Thursday, March 10, 2011

The More Things Change...

On the topic of soap-bubble faith and lashing out at anything that threatens it, there's a well known example in recent U.S. history - although the entire story has been a bit glossed over as time has rolled on.

Most Americans are vaguely familiar with the comment John Lennon made saying that The Beatles were "bigger than Jesus" however, not many have ever read the actual quote:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me"

The context was an interview by a close friend of The Beatles, Maureen Cleave. The quote and containing article were met with no controversy in the UK when it was published as the question of declining church membership was a relatively benign topic of discussion in their country at that time.

Five months later, however, Texas and Alabama radio stations picked up the story from the cover of a teenybopper magazine called Datebook. This was 1966, and the American South was already a powder keg. A Beatle Boycott went into effect, meaning of course that stations talked about them and the quote incessantly. Records were smashed or burned. Most people are vaguely aware of that part of the story, as well.

One of the things most Americans today are unaware of is the fact that the Klu Klux Klan was heavily involved in this protest.

Part three has an interview with the klan's imperial wizard at the time. 10 points to Gryffendor for noticing him disparaging British Socialism*, and warning that it will naturally lead to cooooooooooommmunism!

Ooga booga, as it were.

If you only have time for one video, watch number three. Two and three have the bits of the controversy most forgotten:


*The United States has very poor long term memory. All of the cries of socialism infiltrating the current political discussion have a direct link back to opposition to the civil rights movement. The fact that it's reaching a fever pitch during the first term of a PotUS who happens to be a person of color is no coincidence.

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