I hated the Beatles throughout my early years as a music listener. I had been too overly soaked in popular Beatles songs from classic rock radio, stuffed with tales of how great they were from teachers and brainwashed kids from band class (shut up already about Sergeant Freaking Pepper already) to ever lend the band an unbiased ear. And while I wished Paul was really dead, John Lennon was the most annoying Beatle of all. It seemed everywhere I looked I saw that poster of him with the psychedelic glasses or the New York City t-shirt.
The teachers in my middle school, idealistic as they were nostalgic, had no interest in the pop music history— they were on a mission to “turn on” the new generation of kids to Lennon’s peaceful ideals— and portrayed him as a modern Gandhi that we could all relate to while attempting to impart lessons of social responsibility and civic engagement. The effect, naturally, was the opposite. Most kids ran towards the Clash, Dead Kennedys, and alcohol; the others embraced Ronald Reagan, Christianity, and alcohol, but either way everyone pissed off the authority figures.
I think John Lennon would have found that funny.
(Except the Christianity part.)