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Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

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Steven Spielberg To Adapt Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ For TV

BraveNewWorld FirstEdition.jpgI don’t doubt that Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World is on many a disinfonaut’s list of top novels. Apparently it’s one of Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg’s favorites too and now he has the green light to turn it into a television series for Syfy, per the Hollywood Reporter:

The Emmy-winning team behind Syfy’s Taken is reuniting for another science fiction classic.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is adapting Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World as a scripted series for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Brave New World — ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library — is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries.” Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations,” until one of the “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.

First published in 1932, Brave New World will be adapted by writer Les Bohem, who penned Taken, which won the 2003 Emmy for best miniseries and racked up six other nominations…

[continues at the Hollywood Reporter]

8 of googles craziest offices-very cool!

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‘My God! They’re Killing Us’ – 45 years ago today

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‘My God! They’re Killing Us': Newsweek’s 1970

Coverage of the Kent State Shooting

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Ohio 1970 Kent State University

https://youtu.be/68g76j9VBvM

Kent State

U.S.
Newsweek’s May 18, 1970, cover. Newsweek archives

Kent State University, in the rolling green hills of northeastern Ohio, seems the very model of a modern, Middle American university. Until last year, the most vicious outbreak of violence there was a 1958 panty raid launched against two women’s dormitories, which resulted in the prompt dismissal of 29 students. Recently, the radical spirit had begun to drift over the 790-acre campus—but only a fraction of the school’s 19,000 students was affected. Antiwar rallies attracted no more than 300 people at best, and even the appearance of Jerry Rubin of the Chicago Seven drew only about 1,000.

Given the setting, the sudden volley of rifle fire from National Guard troops that killed four Kent State students and wounded 10 others last week echoed even more loudly than it might have at one of the capitals of campus protest such as Berkeley or Columbia. The bloody incident shocked and further divided a nation already riven by dissent over the war in Indochina. More than that, the shots fired at Kent State were taken by some as a warning that the U.S. might be edging toward the brink of warfare of sorts on the home front.

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The prologue to the tragedy was probably provided by Richard Nixon himself four years earlier when he announced the U.S. intervention in Cambodia. The next day, Kent State students held peaceful protests rallies on campus. Later, the combination of warm spring air and cold beer at local taverns in Kent, a leafy community of 29,000 not far from Akron, prompted some young people to pitch a few bottles at police cars. When members of the town’s 20-man police force returned to clear the area around midnight, the scene turned violent—and the night ended with the sound of shattering bank and store windows as a campus-bound mob of several hundred students rampaged through town.

ROTC

Police charged that among the rioters they had spotted two militants just released from jail after serving six months on charges stemming from disorders last year. The students denied this. And the following night, antiwar elements rallied again, later turning their wrath—and fire bombs—on the rickety 24-year-old ROTC building on the Kent campus. With the building in ruins and the townspeople in an angry uproar, a request was made by Mayor Leroy Satrom that Governor James Rhodes call in the National Guard. “If these anarchists get away with it here,” said a lifelong Kent resident, “no campus in the country is safe.”

The governor was eager to oblige. Having made campus disorder a key issue in his hard campaign for the U.S. Senate, Rhodes quickly ordered in men from the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 145th Infantry Battalion, declared martial law—and then showed up himself to set the tone in a public address. Attributing the violence to students “worse than the ‘brownshirt’ and the Communist element and also the night-riders in the vigilantes…the worst type of people that we harbor in America,” the governor pledged: “We are going to eradicate the problem…. It’s over within Ohio.”

Kent State Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek. Newsweek archives

Orders

Off the podium, said a reliable source, Rhodes all but took personal command of the guardsmen. Without consulting top guard officials or the university administration, he reportedly ordered that all campus assemblies—peaceful or otherwise—be broken up and said the troops would remain on campus 12 months a year if necessary. “There was no discussion,” an insider informed Newsweek, “because it wouldn’t have done any good. The governor had made up his mind.”

The guardsmen were already tired and tense, having been brought in from five days on duty in the Cleveland area during the wildcat Teamsters strike. Though many were young and some were even Kent State students, most of the troopers seemed to share the antipathy to student protests characteristic of small-town Ohio. They got through Sunday with no serious incident. But with the start of classes on Monday, the scene was set for a fatal confrontation.

Despite Rhodes’s ban on rallies—or perhaps unaware of how all-embracing it was—antiwar students were gathering for a noon rally while hundreds of their less political schoolmates ambled from class to lunch. Five times a campus police official called for the students to disperse, but they ignored the directive and rang the iron “Victory Bell” usually sounded after football games. Finally, the guard began to move, fully loaded M-1 rifles at the ready, along with some “grease guns” (.45-caliber submachine guns) and .45 pistols. Barrages of tear gas from M-79 grenade launchers began to move the crowd of students up a knoll, at the top of which perched Taylor Hall, a modern, pillared building housing the College of Fine and Professional Arts, the Department of Architecture and the School of Journalism.

Hail

The eddying student mob pelted the guardsmen with rocks, chunks of concrete, the troopers’ own belching gas grenades and all the standard porcine epithets. From atop the knoll, known to trysters as “Blanket Hill” before the construction of Taylor Hall, a composite group of some 100 guardsmen from the 107th and 145th sent a smaller detachment of about 40 troopers down to clear the young people from a football field and parking lot. The hail of student-hurled rocks and cement continued. So did the guard’s gas barrage, until there were no gas grenades left. Several times, some of the troops were seen to kneel in what seemed to be firing positions, apparently to frighten off their attackers.

It was at this point, about 25 minutes after noon, as the smaller detachment marched back up to join the larger group, that guardsmen thought they heard a single shot. Almost instantly, there was a salvo from troopers on the knoll that lasted at least three seconds. No warning had been issued, and few students knew the guardsmen’s rifles were even loaded. ‘They’re firing blanks,” said one student to another, “otherwise they would be aiming into the air or at the ground.” And, indeed, some of the 16 or 17 guardsmen who fired about 35 rounds in all may have done just that; others, unbelievable as it seemed, had fired right into the crowd of students. The shrieks and moans that quickly filled the air foreshadowed the toll: four dead, 10 wounded, including a youth paralyzed from the waist down by a bullet in the spine. Ignoring cries for help, the guardsmen marched away.

Newsweek Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek. Newsweek archives

Around Taylor Hall, the students, many with tears streaming down their cheeks, were horrified and enraged. “My God! My God! They’re killing us,” thought freshman Ron Steele of Buffalo. “I thought the soldiers had gone insane or it was some kind of accident.”

William Fitzgerald, a 29-year-old graduate student in history, felt it was no accident. “It was butchery,” cried Fitzgerald. And a correspondent for campus radio station WKSU told his editor, via walkie-talkie: “I’m coming back. I’m sick…disgusted.” Psychology professor Seymour Baron, who had persuaded guard Brigade General Robert Canterbury to have his men put up their weapons after the fusillade, now was arguing infuriated students out of trying to follow the troops across the Commons. “They’ll kill you,” he warned.

Not one of the four dead had been closer than 75 feet to the troops who had killed them—and there was not the slightest suggestion that they had been singled out as targets because of anything they had done. Indeed, all available evidence indicated that the four dead students were probably innocent bystanders.

  • Sandy Scheuer, 20, of Youngstown, Ohio, had been searching for a lost dog on campus only shortly before the shooting, and a friend said she was on her way to a speech-therapy class when she was hit. “Sandy must have thought it was over and stood up,” said Sharon Swanson. “I saw her lying there, hit in the neck.”
  • William Schroeder, 19, of Lorain, Ohio, an ROTC member, was watching “mainly because he was curious,” according to fellow psychology student Gene Pekarik.
  • Allison Krause, 19, of the Pittsburgh area, was walking with her boyfriend to a class when the firing began. “She had just stopped to look around and see what was happening,” said a fellow student.
  • Jeffrey Glenn Miller, 20, of Plainview, New York, who looked most like a radical, had carefully steered clear of the jumpy campus the night before and had told his mother by telephone: “Don’t worry, I’m not going to get hurt…. You know me, I won’t get that involved.” Miller’s connection with the militants with third-hand at best, judging by a mysterious note from a friend found later in his room. “I guess I missed you again,” it said. “My friends from Michigan are on their way here to start some trouble. I’ll look for you later.”

In the aftermath, Ohio guard brass obdurately defended the conduct of their men. They quickly whisked away the troops who had fired the fatal rounds and then tried to explain what had happened. First, they contended that the volley had not been ordered but that it was fired in response to a sniper’s bullet; the next day, they were forced to admit they had no real evidence of any such sniping. However, there was an unaccounted for bullet hole in a metal sculpture outside Taylor Hall that some felt was consistent with a sniper shot from a rooftop; and more mystery was added with reports that a bullet wound suffered by one victim, as well as some shell casings on campus, did not match the ammunition authorized for the guard.

Ultimately, guard commanders rested their case on what seemed an extraordinary Ohio National Guard regulation that permits each individual soldier to shoot when he feels his life is endangered. “I am satisfied that these troops felt that their lives were in danger,” said General Canterbury, 55, who was in charge of the troops. “I felt I could have been killed out there…. Considering the size of the rocks and the proximity of those throwing them, lives were in danger…. Hell, they were 3 feet behind us…. I do think, however, that under normal conditions, an officer would give the order to fire.”

Kent State Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek. Newsweek archives

‘Bastards’

Some guardsmen on campus evidenced little if any regret over the killings. “It’s about time we showed the bastards who’s in charge,” said one. And many of the townspeople of Kent shared the same sentiment. “You can’t really help but kind of think they’ve been asking for it and finally got it,” said a motel clerk. What did the troops who did the actual firing think? “They didn’t go to Kent State to kill anyone,” cried the wife of one of the men who fired at the students. “I know he’d rather have stayed home and mowed the lawn. He told me so. He told me they didn’t fire those shots to scare the students off. He told me they fired those shots because they knew the students were coming after them, coming for their guns. People are calling my husband a murderer; my husband is not a murderer. He was afraid.”

Even granting the genuine fear felt by the guardsmen, disturbing questions persist about their behavior during the episode. The guard insisted that the men fired as they were about to be “overrun” by the students. But if the troops were so closely surrounded, how was it that nobody closer than 75 feet away was hit? And if the rocks and bricks presented such overwhelming danger, how did the troops avoid even one injury serious enough to require hospital treatment?

If the danger was not quite as great as first portrayed, why could not the detachment’s cadre of officers—a top-heavy group of four or five captains and Brigadier General Canterbury himself—keep the men under control. A 22-year-old drama student named James Minard charged that he saw an officer give the command to fire. “This lieutenant had his arm raised and carried a baton,” Minard said. “When the baton came down, they fired. I was apparently the only one who saw it; nobody believed me.” A well-connected guard source flatly told Newsweek‘s James Jones and Jon Lowell: “There had to be some kind of preliminary order.”

Spark?

Ohio’s Democratic Senator Stephen Young said in Washington that he had learned the firing was actually touched off by a nervous guardsman whose rifle went off when he was hit by a tear-gas canister or rock. Other observers wondered whether a student photographer, armed while on assignment for the university and the police, might have provided the spark—although an initial police check indicated his gun had not been fired.

As a spring rain washed the bloodstains from the campus, Kent State President Robert I. White ordered the university closed (for the rest of the quarter, it developed), and asked for a high-level investigation of the entire affair. After a visit by six Kent students, President Nixon announced that such an inquiry would be conducted by the Justice Department. The guard itself and the Ohio state police are also investigating the shootings. But even before the evidence was in, 1,000 Kent State faculty members rendered a verdict of their own. Prevented from meeting on the campus, they crowded into a nearby Akon Unitarian church and passed this resolution: “We hold the guardsmen, acting under orders and under severe psychological pressures, less responsible for the massacre than are Governor Rhodes and Adjutant General [Sylvester] Del Corso, whose inflammatory statements produced these pressures.”

‘Do More’

Beyond that there was little left but to bury the dead. In New York City, nearly 5,000 mourners joined the family of Jeffrey Miller at services addressed by Dr. Benjamin Spock, who declared that the Kent State killings “may do more to end the war in Vietnam than all the rest of us have been able to do.” There were smaller, simpler services for Allison Krause, but emotions ran just as high in her hometown. “I can’t blame 18-year-olds for not wanting to go to Cambodia and be killed,” said Krause’s mother. “Look, I had a daughter and now she is dead.”

Allison’s father was even angrier. “May her death be on [Nixon’s] back,” he snapped. His daughter, he said, “resented being called a bum because she disagreed with someone else’s opinion.” “Is dissent a crime?” he asked. “Is this such a reason for killing her? Have we come to such a state in this country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”

Sighed a neighbor: “You have no idea how this has brought the whole thing about the war and campus dissent home to this neighborhood…no idea at all. If someone like Allison is killed, my God….”

This story originally appeared in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek with the headline “My God! They’re Killing Us.”

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors Inspired By Horror Movies

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Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors Inspired By Horror Movies

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Inspired By Horror Movies

John Squires and artist Frank Browning put together this series of Ben & Jerry’s flavors inspired by horror movies. They’re pretty great! But om nom nom? More like AHHHm nom nom, amirite? Sorry. That was bad and I should feel bad. And believe me! I absolutely do. I’ll hang my head in shame AND let myself out.

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Check it out

NYC Waitress Gets $3,000 Tip On $43.50 Bill

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NYC Waitress Gets $3,000 Tip On $43.50 Bill

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(via Twitter)

A waitress in Times Square was the beneficiary of a touching pay-it-forward campaign last week when she was given a 7,000% tip on a bill under $50. A regular named Mike left the server $3,000 on a bill of $43.50 to help combat an eviction notice that the woman was recently served, according to Good Morning America. Even more sweet, the gesture was inspired by Mike’s 8th grade science teacher, who began an organization called ReesSpechtLife following a personal tragedy.

Swear word in art ‘breaking the law’ at Brentwood gallery

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Swear word in art ‘breaking the law’ at Brentwood gallery

12:06 01 May 2015

Gallery owner John Brandler, 60, now has to cover a swear word in a work of art. Picture: Brandler Galleries

Gallery owner John Brandler, 60, now has to cover a swear word in a work of art. Picture: Brandler Galleries

Archant

The owner of an art gallery has hit back after police told him to cover up a swear word in a painting.

Police visited John last month at Brandler Galleries in Coptfold Road, Brentwood, after they received reports of the offensive artwork.

The painting by artists The Connor Brothers reads: “A load of fuss about **** all.

“Modern Shakespeare – edited by The Connor Brothers.”

John said: “The police came round and said if I don’t remove it I’m breaking the law – they said they’re happy as long as it’s covered.”

He added: “Someone’s complained to police about this and you think, ‘where’s your sense of humour?’

“It’s a painted word in the middle of a sentence – you have to look hard to even find it.

“It is what it says – a load of fuss about **** all.”

The painting, which is worth £7,500, is one of many high-profile pieces at the gallery.

“We’ve sold work by Damien Hirst and Pure Evil and we’ve just sold an £18,000 Banksy,” said John.

The art enthusiast said he has had complaints before with a Pure Evil work which reads “you can’t buy happiness, steal it”, with the “I” in “it” being stolen by a man in a hooded top.

“People complained it was teaching the youth how to steal,” said John. “I just think it’s very clever – these artists make you smile and laugh when you see their work.

“I just think people should be honest when they look at art because we’re not all going to like the same things.”

Essex Police confirmed the incident.

5 Famous Hidden Song Meanings (That Are Total B.S.)

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5 Famous Hidden Song Meanings (That Are Total B.S.)

Because songwriters worry more about catchy rhymes than deep meaning, song lyrics can be more abstract and esoteric than Jackson Pollock farting chalk dust into a napkin. The problem is that some fans swear that every nonsensical song has some deeper interpretation just waiting to be decoded. That’s why so many classic songs have mythical (and often dark and disturbing) alternate meanings that fans insist are true.They’re almost always wrong. For instance …

#5. “Hotel California” — It’s About Satanism, Right?

Whether you know “Hotel California” as “that weird Eagles song” or “that weird devil-worshiping song” probably depends on how religious your parents were.

When “Hotel California” was released in 1976, everyone heard it but no one really knew what it meant. The lyrics talked about trying to “Kill the beast” and “Stab it with their steely knives,” and included the ominous line, “You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.” Honestly, it kind of sounds like they’re singing about using the reference section in a library full of giant monsters, since those are the books you can technically check out but aren’t permitted to remove from the building.

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“Lookin’ it up in the local libraaaary!”

That was when someone noticed something odd about the album cover, which features a picture of the band in some luxury hotel courtyard with crowds of people in the background. Above the crowd, looking out from a balcony on the upper left, is a shape whose face you can’t fully see, but vaguely looks bald, goateed and threatening.

It Will Pass
“Hey, sorry everyone, but is the ice machine down there?”

Naturally, people came to the conclusion that the figure on the balcony was none other than Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, author of The Satanic Bible and proud parent of a son that he freaking named Satan.


He even had “Anton + Satan = BFFs” tattooed above his ass.

Now that Anton LaVey was found, the lyrics seemed to make sense: “The Beast,” “You can never leave” “This could be heaven or this could be hell.” “Hotel California” is a song about Anton LaVey converting people to his church of Satanism, from which they could “never leave.” The “truth” about the song persists to this day, found in Internet forums, an old issue of The Milwaukee Sentinel and the nothing-if-not-reputable website Jesus Is Savior.

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They’re on to your globe-spanning Satanist conspiracy, Eagles.

Actually …

“Hotel California” has pretty much nothing to do with Satanism. The Eagles have admitted it was a way of speaking out against the greed and hedonism of the music industry in the 1970s (i.e., the drugs, money and women they themselves were drowning in). The photographer responsible for the album cover said the picture expressed “faded loss of innocence and decadence,” which is pretentious-speak for “a bunch of assholes standing in a lobby.”

“What about the face in the window?” you say. “I heard somewhere they didn’t even know it was there. Maybe it wasn’t Anton LaVey, but really … a ghost.” Unfortunately not. As Snopes points out:

“The shadowy figure was a woman hired for the photo shoot.”

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That is kind of a lot of hair for a bald man.

Yep. The person mistaken for a bald, goatee-sporting antichrist was, in fact, just some lady who had nothing to do with anything and wouldn’t even have been memorable were it not for the poor lighting of the photograph and the bafflingly deliberate decision to separate her from the rest of the group, presumably because she showed up late for the shoot and/or got Don Henley’s name wrong.

#4. Isn’t “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” About an Acid Trip?

Mention the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” to a group of people and inevitably one of them will start talking about LSD. And, in fact, we’re wagering that most of the people in our readership who know the song only know it as “That song that’s secretly about doing acid.” After all, it’s coded right there in the title, right? Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.


In 1967, John Lennon alone accounted for nearly 40 percent of the world’s LSD consumption.

And then you get lyrics like this:

“Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain/ Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies/ Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers/ That grow so incredibly high.”

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So incredibly high.

Clearly it’s alluding to an acid trip. And this isn’t exactly a stretch: The Beatles, remember, were a band that wrote songs about an octopus inviting people to the seabed to visit his garden, people who believe they are Arctic blueberry animals and general dick-twisting insanity.


Really, we’re not sure that most of what the Beatles did wasn’t about goddamned acid.

Actually …

Shockingly, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is about a girl called Lucy, in the sky, with some diamonds. See, John Lennon’s son Julian drew a picture of his best friend Lucy surrounded by diamonds in the sky, and John liked it enough to name the song after it.

Wonderlane
Although to be fair, the kid was clearly on acid when he drew it.

The Beatles freely admit to using drugs as inspiration for songs, and odds are LSD was one of them. But as for this particular song being a metaphor for the drug itself? Sorry, but no. John Lennon said, “It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD. Until someone pointed it out, I never even thought of it. I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It’s not an acid song.”

This didn’t stop the BBC from banning the song, which, considering they were OK with a song about a child who murdered the fuck out of everyone around him with a goddamn hammer, seems a little hypocritical.

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Don’t worry, folks. “I Am the Walrus” is still definitely about drugs. All the drugs.

#3. “Puff the Magic Dragon” Is Totally About Smoking Pot …

Hopefully, you don’t need to be told anything about “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary, but if you do, please click the link. Even for a children’s song, it seems overly bizarre and surreal, so of course it wasn’t long after its release in the early 1960s when people started trying to dissect the lyrics:

“Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea/ And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee/ Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff/ And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.”


People don’t hug like that sober.

Remember, this was the ’60s, a time when pretty much everyone was smoking weed. So with “Puff the Magic Dragon,” aside from the obvious “chasing the dragon” metaphor, people figured that’s what the song was about. “Puff,” i.e., to smoke, “dragon,” as in “draggin[g]” or “to take a drag” and “autumn mist” being the fog of pot smoke.

“Little Jackie Paper,” the little rascal he was, was obviously a reference to rolling papers. Sealing wax, fancy stuff — bongs, clearly. People have managed to find meaning in pretty much every line in the song, and we must admit, it seems pretty convincing. And it makes sense that a folk rock trio like Peter, Paul and Mary would aim a song at the rapidly growing hippie movement.

BassPlyr23
Here they are in 2006, looking more like math teachers than doobed-up radicals.

Actually …

We’re sorry to drag you down to earth like this, but “Puff the Magic Dragon’s” writers never intended any hidden meanings. In fact, they were pretty upset about the rumors, claiming the song was about:

“… a loss of innocence and having to face an adult world … I find the fact that people interpret it as a drug song annoying. It would be insidious to propagandize about drugs in a song for little kids.”

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But what about their 1970 hit, “Hops the Frothy, Full-Bodied Llama”?

“I can assure you, it’s a song about innocence lost … What kind of mean-spirited SOB would write a children’s song with a covert drug message?”

Mary goes on to say that if there were drugs to be mentioned, they’d be mentioned up front:

“Believe me, if he wanted to write a song about marijuana, he would have written a song about marijuana.”

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We look forward to hearing from Peter, Paul and Peter’s bong soon.

Actually kind of hard to argue with that.

#2. The “Horse” in “Horse With No Name” HAS to be Heroin …

Even if you’ve only heard this song once, chances are you know the chorus by heart:

“I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name/ It felt good to be out of the rain/ In the desert you can’t remember your name/ ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”

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“My name is Chuck, CHUCK dammit! Nobody fucking listens.”

Ridiculous grammar aside, obviously this means something, because nobody writes that kind of line unless there’s some deeper meaning behind it. And “horse” is a pretty old and well known slang term for heroin, so naturally that’s what a bunch of people figured the song was about. Back in the ’70s the song was even banned from several radio stations because of its supposed drug reference.

The most common beliefs are that the band (America) is either singing about doing heroin (hallucinations) or about the effects of heroin withdrawal (“After two days in the desert sun/ My skin began to turn red”). Honestly, it all fits together nicely if you think about it: The desert symbolizes the effects of the withdrawal, the horse symbolizes the heroin and the ocean/river at the end symbolizes the clarity of rehabilitation. Perhaps America are skilled wordsmiths that deserve more credit. After all, it’s not like their band name is trite and obvious.


AMERICAAAAA!

Actually …

This couldn’t be more pulled from the ass if it were literally torn from the anus of a donkey. Let’s save time here by going straight to Dewey Bunnell, the man who actually wrote the song:

“I wanted to capture the imagery of the desert, because I was sitting in this room in England, and it was rainy.”

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“I fingerpainted this desert and then I wrote a song about it.”

“I had spent a good deal of time poking around in the high desert with my brother when we lived [in California]. And we’d drive through Arizona and New Mexico. I loved the cactus and the heat. I was trying to capture the sights and sounds of the desert, and there was an environmental message at the end. But … I see now that this anonymous horse was a vehicle to get me away from all the confusion and chaos of life to a peaceful, quiet place.”

So, back when he was a kid, Dewey was playing around in the desert, found it interesting and years later wrote a song about it with a message about the environment. No heroin-induced hallucinations or allegorical desert, but real, actual desert.

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Dewey Bunnell, human cipher.

#1. But “Turning Japanese” Is Definitely About Masturbation, Right, Guys?

English band the Vapors released a song in 1980 called “Turning Japanese,” much to the chagrin of the current status quo. You see, in addition to being vaguely racist, “turning Japanese” is a slang phrase for masturbation, specifically referring to how one’s eyes become screwed up and narrow at the climax of a particularly feverish hand shandy. Now this could easily be a coincidence in name, but listen to the lyrics (or read them, your choice):

“I’ve got your picture of me and you/ You wrote ‘I love you’ I wrote ‘me too’/ I sit there staring and there’s nothing else to do.”

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Not pictured: Jergen’s.

So he has a picture of his girlfriend and finds he has “nothing else to do.”

“I’ve got your picture, I’ve got your picture/ I’d like a million of you all round my cell/ I want a doctor to take your picture/ So I can look at you from inside as well.”

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We’re still not seeing the Japanese.

He mentions a cell, so this must mean he’s in prison. Also, he seems to want an X-ray of her, for some reason. Or photos from her colonoscopy.

“No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women/ No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it’s dark/ Everyone around me is a total stranger/ Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger/ That’s why I’m turning Japanese/ I think I’m turning Japanese/ I really think so.”

Getty
The Vapors, demonstrating every stage of the mullet life cycle.

It would seem that this trail of lyrical bread crumbs leads to but one place: Fistopolis. Population: This guy’s wiener. Just take a look at the people interviewed in this video, at about 2 minutes 20 seconds. It’s a pretty popular interpretation, and any sites mentioning the song on the Internet eventually come to the same conclusion.

Actually …

We really wanted this one to be true, but the only thing this song has in common with spanking it in a darkened room is that it’s about feelings of shame and loneliness. If you watch the end of that video linked above, the band finally tells us what it’s really about:


Hint: Nothing Japanese.

“The Americans seemed to think it was written about that. That it was an English phrase about masturbation. It wasn’t. The song was a love song about someone who had lost their girlfriend and was going slowly crazy — turning Japanese is just all the cliches of our angst… turning into something you never expected to.”

So no, the Vapors’ song isn’t about dick-whittling (masturbation/penis joke quota met). It’s simply about a man who has taped hundreds of pictures of a woman he’s obsessed with around his tiny room as he plots to see her insides, and whose emotions can apparently transform him into a Japanese man like the Incredible Hulk.

Getty
As illustrated here.

See? It makes perfect sense.dden

HIWAY AMERICA -Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, Foyil,Oklahoma

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Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
Foyil, Oklahoma

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
courtesy of Betty Harris

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park is the oldest and largest example of a folk art environment in Oklahoma; its construction lasting from 1937 to 1961.  Totem Pole Park contains the original, highly decorated creations of Galloway, one of Oklahoma’s premier folk artists and significant in the “visionary art” movement. The park is located just 3.5 miles off the Mother Road.  All of the art objects are made of stone or concrete, reinforced with steel rebar and wood.  Galloway incised and carved the objects in bas-relief and applied paint to decorations that generally include representational and figurative images of birds and Native Americans of Northwest Coast/Alaska and Plains cultures arranged facing the four cardinal directions.Nathan Edward Galloway was born in 1880 in Springfield, Missouri and began wood carving as a boy.  He became proficient in woodworking and blacksmithing and obtained employment at Sand Springs Home, teaching manual arts to orphan boys.  In 1937, he retired to live on the property now known as the Totem Pole Park.  He constructed a vernacular Craftsman residence, a smokehouse, and a workshop (which no longer exists).  He began to make violins, furniture, and decorative wall art. Galloway became interested in Native Americans and found inspiration in post cards and National Geographic magazinesto construct totem poles in the park.Between 1937 and 1948, he created a 90-foot tall main totem pole heavily carved with bas-relief designs, the largest art object on the property.  This totem pole is made of red sandstone framed with steel and wood with a thick concrete skin and sits on a large three-dimensional turtle.  The turtle forms the base and is carved from a broad, flat outcrop of sandstone in place on the site. The totem pole is hollow and ascends nine “floors,” with the ground floor measuring nine feet in diameter.  The plastered interior depicts painted murals of mountain-and-lake scenes and bird totems. Native American shields and arrow points line the tops of the murals.  At the very top, the cone is open to the sky.

Ed Galloway’s Residence and Smokehouse
National Park Service
Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

Other totems include a pre-1955 Arrowhead Totem, a c.1955 Birdbath Totem, and a Tree Totem dating c. 1955-1961.  The park also includes two sets of concrete totem picnic tables with seats, a concrete totem barbeque/fireplace, small bird gateposts, as well as the Fish-Arch gates designed by Galloway to look like a gar-like fish with bird images facing east and west.

A museum stands on the property called the “Fiddle House” which houses Galloway’s fiddles and other creations. The eleven-sided building resembles a Navajo hogan, decorated with totemic columns and Native American portraits.

In 1961, Galloway died and the park fell into disrepair until the Rogers County Historical Society acquired it in 1989.  In a restoration effort conducted from 1988-1998 by the Rogers County Historical Society and the Kansas Grassroots Arts Association, art conservators and engineers studied the site and repainted, replaced, and replicated materials in disrepair.

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