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Imagine Ben Stein's Ethics

MJS's picture

Imagine Ben Stein's Ethics
(a parody of John Lennon's Imagine and as such is protected by the blah-blah-blah...)

Imagine Ben Stein's ethics
They're easy to deny
No good faith above him
Below it he will lie
The banality of evil
Stealing all away

Imagine there's no science
So many people do
Nothing to study or wonder
The end of seeking truth
Imagine all the country
Dumber than a post...

You may say Ben Stein's a schemer
But he's not the only one
Many a fool would destroy us
A new Dark Age will have begun

Imagine no progression
Evolution canned
No need for artful discussions
A devaluing of man
Imagine all the children
Burning all the books...

You may say I'm a boomer
And my time will fade away
I hope someday you'll stand up
And keep ignorance at bay


No votes yet


bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Sadly, not that much of a stretch - well, for half the country anyway.

I'm curious as to your take on the use of 25 seconds of Lennon's performance in this film compared to what happens all the time with "sampling" in hiphop/rap music?

I know what I think, but I own intellectual property so I am, I suppose, biased. As a musician, how does this sit with you? (And exclusive of the content of the film; disgusting, repulsive, intellectually vapid and all but devoid of redeeming virtue, but then I feel the same way about rap as a genre.)

[Agreed, your delightful use of Lennon's work here as parody is fully protected and in addition surely both he and Ono would approve.]

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

I don't have a great answer to this, bio. Artists need (and deserve) to be paid for their art. Hip Hop sampling takes previously created art and reconfigures it to make a foundation for a musical form that is beat, and not ordinarily melody-driven--what is utilized is filigree to lay over the percussion. But all art is built upon the bones of that which came before (much like Christianity itself). What do we do about Rock 'n Roll? Send royalty checks to Africa & Ireland? I guess the great passage of time is the determining factor--the more time has passed, the less compensation...

I have sympathy for the collective creative community and yet I also support the rights of individual artists, so would favor some impossibly happy compromise for both, a compromise that I cannot currently "imagine."


bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Especially in the light of acceptance of sampling, a filgaree if you will. In the same way it can be argued that Lennon's music reflects an "atheistic" philosophy (it doesn't, but has widely been interpreted that way) and so the use in a way that critiques non-religious societal ethics may fall under fair use from an artistic standpoint. More so, actually than "sampling" where the use is most often to build a commercial product rather than as structure for commentary.

The cynic, however, might see this as a deliberate ploy on the film maker's part, to entice a lawsuit for publicity. Without controversy this little ditty will end up being shown in fundy church multipurpose rooms and Kansas drive-ins, no where else. Ono has no choice but to go legal, the property value is too large to allow any cracks to form.

Funny how WWJD? can be transformed into justification for lie, cheat and steal. Blessed are....

Voodoo Chile's picture
Submitted by Voodoo Chile on

I have a real question for all of you.

How many of you believe that a highly-educated, secular, neo-conservative jew who's primary interest is economics actually believes in intelligent design and/or creationism?

I've never known a jewish person in my life, religious or secular, who believes in intelligent design.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on


I get all up on it about property rights and compensation, just like any whore negotiating my price and what I'm willing to do to get it.

Point of pride; "At least I'm not a slut!"

Much. Heh.

Submitted by lambert on

He thinks Stein ought to be expelled, not just from the industry, but from the human race as well. See here for detail. It's da bomb.

NOTE MJS, suppose you could get that into the lyrics without compromising them?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.