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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 56 THE BEATLES (Part H, Stg. Pepper’s and Relativism) (Feature on artist Alberto Vargas )

Great Album

I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)



The Beatles are featured in this episode below by Francis Schaeffer and in this episode Schaeffer noted, “Impossible tension between autonomous freedom and autonomous reason [is the result of the ] conclusion that the universe and people are a part of the total cosmic machine.” Therefore, people turned to relativism and also they leaped into the area of non-reason. If all we have is this time plus chance impersonal universe then what hope is there for the future? 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

Here is a commentary I got off the internet concerning what Schaeffer had to say about the Beatles and Relativism.
The Third and Fourth Steps: Music and the General Culture Beginning his exposition with classical music, Schaeffer starts by identifying Debussy as the entry point into modern thought for music, but then quickly turns to musique concrete, which he sees as the very embodiment of all that modernity stands for in its deconstruction of sound. His prime example of this phenomena is recorded in “Premiere Panorama de Musique Concrete”, a piece composed by Pierre Henry, in which a recorded voice moves from complete randomness towards greater organization only to then degenerate into incoherent noise again. Commenting on this metaphor, Schaeffer says, “There can be no other terminus when antithesis dies, when relativism is born and when the possibility of finding any universal which would make sense of the particulars is denied.” …He next quickly covers the playwright John Osborne and poet Dylan Thomas, from whom he quotes the unfinished Elegy. He identifies both of these men as being in the grips of a modernity induced uncertainty and despair.Shaeffer finishes with a more lengthy discussion on pop culture, including the Beatles and Bergman, whose films actively promoted existentialism, with the exception of the nihilistic film, “The Silence“, which Schaeffer states lacked any meaning or rational connection between the individual scenes. Of the Beatles, Schaeffer points to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as the epitome of psychedelic mysticism and “total art”, which sought to subtly conform all of the elements of production into a cohesive message. Schaeffer concludes that it was these cultural forces that have brought society to its current state of relativism and ultimate meaninglessness, and which continue to push it towards even greater depths of nihilism.
Edited by the sad clown, 22 July 2010 – 03:25 AM.
I laugh, yet the joke is on me.

“Christians must not let the world defile them. If the world sees us as conforming to its standards and its relativism, it will not listen to what we say. It will have no reason to.”

Francis A. Schaeffer

In his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE Schaeffer writes:

No great illustration could be found of the way these concepts were carried to the masses than “pop” music and especially the work of the BEATLES. The Beatles moved through several stages, including the concept of the drug and psychedelic approach. The psychedelic began with their records REVOLVER, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, AND PENNY LANE. This was developed with great expertness in their record SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND in which psychedelic music, with open statements concering drugtaking, was knowingly presented as a religious answer. The religious form was the same vague panthemism which predominates much of the new mystical thought today. One indeed does not have to understand in a clear way the modern monolithic thought in order to be infiltrated by it. SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND was an ideal example of the manipulating power of the new forms of “total art.” This concept of total art increases the infiltrating power of the message involved. This is used in the Theatre of the Absurd, the Marshall McLuhan type of television program, the new cinema and the new dance with someone like Merce Cunningham. The Beatles used this in SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND by making the whole record one unit so the whole is to be listened to as a unit and makes one thrust, rather than the songs being only something individually. In this record the words, the syntax, the music, and the unity of the way the individual songs were arranged form a unity of infiltration.

Those were the days of the ferment of the 1960’s. Two things must be said about their results in the 1980’s. First, we do not understand the 1980’s if we do not understand that our culture went through these conscious wrestlings and expressions of the 1960’s. Second, most people do not understandably think of all this now, but the results are very much still at work in our culture.

Our culture is largely marked by relativism and ultimate meaninglessness, and when many in the 1960’s “join the system” they do so because they have nothing worth fighting for.

Take a look at the relativism found in this song below and also you will notice the words “we are all one” which implies that we are all joined together with the impersonal time plus chance universe. You can find this also taught in the Beatles song THE WALRUS. 

Within You Without You- The Beatles

Uploaded on Jan 19, 2009

Within You Without You
The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s

We were talking-about the space between us all
And the people-who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth-then it’s far too late-when they pass away.
We were talking-about the love we all could share-when we find it
To try our best to hold it there-with our love
With our love-we could save the world-if they only knew.
Try to realise it’s all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small,
And life flows within you and without you.
We were talking-about the love that’s gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul-
They don’t know-they can’t see-are you one of them?
When you’ve seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there-
And the time will come when you see
we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you

The Beatles:


How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

In the episode above AGE OF NONREASON and also in the episode AGE OF FRAGMENTATION Schaeffer looks also at the issue of the cinema and who it had to say about reality and relativism. Here is what a commentary said about Schaeffer’s analysis:

The cinema gives, if anything, an even more powerful presentation of the new framework of thinking. It pictures life as a tragic joke, with no exit for man. As Francis Schaeffer has written: “The gifted cinema producers of today, Bergman, Fellini, Antonini, Slesinger, the avant-garde cinema men in Paris, or the Double Neos in Italy, all have basically the same message.” The message is that man is trapped in a meaningless void. He is thrown up by chance in a universe without meaning. In some of the earlier efforts by some of these film makers, there was an attempt to show that man could try to create his own meaning. For example, you can escape the void in which you are trapped by going into the world of dreams. But the trouble with this is that you then have no way to prove it. To use the terms of Schaeffer, you have either content without meaning (the real world) or meaning without content (the dream world). So, again, there is no genuine gain in this attempt by man to create meaning. This was brilliantly shown in the film entitled Juliet of the Spirits. This is the way Schaeffer puts it:

A student in Manchester [England] told me that he was going to see Juliet of the Spirits for the third time to try to work out what was real and what was fantasy in the film. I had not seen it then but I saw it later in a small art theatre in London. Had I seen it before I would have told him not to bother. One could go ten thousand times and never figure it out. It is deliberately made to prevent the viewer from distinguishing between objective reality and fantasy. There are no categories. One does not know what is real, or illusion, or psychological or insanity.

Another film that may be compared with this is Belle de Jour. As another commentator describes it: “Most audiences will not find anything visually shocking about Belle de Jour. They will find instead a cumulative mystery: What is really happening and what is not? The film continues switching back and forth between Severine’s real and fantasy worlds so smoothly that after a while it becomes impossible to say which is which. There is no way of knowing and this seems to be the point of the film with which Bunuel says he is winding up his 40 year career. Fantasy, he seems to be saying, is nothing but the human dimension of reality that makes life tolerable, and sometimes even fun.”

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:


Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of a cautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.


The best album ever?

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Published on Apr 25, 2013

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / With A Little Help From My Friends
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” 1967

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

Uploaded on Aug 24, 2009

A Day in the Life is a song by the English rock band The Beatles written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, based on an original idea by Lennon. It is the final track on the group’s 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Since its original album release, “A Day in the Life” has been released as a B-side, and also on various compilation albums. It has been covered by other artists including The Fall, Bobby Darin, Sting, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, The Bee Gees, Mae and since 2008, by Paul McCartney in his live performances. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the 26th greatest song of all time.

There is some dispute about the inspiration for the first verse. Many believe that it was written with regard to the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune and close friend of Lennon and McCartney, who had crashed his Lotus Elan on 18 December 1966 when a Volkswagen pulled out of a side street into his path in Redcliffe Gardens, Earls Court. In numerous interviews, Lennon claimed this was the verse’s prime inspiration. However, George Martin adamantly claims that it is a drug reference (as is the line “I’d love to turn you on” and other passages from the song) and while writing the lyrics John and Paul were imagining a stoned politician who had stopped at a set of traffic lights.

The description of the accident in “A Day in the Life” was not a literal description of Browne’s fatal accident. Lennon said, “I didn’t copy the accident. Tara didn’t blow his mind out, but it was in my mind when I was writing that verse. The details of the accident in the song — not noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the scene — were similarly part of the fiction.”

The final verse was inspired by an article in the Daily Mail in January 1967 regarding a substantial number of potholes in Blackburn, a town in Lancashire. However, he had a problem with the words of the final verse, not being able to think of how to connect “Now they know how many holes it takes to” and “the Albert Hall”. His friend Terry Doran suggested that they would “fill” the Albert Hall.

McCartney provided the middle section of the song, a short piano piece he had been working on independently, with lyrics about a commuter whose uneventful morning routine leads him to drift off into a reverie. He had written the piece as a wistful recollection of his younger years, which included riding the bus to school, smoking and going to class. The line “I’d love to turn you on”, which concludes both verse sections, was, according to Lennon, also contributed by McCartney; Lennon said “I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn’t use for anything.”

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles

Uploaded on Jan 18, 2009

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
The Beatles
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies,
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.
Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you’re gone.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties,
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstyle,
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Vocal Complete

The Beatles are featured in this episode below by Francis Schaeffer and in this episode Schaeffer noted, “Impossible tension between autonomous freedom and autonomous reasons conclusion that the universe and people are a part of the total cosmic machine.” Therefore, people turned to relativism and also they leaped into the area of non-reason. If all we have is this time plus chance impersonal universe then what hope is there for the future? 


Pin-Up classics – Alberto Vargas

. 24 February 2014 Author: JTom


Alberto Vargas 1896-1982.jpg

Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)






Have you ever wondered who the people are on the cover of SPLHCB?  This page provides a key to the member’s of The Lonely Hearts Club Band.


These pictures were scanned from the remastered compact disc booklet (EMI RECORDS LTD).


  1. Sri Yukteswar Giri
  2. Aleister Crowley
  3. Mae West
  4. Lenny Bruce
  5. Karlheinz Stockhausen
  6. W.C. Fields
  7. Carl Gustav Jung
  8. Edgar Allen Poe
  9. Fred Astaire
  10. Richard Merkin
  11. The Varga Girl(by artist Alberto Vargas)
  12. Leo Gorcey
  13. Huntz Hall
  14. Simon Rodia
  15. Bob Dylan
  16. Aubrey Beardsley
  17. Sir Robert Peel
  18. Aldous Huxley
  19. Dylan Thomas
  20. Terry Southern
  21. Dion DiMucci
  22. Tony Curtis
  23. Wallace Berman
  24. Tommy Handley
  25. Marilyn Monroe
  26. William Burroughs
  27. Sri Mahavatara Babaji
  28. Stan Laurel
  29. Richard Lindner
  30. Oliver Hardy
  31. Karl Marx
  32. H.G. Wells
  33. Sri Paramahansa Yagananda
  34. Anonymous (wax hairdressers’ dummy)
  35. Stuart Sutcliffe
  36. Anonymous (wax hairdressers’ dummy)
  37. Max Miller
  38. The Petty Girl (by artist George Petty)
  39. Marlon Brando
  40. Tom Mix
  41. Oscar Wilde
  42. Tyrone Power
  43. Larry Bell
  44. Dr. David Livingstone
  45. Johnny Weismuller
  46. Stephen Crane
  47. Issy Bonn
  48. George Bernard Shaw
  49. H.C. Westermann
  50. Albert Stubbins
  51. Sri Lahiri Mahasaya
  52. Lewis Carroll
  53. T.E. Lawrence
  54. Sonny Liston
  55. The Petty Girl (by artist George Petty)
  56. Wax Model of George Harrison
  57. Wax model of John Lennon
  58. Shirley Temple
  59. Wax model of Ringo Starr
  60. Wax model of Paul McCartney
  61. Albert Einstein
  62. John Lennon
  63. Ringo Starr
  64. Paul McCartney
  65. George Harrison
  66. Bobby Breen
  67. Marlene Dietrich
  68. Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi *removed by the request of EMI
  69. Legionnaire From the Order of the Buffalos
  70. Diana Dors
  71. Shirley Temple
  72. Cloth grandmother-figure by Jann Haworth
  73. Cloth figure of Shirley Temple
  74. Mexican candlestick
  75. Television set
  76. Stone figure of a girl
  77. Stone Figure
  78. Statue from John Lennon’s house
  79. Trophy
  80. Four-armed Indian doll
  81. Drum-skin, designed by Joe Ephgrave
  82. Hookah
  83. Velvet snake
  84. Japanese stone figure
  85. Stone figure of Snow White
  86. Garden gnome
  87. Tuba

*The above list was provided by EMI RECORDS LTD.

Alberto Vargas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alberto Vargas
Alberto vargas young.gif

Alberto Vargas in New York, ca. 1919.
Born Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez
9 February 1896
Arequipa, Peru
Died 30 December 1982 (aged 86)
Nationality Peruvian
Known for Painter

Alberto Vargas (9 February 1896 – 30 December 1982) was a noted Peruvian painter of pin-up girls. He is often considered one of the most famous of the pin-up artists. Numerous Vargas paintings have sold and continue to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Arequipa, Peru, Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez moved to the United States in 1916 after studying art in Europe in Zurich and Geneva prior to World War I. While he was in Europe he came upon the French magazine La Vie Parisienne, with a cover by Raphael Kirchner, which he said was a great influence on his work. He was the son of noted Peruvian photographer Max T. Vargas.[1] His early career included work as an artist for the Ziegfeld Follies and for many Hollywood studios. Vargas’ most famous piece of film work was that for the 1933 film The Sin of Nora Moran, which shows a near-naked Zita Johann in a pose of desperation. The poster is frequently named one of the greatest movie posters ever made.[2] He became famous in the 1940s as the creator of iconic World War-II era pin-ups for Esquiremagazine known as “Vargas Girls.” The nose art of many American and Allied World War II aircraft were inspired and adapted from these Esquire pin-ups, as well those of George Petty, and other artists.

In 2004, Hugh Hefner, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Playboy, who had previously worked for Esquire, wrote that “The US Post Office attempted to put Esquire out of business in the 1940s by taking away its second-class mailing permit. The Feds objected, most especially, to the cartoons and the pin-up art of Alberto Vargas. Esquire prevailed in the case that went to the Supreme Court, but the magazine dropped the cartoons just to be on the safe side”.[3] A legal dispute with Esquire over the use of the name “Varga” resulted in a judgement against Vargas and he struggled financially until the 1960s when Playboymagazine began to use his work as “Vargas Girls.” His career flourished and he had major exhibitions of his work all over the world.

Vargas artistic work, paintings and color drawings, were periodically featured in some issues of Playboy magazine in the 1960s and 1970s.

The death of his wife Anna Mae in 1974 left him devastated and he stopped painting. Not only was Anna Mae his wife, but she was his model and his business manager. The publication of his autobiography in 1978 renewed interest in his work and brought him partially out of his self-imposed retirement to do a few works, such as album covers for The Cars (Candy-O, 1979) and Bernadette Peters (Bernardette Peters, 1980;Now Playing, 1981). He died of a stroke on 30 December 1982, at the age of 86.

Many of Vargas’ works from his period with Esquire are now held by the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, which was given those works in 1980 along with a large body of other art from the magazine.[4]

At the December 2003 Christies auction of Playboy archives, the 1967 Vargas painting “Trick or Treat” sold for $71,600.[5]

His work was typically a combination of watercolor and airbrush. His mastery of the airbrush is acknowledged by the fact that the highest achievement in the community of airbrush artistry is the Vargas Award, awarded annually by Airbrush Action Magazine. Despite always using figure models, his images would often portray elegantly dressed, semi-nude to nude women of idealized proportions. Vargas’ artistic trait would be slender fingers and toes, with nails often painted red.

Vargas is widely regarded as one of the finest artists in his genre. He also served as a judge for the Miss Universe beauty contest from 1956 to 1958.[6]

Notable women painted by Vargas include Olive Thomas, Billie Burke, Nita Naldi, Marilyn Miller, Paulette Goddard, Bernadette Peters, Irish McCalla and Ruth Etting.[7]

See also[edit]


  • Alberto Vargas: Works from the Max Vargas Collection, by Reid Stewart Austin, Hugh Hefner. 144pp (2006) (ISBN 978-0821257920).
  • Vargas, by Reid Austin and Alberto Vargas. 127 pp. (1978) (ISBN 0-517-530473 ) (autobiography).
  • Varga. The Esquire Years. A Catalogue Raisonné. 176 pp (1987) (ISBN 0-912383-48-8 ).
  • The Great American Pin-Up, by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, ISBN 3-8228-1701-5
  • Vargas, by Benedikt Taschen, text by Astrid Conte. 79 pp. (1990) (ISBN 3-89450-063-8).

External links[edit]


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