Song of the Week: “Revolution” (The Beatles)

We all know by now what the outcome of Tuesday’s election was, so I thought it would be appropriate to address it with the Song of the Week. While I personally advocated for Green Day’s “Give Me Novocaine” as a representation of what many of us are feeling, typoattack and I decided it would be best to go with something that more accurately represents our stance. This video on the official channel is a bit different from the original recording, but it works just as well.

I’m sure that when this song was released, John Lennon was hoping that it would one day in the future no longer be relevant. That the peace he would talk about later in “Imagine” would come about, and that we would no longer need revolutions. Sadly this isn’t the case, and the message of the song is just as important today as it was in 1968. See, while I’m sure a lot of people see this as a revolutionary’s anthem, a song to go into battle with, it’s really… not. The heavily distorted guitars and hard, cutting drums don’t help anything, though they do make for one hell of a rock song. If you actually pay attention to the lyrics, though, it’s not a battle cry. It’s a call for peaceful protests. Because if Lennon knew anything, it was that violence and hate don’t solve things.

Remember, he did tell us to give peace a chance.

There’s a lot of fear in the air right now, and I think that it’s justified. I think there’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of potential danger in the future, as well as a lot of real danger right now. But riots don’t help — they give Trump supporters an excuse to claim that all of Clinton’s supporters are hypocrites or sore losers, or whatever else you can think of to fit the situation. We as a people need to remember to have grace in defeat. Arrogance doesn’t help, either, of course. Many, many Trump supporters have been vocal about their victory, and a great deal of this rhetoric is not celebratory so much as gloating, full of an unflattering and disheartening arrogant attitude. And even worse, many people have said obscene, vitriolic, and threatening things, rife with hatred — especially toward women, Muslims, people of color, and the LGBT+ community. It’s unnecessary and uncalled for, and the people these things are aimed at have done nothing to deserve it. And all of this gives cause for Clinton’s supporters to call the people spreading these statements “ignorant,” and sling insults back at them. None of this is helpful. None of this is necessary.

None of this is American.

We’re a nation of immigrants. We are constitutionally given the right to freedom of religion without persecution. We are constitutionally guaranteed equality and freedom regardless of race, sex, gender, religion, skin tone, sexual orientation, etc., etc. We are supposed to embrace and celebrate all of these differences; to love and respect one another has humans, no matter what those differences are. America is by it’s own admission “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” with “liberty and justice for all.” There is nothing in either of those statements that says any group of people is more deserving of freedom than another. And as we argue over whether or not to pledge allegiance to the flag or sing the national anthem, we’ve forgotten the very message those things are trying to send.

Now more than ever we need to pull together as a nation and cast off the division that’s forming. We need to join one another and forget about petty and pointless squabbles over who has what color skin, who loves who, how people choose to identify themselves based on their own internal experiences. We’re tearing ourselves apart with all of these stupid debates that try to dictate how people should live their lives, what religion is “right,” and the violence and hate that comes with these kinds of arguments are being spread on both sides. We can be better than this. We must be better than this, or we won’t survive. We do need a revolution — but one of love and unity, not one of blood and hate. And when we can do that, we can do anything.

After all, if we come together, don’t you know? It’s gonna be all right.

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