Be The Beatles

It’s time to remake the world the way they did

Tijn Touber| July/Aug 2006 issue
I recently spent 10 hours watching The Beatles Anthology, a five-DVD portrayal of the “Fab Four.” I saw them as innocent boys performing in a nightclub called The Cavern. I saw them playing for the queen of England and in New York’s Shea Stadium where they couldn’t hear themselves over the din of the 60,000 fans screaming non-stop.
But what struck me most was the look in the eyes of the girls. The wonder… The complete amazement at what they were seeing and hearing. You can tell they had no idea how to respond to something so beautiful. Should they scream, cry, laugh, squeal, be quiet, pull their hair out? Some of them fainted, because they couldn’t handle the flood of emotions.
When I heard all those songs again, I realized how much originality The Beatles brought to our lives. Much of what we associate with popular culture was either invented or done best by them: beautiful ballads, penetrating protest songs, psychedelic compositions, video clips, satellite broadcasts, world tours, fashion statements, mass hysteria…
The friend who lent me the DVDs put it this way: “The Beatles did it all.” I agree, but I also find that a depressing thought. It means that since The Beatles we’ve mainly been copying and replicating. The same seems to apply to the fashion industry, architecture, visual arts and design: Everything has already been done.
If that’s true, I can well imagine why some people predict that our current civilization will come to an end around 2012, which is the year that the Maya calendar stops. If there is no more innovation and we’re only rehashing the past, there’s no good reason to go on, right? We might as well call it a day and pull the plug on human civilization. President Bush can hit the lights behind us.
Still, I’d like to prove the doomsday prophets wrong and I think it’s up to us. All we need to do is invent a new civilization: a culture so beautiful it makes young people faint.
My friend who loaned me the DVD said it was predicted that four angels would descend to give humanity new hope and love. We now know those angels landed first in Liverpool.
To invent a new culture before 2012 we need new songs, new dances, new hairdos, new thoughts, new visions, new inspirations, new raisons d’être. We need new people. We need new Beatles. Let’s all—each in his own unique way—become as inspiring as they were.

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