I love Yellow Submarine. I have ever since I was a kid. The unabashed surreality tickles that imaginative part of my brain that believes that even the fantastic is possible. Not to mention the Beatles are my favorite band.
However, whenever I think about Yellow Submarine, I cannot help but remember that the Beatles didn’t actually voice their animated counterparts. This sort of disconnect between appearance and substance is pretty common. Think of Nancy Drew; the series is ostensibly written by Carolyn Keene, but Keene doesn’t exist, and the novels are penned by a team of ghostwriters. Think of the 1969 erotic romance novel Naked Came The Stranger by “Penelope Ashe”, which was actually written by a group of journalists to be intentionally and horrifically bad as proof that American readers have abominable taste. (Sure enough, it became a bestseller, and the authors hired an actress to go on book tours as “Penelope.”) And Milli Vanilli aren’t the only musical group in history where the pretty voices don’t actually come from the pretty faces.
I’m sure this phenomenon goes beyond the arts. Take politics. When we elect someone to public office, who are we actually electing? A candidate? Or a pretty face and pretty voice saying pretty words fed to them by speechwriters who work for parties or lobbyists or masons or lizard people? Who is the man (or woman…or reptile…) behind the curtain?
(I’m joking about the lizard people.)