Or, Taylor Marshal discovers the Beatles...
The Sgt. Pepper Album was released in 1966 and probably from the first moment of release, critics began trying to figure out what it meant - from the iconography of the cover to WDTLRS - what do the lyrics really say. (Maybe it would be easier if they had been in Latin?)
I'm being facetious of course, although I find it surprising that anyone is vetting Beatles covers so closely today - especially since Beatles fans and critics pretty much had it figured out way back when. The fact that figures on the Sgt. Pepper cover have dark histories and some are even gay and others were into the occult and evil secularists, and, and, the cover has a creepy look too - how is this news?
The British rock scene was heavily into drugs and the occult - just like the United States rock scene. Hippies! Evil hippies were all doped up and into astrology and all sorts of transcendental meds! I even dabbled in the occult - learned how to read Tarot cards, curiously searched into the bizarre, sick life of Aliester Crowley ... Until my conversion, which to some extent, came about under the influence of Jesus Christ Superstar and Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'. Giving up drugs culminated in an encounter with the Resurrected Christ - hours after attending a Transcendental Meditation seminar.
God definitely draws good out of evil.
I'm not trying to defend the Beatles - the group has thrived on such controversy - and frankly, few people care. Pop culture at the time - just as it is today - was steeped in evil and licentiousness. In fact, these days it has never before been more blatant. Interestingly, way back when, it was the Stones who were the real bad boys of rock. They were the ones who sang about the Devil. Yet even someone as simple as good Catholic school girl Leslie Gore sang about drugs - "Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows" - tell me she wasn't promoting acid and gay equality. Well, maybe not - but see how I can make sunshine synonymous with orange sunshine acid, and lollipops with all sorts of blotter acid tabs and rainbows with all things gay?
That said - the one good point Dr. Marshall makes is that the banned Butcher cover for the Beatles Yesterday and Today album had something to do with abortion. I noted the same thing in earlier posts on my blog. Dr. Marshall suggested the Beatles were dressed in doctor's coats and the intent of the shoot was to promote abortion. (Not doctors or lab coats - butcher coats.) I never believed the cover was designed with that intention - I considered that it was more or less a bizarre protest against war. Dr. Marshall noted that the debate over legalization of abortion was a major story at the time, and therefore the album cover may have been promoting abortion.
Clearly, a grizzly album cover such as the butcher cover would never be acceptable to a culture which had been traditionally opposed to abortion. There is no way it would have been a positive image to promote abortion. The fact that the Beatles were dressed as butchers suggests to me - if indeed the promotion of legalized abortion had been the intent - the butcher cover could only have been intended to show the horrors of so called 'back alley butchers' who performed botched abortions, killing both the infant and sometimes the mother. If that was the case, the Beatles would have been promoting legalized abortion. Something many naive and deluded young people favored. Fact is, the butcher cover offended many at the time, and the album was recalled and papered over and reissued; subsequent releases had the new cover.
The world was deceived (as it is now) into believing abortion should be legal, safe and clinical. If anything - the Beatles cover demonstrated there is little difference between legal abortion and illegal abortion - both dismember and kill. Way back when I thought the fetus was just tissue - I also believed it was a woman's choice. I have since changed. Perhaps the Beatles have as well. Perhaps not.
The mission of pop culture and fashion is to make evil palatable and attractive. The Beatles songs were of the time - they defined the time, yet so well composed, they have become classic and can be interpreted in many ways. Art is like that. In the Middle Ages, Troubadours did the pretty much the same thing. In Teresa of Avila's time, popular culture offered romantic novels and songs, which were likewise considered to be a corruption of morals. Likewise in the mid-nineteenth century the music of Strauss was regarded as a threat to morality.
"Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."
In our day there is concerted evil in pop culture, manufactured and marketed to effect change in politics, civil law, and morality. Mass media is the portal. Marketing and advertising, pop music, film, television, talk radio, books, magazines, blogs, web sites, Disney, American Idol, fashion, retail, Government ... it is pervasive and imminent, and we all partake in it at one time or another.
"Where does this poisonous harm fail to reach? And who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? ...There is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat. For as pointed out in Revelation 17:2-4, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. She reaches out to all states, even the supreme and illustrious state of the priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice..." - Ascent III, 22:4