Imagine a world in which a bunch of famous millionaires respond to a worldwide public health crisis by filming a poorly-edited montage of themselves singing single lines of John Lennon's worst song from their luxurious mansions and then posting it on the internet as if it would help at all.
Oh wait! You don't have to imagine it. It's real life! Gal Gadot, who was once Wonder Woman but is now Wonder What She Was Thinking... Woman, spearheads the video, which includes cringe-worthy clips from famous actors like Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Zoe Kravitz, Lynda Carter, and even, disappointingly, Mark Ruffalo, singing lines from "Imagine." It's one of the worst things you will ever watch, so I'm extremely sorry to include it here, but you need to understand what I'm talking about.
The video quickly went super viral, but for all the wrong reasons. It's beyond awkward. Jamie Dornan's hair is wet? Will Ferrell's hair is wild. And several of the celebrities, most notably Zoe Kravitz and Pedro Pascal, look like they'd rather be poking themselves in the eye with a pencil than filming themselves singing this song.
It's unclear why they, or anyone else for that matter, agreed to do this at all.
It was released early on Thursday morning, and already I've had to mute mentions about it from my Twitter timeline. It's gotten to the point where a literal chill runs down my spine if I stumble across it.
It's just so tone-deaf...in every sense of the word. Writer Casey Cipriani expressed it well on Twitter, "Hey celebs, we don't want to be sung to. We want you to use a million or two of your money and order ventilators, masks, and gloves from the manufacturers then donate them to a hospital. Or pay for the salaries of an entire staff at a bar, restaurant, or daycare."
The COVID-19 pandemic is a real worldwide disaster. Not everyone is sitting at home in comfortable houses, chilling, and waiting for it to be over.
Doctors are on the front lines, helping hordes of sick people who are vying for limited hospital beds. Grocery store workers are ensuring that we are still able to purchase food. So many people have lost their jobs and have no idea how they're going to pay their bills for the foreseeable future.
This is real. And nothing about that "Imagine" video seems to acknowledge the reality of the situation. This "Imagine" video is the "thoughts and prayers" of the coronavirus. There, I said it.
Perhaps the one silver lining about this debacle is that everyone hates it so much. For one day, we have been able to come together, forget our problems, and s--t all over this welcome distraction from real life.
Comedian Josh Gondelman writes, "No politician can unify people in the way that the 'Imagine' video seems to have unified every single person against it." In that way, it's kind of beautiful, isn't it?
Perhaps the most succinct and comprehensive criticism of the video came from Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, who writes, "Gal Gadon't."
If you're like me and you have seen the "Imagine" video one too many times, if you're doing everything in your power to cleanse your timeline, body, and soul of what you were just forced to ingest, may I suggest watching Gilbert Gottfried sing the song instead?
Comedian Jordan Van Dina enlisted the great actor to do his own version of the song via Cameo, and it truly is the opposite of the Gal Gadot-helmed video. It's delightful. It's hilarious. Gilbert Gottfried singing "Imagine," is, despite all odds, extremely soothing.
Obviously, there's a whole lot more to worry about than a bunch of celebs who Don't Get It. But this really does seem like a perfect distillation of everything that's wrong with the way our society has reacted to this crisis.
The rich are hanging out and singing songs and getting tested for coronavirus while everyone in the real world is struggling to get help — medical, financial, etc. It's the way it's always been, so it's beyond frustrating to see it played out in our faces so transparently.