The Mamas & the Papas--I thought--had it right.
Monday Monday so good to meThe counter-culture of the sixties passed my parents by all too easily. My father was a repressed Irish Catholic nerd in college and my mom was still in the hoop skirt stage by the time the barracks at Pleiku were ambushed by the Viet Cong. Yeah, it's safe to say that my parents were more concerned with Grazing in the Grass than smoking the stuff. As a result, deciphering the meanings of classic sixties tunes, artwork and movements were not a typical activity in the young Hogan household. And while we loved to watch The Wonder Years as much as any other waspy family, not a word was breathed about the Vietnam War or era. Still, "oldies" were played on the radio and I got to enjoy them just like every child of the eighties did.
Monday mornin' it was all I hoped it would be
As I navigated my way through the treacherous waters of adolescence and early adulthood, I gravitated towards the decade. The politics, subculture and vibrancy of the 1960s appealed to me in many ways. It had long since passed by the time the nineties were in full-swing, but remained alive as it's pop-legacy would continue to prove the potency of its pop-culture impact. I loved the perceived mysticism of the times as it was unlike the late-nineties where very few easily identifiable movements were taking place that would appeal to teenagers. It was a get-in-where-you-fit-in type of thing and it just worked for me.
In 1966, a year after domestic victories like the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Social Security Act, LBJ substantially increased troop-levels in South Vietnam as 20,000 monks marched against the pro-America Diem regime. Mao restructured the Communist Regime, AFL-NFL merged, Reagan became Governor of California, Walt Disney died, Russia booted all Chinese students, the first Acid Test took place and The Mamas & the Papas released "Monday, Monday."
That's quite a year and almost all of those things have had some sort of effect on my life, but why Monday, Monday? It certainly wasn't the most momentous event of the year and the song probably had no real impact on the lives of anybody besides the members of that band. But in all truth, that song had an impact on me. For as long as I can remember, I believed that song to be about how great Mondays actually were. Even though my experience with the day has been anything but great, I still maintained that I could and should rethink the day. The song says that it's "good to me", so perhaps I was looking at Monday all wrong. Maybe I should embrace the day as the start of a fresh week; something new to get excited about.
However, the song is not about how great Mondays are. It's actually about an affair. All you have to do is substitute Monday with a woman's name and tweak a few of the other lyrics. My entire life, I had looked to this song as a shot of optimism on difficult Monday mornings.
People often become so attached to their own delusions that it makes the ego accept false realities.Everyone is guilty of this from time to time and, in many cases, it's unintentional. I just accepted the song at face value. There are thousands of song like that, but how many of them altered how you behaved? And furthermore, is it responsible of us to continue believing such falsehoods and delusions? The great George Costanza once said something that I'll always remember.
"It's not a lie if you believe it."That is, of course, totally untrue. A lie is a lie and reality is reality. Just look at the American Tea Party movement. Those people don't have a clue as to what reality is. They've just let delusions cling to their egos and now they're living under a "Kenyan-born Muslim Marxist who is bent on destroying America and forcing people into reeducation camps." Even if they continue to see it on television and repeat in the streets, it's still a lie.
People used to support Lombroso's theory of biological determinism and lock-up those who had physical traits that were deemed as "deviant". That was nuts of course, but people ate it up back then. Every nation has false ideas and makes bogus claims about immigrants (English teachers in Korea are rapists is a personal favorite), yet it's still a lie.
Am I angry at The Mamas and the Papas? -no, but I should be more aware of the ideals that I am certain to be true. This goes for religion, politics, history and just about every other facet of life. You never know how much a lie --no matter how small-- can affect your life.
And for the record, Mondays are not "good to me", Mama Cass! Oh, and just so you know, Mama Cass died on a Monday.