in this modern world of oligarch controlled militarization and corporatization, would have been a major thorn in the side of these elites!!

  6. Khobe on October 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    For my part, I couldn’t agree more about the Harmony principle dependant on the prime balance law intrinsic to nature’s eternal language and processes. The rest are rules that can be bent to exceptions as long as they confirm the foundation of the beauty/equilibrium principle. All artistic practices need to tend toward mastery to merit the name Art! I don’t care if the artist is self taught or academically trained, I’m not an art snob, my tastes are wide ranging and eclectic, even if I’m academically trained. I always encourage children or adults to practice an art form for their own good, without having to become professionals_ just to come back to emotional sanity! People in the field have to have a real instinctive feel for artistic expression and learn a craft to let it become the vehicle of their inspiration_ possibly to such a degree it becomes second nature.
    The Beatles didn’t read or write music but they certainly knew very well what they were doing. Because they kept applying real artistic rules to their music, they grew artistically under our enchanted eyes and ears.

    I believe authentic art leads to spiritual truth that cannot be separated from it. I’m not talking about religion here. In the 20th century art was assaulted, gutted and deconstructed to become intellectual babble subservient to mercantilism, insulting to real intellectuals and artists alike. On the pretext of democratizing it, they turned it into an obscene stupidity. I dare say art is not primarily intellectual but the geometrically expansive qualitative space/time math of universal soul, that is why it magically pulls our perceptions and gross senses toward the subtle mysteries of infinite creation.

  7. Gaia Mars-hall on October 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I very much appreciate Mr. Farrell’s mini essay here in appreciation of the music of the John Lennon and the Beatles, demonstrating a wide knowledge of music, to which I think it particularly interesting that
    the Beatles are so placed within the western classical canon.

    Where I agree as relates to the issue of “ugly” music, John Lennon was a master at employing sounds that would be considered ugly with his guitar playing. He in McCartney were also well versed in various avant garde expressions in music in art, that are not always on the beautiful. I think the difference though was that such expressions were found within real compositional craftsmanship that really comes
    ultimately from a good ear and great mind. I also would state that
    experimentation with LSD was a contributing factor in the development of an aural synesthetic beauty which is very much lacking in the mind numbing expressions of rock’s death….

    Now I need to read the link.

  8. nines on October 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I am aghast when anyone in my orbit shows confusion about how much John Lennon mattered. I am overjoyed when I hear kids talking about their interest in him. I never even felt the need to break it down into discreet bits to try to make it clear to people. It has seemed to me so utterly self-evident for so long.

    But what you’ve added here knocks me out. Gorgeous.

  9. Robert Barricklow on October 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    To even call “it” music(in some instances)
    demeans the “music” word itself.

    • jedi on October 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Music muse I c. See…..the whole hippie movement was a laurel canyon operation. Dave M COWAN site sheds a lot of LIGHT on these dark cube matters.
      The pharaohs thought the beetle was important, and then there was the vw version by some German leader.

      • Robert Barricklow on October 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

        “I need not look beyond this courtroom to see all the liars, haters, the killer, the crooks, the paranoid cowards… We are all expendable for a cause. No one knows that better than those who kill for policy, clandestinely or openly, as do the governments of the world which kill in the name of God & Country.”
        – Richard, The Night Stalker, Ramirez

        The crime scenes of the Phoenix program were, indistinguishable from crime scenes of American serial killers.

        Programmed To Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder

        • jedi on October 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

          Ya, clearly intelligent kid, but when you resort too killing is a definite indication of a week mind.
          And hear we have the problem in anut shell.
          Faulty v drive, a couple of bricks short of a full load. Someone is playing around with sheep and goat poo…..that shouldn’t be……sippin snowballs

  10. marcos toledo on October 17, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Both John and Yoko Lennon but the lie to the Malthusian meme over population. My hunch is the half billion figure is how many slaves they our oligarchs can control and have enough cannon fodder for their perpetual wars the planning to wage. For so long as the resources they hog hold out greedotopia.

  11. loisg on October 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I am so glad you refer to some music as ” ugly” because that’s what it is. Unfortunately the same mindset is in the visual arts ( painting, sculpture) and in fact, when I was at university studying art, the professors, as a general rule, didn’t approve of your work unless it was ugly. That was the catchword that even they used, “if it’s ugly it must be good” was a phrase I heard often. It was as if none of the fundamentals of art even mattered, and that same philosophy is present in music. I can’t help but think that somehow that is a reflection of our society in general.

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