A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Yoko!

My rather curt review of This Is Forty (Recent Movies 12/26/2012), a comedy released just before Christmas, glossed over one aspect that delighted me to no end. The film begins with a scene of the father (Paul Rudd) waking up his children so they can give their mother a special birthday greeting when she comes down to the kitchen. The song Yes, I’m Your Angel plays over the scene, sung by an artist that many people love to hate, Yoko Ono. I was delighted because I appreciate and respect her work, and I also enjoy whenever someone plays one of Yoko’s songs, unleashing it onto an unsuspecting public.

This is another reason why I get a kick about all the stations that play the seasonal favorite Happy Xmas (War Is Over), since this is the only time many people will hear Yoko’s voice, backing John Lennon in the course of their radio listening day. Granted, this is probably the most accessible of her performances that she has recorded. Nevertheless, I feel a fiendish pleasure when I realize that many people who believe they can’t stand her vocal improvisations might actually enjoy her performance here. We must also allow that many of these same people may base their opinion of her avant garde singing on the basis of others thoughts, without ever having heard these performances.

Now, really, is this fair?

Today, Yoko turned 80, and from all reports is more popular and active than ever. A newspaper article alerted me to the fact that she has had nine number one hits on the Billboard Dance charts, is having several books released or re-released this year, and all of her albums are being reissued on CD. My God, the woman even had time this past year to make a protest tour of fracking sites in Pennsylvania with her son, Sean, and such other celebrities as Susan Sarandon. 

Ono has long been well respected within the music community, with many artists in punk and new wave circles citing her work as influencing their own. Outside the music community, Yoko has, well, to put it kindly, gotten less respect then Rodney Dangerfield. She has long been the fall girl for doing something that was going to happen anyway — breaking up the most influential and successful musical act of the 20th century: the Beatles.

BTW: there is no truth to the rumor that she would celebrate her 80th by breaking up a boy band. Let’s nip that rumor in the bud right away….

Anyway, it’s so nice that the United States government is trying to make up for all the cattiness directed at Yoko over the years by giving everyone off on her birthday. Oh sure, some will smirk that it’s just a coincidence that her birthday this year falls on the observance of President’s Day, but smirk away, fools! Yoko deserves this day.

I tried to convince Anne Marie that she should post a Yoko performance for her Saturday Night Dance Party. My poor lady, suffering from “morning laryngitis” this past weekend, was not by all rights in any physical position to verbally refuse my request. Yet she found the energy and regained her voice long enough to croak, “No, my boyfriends will never go for it!” Then I believe she started to mutter something to the effect of “prying her cold dead fingers from her keyboard,” but I had already walked away.

Oh well! Her loss!

How can anyone totally hate an artist who is perpetually optimistic about the state of the world, even in the face of personal tragedy (Goodbye Sadness)? How many artists are gutsy enough to release what sounds like a litany of teenage angst under a mouth filling title, I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window? Now I can see why punk rockers adore her!

Yes, I could post my own video, but her music career is just a small facet of her life. Her activism for peace (go ahead, make fun of that) and other environmental causes have kept her active and vibrant. Her philanthropic work — funded by a number of investments from John’s earnings as a rock artist through the years — has benefited many.

Besides, I can’t make up my mind which of her songs to post. Goodbye Sadness would seem to be appropriate for a Monday, but many today did not suffer the normal Monday blues because they had the day off. The point is moot. I See Rainbows is an uplifting anthem, but its perky rhythm would just annoy Anne Marie all the more. One thing I’ve learned through the years is that you don’t annoy my wife, especially on a Monday.

I will just wish Yoko well on her milestone with the hope that she keeps up her activities as long as she can. While her singing voice has been a point of derision over time, her voice lifted in the name of peace has been an inspiration to many. Somewhere, John Lennon must be smiling.

(Thank you for reading! Hope everyone had a nice President’s Day!)


Anonymous Janey said...

Really? A Yoko Ono tribute? Go to work if you're bored and out of ideas... Seek inspiration elsewhere... I'm siding with AM on this one...

I still love you...

February 19, 2013 at 5:40 AM  

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