Thursday, June 05, 2008

Barack Obama and The Beatles

The Beatles didn't like to take credit (at least publicly) for all the cultural changes of the 60's. They claimed to be, by chance and circumstance, mearly at the masthead of a sociological movement.

But I think they had a lot to do with it. For one thing, they loved black culture and music. When asked to name their favorite artists, they always listed R&B musicians. And the only person that ever played a 'fifth Beatle' role in the making of an album was Billy Preston.

They also turned us all on to Indian music, and the culture of the country as well.

And without being obviously political or preachy, their songs often had a message of universal togetherness ('All You Need is Love', 'The Word', 'Getting Better', 'Come Together'). And Lennon went even further. Turning it into a cause with 'Power to the People', 'Imagine', 'Woman is the Nigger of the World', and many many more.

But the biggest influence of all, for me personally, was that they made being liberal cool. The Beatles were, and still are, my heroes. Smart, talented, attractive, and funny. In the 60's, they seemed light-years ahead of everybody else. So if they were liberal, how could I be anything else? To go for anything right of center would be to say that the Beatles were wrong.

On the day after Obama wrapped up the nomination, I went out in the world and could sense a difference. The world had indeed changed. And I think that the Beatles and their fans had something to do with it.


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