British TV used to show a steady mixture of left-wing, centrist and right-wing output! I once watched a short broadcast on the BBC in the late 1970s discussing the idea of ‘banning’ Xmas – with the Presenter explaining that under the British ‘Republic’ (1649-1660) not only was the absolute British Monarchy dissolved – but so was the enforced celebration of ‘Christmas’ – with the British Republic becoming officially ‘Secular’. Religion itself was not ‘outlawed’ (as it remained a ‘private’ matter of choice) – just its official enforcement by the British State and/or a dominant Church was abandoned (Cronwell was a devout ‘Puritan’ who thought it immoral for a religion to be ‘enforced’). When Cromwell tried to free Scotland and Eire from the grip of the Catholic Church – the tyrants in the Vatican depicted this action as being akin to ‘genocide’ (with modern historians portraying this progressive necessity as an attack upon the ‘Irish’ and ‘Scottish’ peoples)! Meanwhile, religious (Catholic) tyranny continues in the Philippines (where four ‘new’ NATO bases have just been added) and was used by the US to prop-up a brutal puppet regime within south Vietnam (the reason Buddhist monastics burnt themselves in protest to this US oppression whilst sat in serene meditation)! I have written elsewhere regarding how The Beatles were despicably treated during their 1966 tour of the Philippines!
At some point in my young life, I was lucky enough to have watched a TV broadcast of The Beatles’ 1968 psychedelic cartoon entitled ‘Yellow Submarine’! However, so rare is the public availability of this cartoon that I was obligued to acquire a very ‘new’ and fully updated Blu-ray copy so that I could show this masterpiece of LSD-inspired idealism to my two daughters! It is indicative of the human mind at work whilst being more or less completely ‘free’ of its moorings to material reality! Yellow Submarine, in other words, represents the human imagination of a particular generation which has been materially ‘set-free’! As I explained to my two daughters – The Beatles were so rich by this point in their lives that they could solve any problem (for themselves) simply by throwing money at it (the ‘capitalist’ way)! The LSD simply enhanced this physical reality of ‘freedom’ from the tyranny of matter – a tyranny that the vast majority of ordinary people have no choice but to live within due to the agency of their relentless ‘poverty’ (the other side of The Beatles’ Wealth). For the vast impoverished masses throughout the world, a ‘Yellow Submarine’ has to be a world-wide (Marxist-Leninist) Revolution and the redistribution of wealth! A Socialist Society provides the best possible conditions for the working-class to thrive across the board irrespective of exploitable skills – in theory every individual so living could produce a ‘masterpiece’ – or at least collectively pave the way for further progressive improvements that benefit everywone!
As for its surface structure – I think that with the ‘Yellow Submarine’ we are seeing the essence of how the Monty Python team presented their ideas to the world! As Monty Python sketches are available all over the internet and streaming services – most people are better acquainted with this form of communication than they are with that seen in the ‘Yellow Submarine’! This tends to give the inverted notion that the Monty Python methodology came before the ‘Yellow Submarine’ – but we all know that this is not true! Just a quick perusal will demonstrate to the average viewer that Terry Gillian must have been inspired and motivated by The Beatles output and philosophical intent (which seems ‘Anarchic’ at this point and definitely ‘Existential’). The working-class norms that all four Beatles were brought up within are there – but so is the ‘freedom’ from this conditioning – and that’s all the ‘Yellow Submarine’ represents! The problem was the difficulty of psychologically conveying this ‘freedom’ whilst still being physically ‘stuck’ in exactly the material conditions assumed to have been thrown-off due to some type of superior insight! This is the ‘idealism’ of The Beatles! It was their millions of pounds which gave them an enhanced sense of ‘choice’ whilst living within a capitalist society. Immense wealth and success constituted the foundry within which the superstructure of the ‘Yellow Submarine’ was hammered out – whilst the imbibing of LSD was the bottle of Champaign (or non-descript ‘infrastructure’) that was smashed against its side – and which launched it into the stream of human consciousness! Do with it as you will.