On the same day that the compilation Yesterday and Today began a five-week run at the top of the U.S. album charts, a radio station in Birmingham, Alabama held the first of what would be many Beatles bonfires in response to John Lennon’s controversial remarks about The Jesus. There’s such a perfect symmetry there — people buying Beatles albums on one hand, burning them on the other — that no more commentary is really necessary.

This picture, though, is worth at least two thousand words:


Check out the gleeful expression on the young man showing off his Beatles album before consigning it to the flames. I don’t think these kids really cared much about what John had said; they were just happy to have a reason to burn some shit. While you’re at it, have a gander at the boy with his arms folded, standing just to the left of the headless adult with a microphone. Doesn’t he look for all the world like an incarnation of Satan, hanging around to soak up the ambient anger, hatred, and confusion?

More than 40 years later, the Vatican would feel compelled to issue a statement forgiving Lennon his trespasses; coincidentally, right around that same time The Beatles, at least according to Google search trends, officially became bigger than Jesus.


And again here, the symmetry is just too right. Let’s quit while we’re ahead.

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