It was 46 years ago today (or August 11, actually) that John Lennon taught the band to blaspheme – at least in a manner of speaking. The outspoken Beatle courted controversy when he opined to a British journalist that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” The quote, divorced from its context, resulted in the Fab Four’s first major PR fiasco. It’s also a useful benchmark when assessing the popularity of the Son of God. Besides, it’s sort of fun drawing those little “greater than” and “less than” symbols that look like alligator profiles (hey, I went to public school, so that’s what I have to work with, alright?).
In honor of Lennon and the fine folks in my favorite spot of wine country – I’m going to say it: Sonoma is bigger than Jesus. Now, before you go and light your torches and storm the paper, like some peasant posse fresh from ye olde witch burn, take a minute and think about it. Take two minutes – it’s a big thought. Okay, now light your torches. Because Sonoma is bigger than Jesus.
Sure, some might quibble over whether I’m referring to Sonoma Valley or Sonoma County or, for that matter, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior etc., versus another dude named Jesus of which there are a bajillion. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Sonoma is bigger than Jesus. A lot bigger. Sonoma is vast. Jesus is wee. And I know this because Satan told me so, personally, right here, in Sonoma.
What was Satan, Prince of Darkness doing in Sonoma? He couldn’t get a room in Napa on account of being “evil and stuff” (prejudiced bastards) so he came here, where else? Blame it on our tourism marketing program. Or Google. Who knows how he found Sonoma but he’s a size-queen and he’s emphatic: Sonoma is bigger than Jesus.
“We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first — rock and roll or Christianity,” the iconic Lennon infamously stated to the UK’s “Evening Standard” newspaper. The phase, popularly known as Lennon’s, you guessed it, “bigger than Jesus” statement, ignited protests across the American Bible Belt and inspired bonfires of Beatles records.
Pshaw. That’s child’s play compared to what’s going to happen with the search engine optimization kicks in on the “bigger than jesus” keyword value of these very words. Sonoma will trump the Beatles and Jesus. What will happen? I’m thinking Armageddon. Right here, right now. You know who first sang that? Jesus Jones. Yep, it’s all coming together. In fact, we’ll have Jesus Jones do a cover of Lennon’s “Come Together” as the soundtrack to the End Times just to make it so.
Of course, when the world doesn’t end (as it never seems to do), it might be a tad embarrassing. Not to mention, the fact that I’ve intentionally stoked the “ire” in “satire” in a manner sure to keep me shivering in front of the Gates of Heaven while some hulk in a headset tells me I’m “not on the list.”
I’ll be forced to do a mea culpa a la Lennon’s press conference in Chicago, August 11, 1966, when he explained, “I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion… I’m not saying that we’re better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it’s all this.”
Yeah, what he said.
Daedalus Howell asks, “Goo goo g’joob or coocoocachoo?” at DHowell.com. Which is in Hell.