Nowhere Man (A Rock and Roll Epistle)
By Richard Girard
"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. . . . I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends . . . and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."
John Lennon (194080), British rock musician. Interview, 22 June 1968, BBC-TV.
"The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."
John Lennon (194080), British rock musician. Interview, 8 Dec. 1980, for KFRC RKO Radio, given the day of Lennon's death.
"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god--the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!"
William Shakespeare (15641616), English dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 2, scene 2.
The Beatles' song "Nowhere Man" is one of my favorites by the Fab Four. Its seemingly simple lyrics have spoken to me ever since I heard them on 95 Fabulous KIMN radio here in Denver in 1966. It is a reminder to all of those individuals of whom Henry David Thoreau was writing when he wrote of those who led lives of quiet desperation.
"He's a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his nowhere land;
Making all his nowhere plans
Increasingly, all of us living in this country are living those lives of quiet desperation. We are feeling trapped by our lives and our circumstances. We are trapped by a social Darwinist system of economics and morality, whose consequences we ignore at our own peril; out of fear of an internal exile of untenable employment, unnatural measures of success, and unacceptable moral choices. We are beaten down if we take a stand, and throwing up if we do not. As John Lennon said on "Revolution No. 9" (The Beatles "White Album,"), "It's a fine natural imbalance."
Our sense of entrapment by the history we are told, and the reality that we face on a daily basis, would give pause to a saint. Is it any wonder that so many of us latch onto a particular ideology or philosophy and uncritically defend it against anyone and everyone who attacks it, because we have nothing left to cling to when the hurricane winds of change rip through our society.
"Doesn't have a point of view,