I want to say right off the bat that a ‘Blue Meanie’ is not a mushroom. Someone who would name a mushroom ‘Blue Meanie’ is just another example of somebody connected to a movement or culture who doesn’t have a clue, or worse, as I hope to make a credible case for with this blog post.
‘Blue Meanies’ are characters from the animated feature ‘Yellow Submarine,’ featuring The Beatles and the art of Peter Max. The story is about Pepperland, a colorful place where children have colorful balloons and whirligigs.
The ‘Blue Meanies’ include the leader, a character with crab-like cutter hands, a giant glove and a host of others. The ‘Blue Meanies’ spend their time cutting up the balloons and whirligigs and Glove points/accuses people and also pounds them into the ground. The actions of the ‘Blue Meanies’ drive Pepperland into a state of apathy and grief.
This is pure fantasy, right?
Well, let’s take another look at how psychedelic and surrealist art can function.
There is a ‘reality’ underlying everything we perceive. We don’t see this underlying reality because it’s covered over with confusion, misdirection and falsely attributed cause.
The underlying reality is very simple but the reality we perceive is very complex because it involves the workings of the mind and this must be complex because this is what we demand of it; complexity and circuitousness.
‘Yellow Submarine’ contains and astonishing amount of reality. There is probably more reality in it than in any other work in this day and age.
Pepperland is Elysium or Oz or whatever you want to call it but it’s an ideal existence. The balloons and whirligigs are the dreams of the children of Pepperland or any place for that matter.
The ‘Blue Meanies’ are the suppressive actions and the individuals setting those actions in motion that suppress the dreams of others and so keep humans from reaching any kind of an ideal state.
At the end of the movie, John states that there are new and Bluer Meanies on the horizon and there are, brother, there are.