Lennon, Khmer Rouge, 'Children of the West'

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Let it be known: the song 'Imagine' means different things to different people. National Review's Jay Nordlinger uncovers quite a few in a post on group blog The Corner.

First he quotes a survivor of the Khmer Rouge's utopian visions in Cambodia: "You know the John Lennon song 'Imagine'? 'Imagine no possessions, no religion'? That's what it was like in Cambodia," said the survivor. Nordlinger is delighted to "hear that Lennon song cited negatively. I have always found it one of the most irksome of songs."

But then he cites a reader who said the song reminded her "of the spoiled children of the 'West.'" They had everything they could possibly want, and they were free. Yet they complained." Then he finds a reader from Iowa who thinks Lennon's song "'was meant as a send-up of liberal utopia, an insult hidden in the open.'"

Nordlinger reserves judgment on the three propositions: John Lennon, author of lyrics vaguely reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge, symbol of Western childishness, and snide critic of modern American liberalism.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.