Posts Tagged Ted Bundy

An Open Letter to the Beatles

Crossing the street…or CROSSING THE LINE?!?!

Dear Paul, Ringo, John and The Other Guy,

I was driving my children to swimming lessons yesterday and your song “All You Need Is Love” came on the radio.  I had never really listened to the words in this song, but as a concerned parent, I decided to try to listen to the words that my children were hearing.  What I heard was truly shocking!  I find the message in this song to be deeply troubling and, as a concerned parent, I beg you to do what you can to stop radio stations from playing this song.

I’m sure that you thought that you were just writing another silly love song and, I mean, what’s wrong with that?  But, if you really think about the message in the song, I think you’ll come to understand why it disturbed me so much.  Imagine for a second, that an impressionable child heard this song and took it seriously.  Clearly, human beings need a good deal more than love to survive.  They need food, shelter, clothes (preferably from a decent designer), and air.  What if an impressionable child heard this song and decided to stop eating completely?  His concerned parents would beg him to eat but he would not.  What if, as he widdled away to the size of a twig, slowly starving to death and his concerned parents, now grief-stricken, asked him why he was doing this and he replied “Because the Beatles told me all I need is love”?  Could you live with your selves?

What if, even worse, he just decided to stop breathing? He could die within a moment or two giving the concerned parents only a few seconds to react.  What if his friends saw him stop breathing and thought that it was the “cool” thing to do?  What if hundreds, thousands of children stopped breathing just to not be “square”?  It could be an epidemic of epidemic proportions! Children, falling over dead in classrooms across America, with the words “All You Need Is Love” passing though their blue lips as they meet their maker.  Is that what you want?

Music has a major effect on the ideas of young people.  Do you know what Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, and Ted Bundy have in common?  As young men, they all listened to music.  And look what suffering they caused!

I demand that you stop allowing this song to be played on radio stations everywhere.  I also ask that you never fill our children’s souls with such blasphemous, anti-social ideas by playing this live.  Until you agree to stop this madness, I and a group of like-minded concerned parents, plan to boycott love.  We will not express love in words or actions.  We even plan on starting all tennis games at 15 so that no person ever has love.

Yours truly,

 

A Concerned Parent

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An Inconsistent Truth: A Psychological Review of The High Art Museum’s Showing of La Moustache 11/5/10

The Citizen Kane of mustache hallucination films

“No one who has not experienced how insubstantial the pageant of external reality can be, how it may fade, can fully realize the sublime and grotesque presences that can replace it, or exist along side of it.”

-R.D. Laing “The Politics of Experience”

 

It is truly frightening to be in a room full of people who are laughing and not get the joke.  I don’t just mean not get the punch line, but not get the words, the meaning or anything else.  To feel as if one is from another planet and has landed here with a cursory knowledge of the English language and a two-day session on the lives and mating patterns of human beings under his belt, only to have to listen to two voracious baseball fans discussing the importance of the infield fly rule.  Maybe I missed something; maybe something was never there.

I walked into the High Art Museum at about 9:30 at night and was greeted by one person in a fake moustache, then another, then another.  I was overwhelmed and confused.  Apparently this was the theme of the evening.  Moustaches, moustaches everywhere.  I had heard that at some point in the evening some men who had real moustaches were going to shave them off.  It was one of those hipster rollicking good time things that I’m sure would have really impressed me back when I had rollicking hipster intentions.

The main purpose of this whole thing was to show Emmanuel Carrere‘s surrealist film “La Moustache“. Because of this, I decided to leave my house on a Friday night for the first time since Carter was in office.  I love the film.  It is a deceptively simple story of madness and personal alienation.  A man shaves his moustache and no one believes he ever had one.  That’s really all of it.  In spite of its insane story line, it manages to come across as a remarkably realistic picture what it is like to experience genuine confusion. For some reason, I had it in my head that seeing the film in a theater would be even better.  What I didn’t really get until the lights dimmed was that seeing 2001:  A Space Odyssey in a theatre is a unique experience because you have an opportunity to see special effects that were meant for a big screen.  Seeing a yuppie French couple arguing over the husband’s bizarre personal grooming fantasies is not anymore enjoyable around a bunch of popcorn chomping film fans.  As a matter of fact, it’s pretty damned depressing.

The woman who introduced the film was some former film critic from the Atlanta Journal Constitution who really didn’t know very much about the film or the writer or the director or French cinema or how she got to the building in the first place.  She kept saying over and over that this film was “funny…really, really funny.”  This set a monumentally bad tone for the evening.  The crowd immediately settled in, ready for a French yuckfest on par with the work of Johnny Knoxville.  I have to tell you, I’ve laughed at a lot of thoroughly inappropriate things in my day, so I guess I had this evening coming to me.  I nearly got tossed out of the Phipps Plaza Theater some years back for nearly laughing myself into straightjacket for the last 15 minutes of the faux horror classic “The Devil’s Advocate”.  I spent a good portion of my younger years telling horrendously insensitive jokes about everyone from Mother Theresa to Ted Bundy.  This night was my punishment for many a sin against good taste. Hopefully, this will count as my confession and I will be absolved of further mental floggings.

I sat there for a good hour and a half with blank expression on my face.  The audience exploded with laughter over and over again at the most inopportune times.  Marc, the main character played by Vincent Lindon, wanders through the film slowly losing touch with everyone he knows and loves.  He begins to doubt the very fabric of reality, becomes a stranger in his own body and disappears into a blinding fog of regret, scorn and loneliness.  Hysterical stuff!  Marc sifts through the trash, trying to find any proof that his experience is real, that he is not living an unexplainable fantasy and that his mind isn’t decaying.  Stop it, my side is hurting!

Truth be told, this is a horrifically sad movie.  So many wander through life trying to catch up to the world, trying to understand an endless series of in jokes and references that fly by them, hoping to understand what the world means while being handed self-help books and truisms about “being yourself” and “trying your hardest”.  Our personal realities often do not mesh with the world.  Our truths are often only true in our minds.  One minute’s certainty is the next minute’s mirage.  There are nearly 7 billion of us blindly groping for a light switch in the dark only to be handed an octopus.  This is the message of The Moustache.  To take this film as a lighthearted romp is to miss a wonderfully genuine explanation of what it is like to be a human.  Or maybe I just don’t get it.

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