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UK 9/11 Truthers get their day in court (well, kinda)
03.05.2013
08:53 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Kooks

Tags:
conspiracy theories
911


 
A couple of Mondays ago, on a cold, colorless morning at 9am sharp, I found myself in the singular predicament of joining the back of a queue of around fifteen 9/11 “Truthers” in a dismal magistrates’ court in Horsham, a small English town about an hour from London. These Truthers were mostly male, middle aged, and—I’m sorry to say—a little stinky.

Their conversation sounded something like this:

“… you believe that you’ll believe anything…”

“…Building Seven…”

“… Osama Bin Laden, don’t make me laugh…”

And the delightful…

“… other than the lizard thing—which I personally don’t have any great problem with—everything else that man has said has been spot-on…”

What was I doing there, dog tired and trying not to breathe through my nose? I was a tourist, waiting to attend what promised to be the weirdest TV license prosecution in history.

Last year, documentary filmmaker Tony Rooke decided he’d had enough of the mainstream media’s repression of what he considered the irrefutable case for the existence of a 9/11 conspiracy, and in an ingenious illustration of the old adage about using an enemy’s own weight and strength against them, had refused to pay his TV license on the grandiose grounds of Article 3, Section 15 of the UK 2000 Terrorism Act, which states that it is an offence to provide funds if there is a reasonable cause to suspect that those funds may be used for the purposes of terrorism (the TV License is a compulsory fee for all UK TV owners and pays for the BBC).

“Mr Rooke’s claim is that the BBC has withheld scientific evidence that demonstrates that the official version of 9/11 is not possible,” explained a press release circulated by the AE911Truth UK Action Group, “and that the BBC has actively attempted to discredit those people attempting to bring this evidence to the public.” As part of his defense, it added, Rooke had secured three hours to present his case, and had assembled a “formidable team” of defense witnesses, including Professor Niels Harrit (Professor of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen) and former intelligence analyst Tony Farrell. “Evidence such as this,” it concluded, “has rarely, if ever, been seen in any court of law…”

Yes, your correspondent was in Horsham not so much for a backdoor inquiry into the more controversial or contentious aspects of 9/11, as a cat-flap one. And he was very much looking forward to it!

While not exactly the toughest crowd through which to cut a dash, I am pleased to report that man-of-the-hour Tony Rooke did all the same. He was stood outside chain-smoking, with slightly floppy dark hair and a fleshy, dignified face that looked calm, thoughtful and somewhat oversensitive. As befits a defendant, he was dressed smartly, but had pulled this off rather well, something I feared would have been well beyond the reach of the other attendant Truthers, who were pointing him out to one another, murmuring in near awe that he looked “like a barrister.”

Arguably he was inspiring too much confidence. While it seemed pretty clear you would have to riffle through a fair few parallel universes before coming across a judge brazen or bananas enough to pitch the UK into an epistemological crisis over a TV license, some of the more optimistic Truthers were daring to dream, and by the time they opened the doors to Court 1 there were over a hundred cramming the narrow corridor.

This proved far too many for the tiny courtroom, which didn’t even seat thirty. Fortunately, I quickly found myself a cushy spot in the front row of folding orange leatherette chairs, but the vast majority of that large crowd was refused entry by a wiry usher with an ex-cop vibe—it was to be one in, one out at Loose Change Live.
                      
The Truthers were in uproar: I was increasingly concerned about the possibility of the court being closed or cleared. Fortunately, the usher managed to eventually shut the door on them, and when Judge Stephen Nicholls entered those seated rose to their feet with something like reverence—due I supposed to the notion it was in this man’s power to turn the tide on their thus far rather one-sided battle with the Illuminati.

Nicholls was a man in his early-to-middle sixties, with glasses and bright white hair that had receded to a widow’s peak high on his brow. After scheduling later hearings for the day’s other defendants—a pair of understandably bewildered looking bruisers facing drink driving charges—Nicholls informed Rooke (who was representing himself), that although opening statements weren’t officially allowed, he would extend “a little leeway” in this instance

So, Rooke climbed into the witness box and launched into a decent speech. His tone was steady, reasonable, and wry as he addressed Nicholls. “I have incontrovertible—and I don’t use that word lightly—evidence against the BBC. The BBC had advance knowledge of twenty minutes of the events of 9/11 and did not do anything to clarify what the source of that information was. At the preliminary hearing I asked if you were aware of WTC7. You said you had ‘heard of it.’ Over ten years after 9/11 you should have more than heard of it. It’s the BBC’s job to inform the public—especially regarding miracles of science where the laws of physics become suspended. Instead, they have made documentaries making fools of and ridiculing those of us who believe in the laws of gravity.”

It crossed my mind that Judge Nicholls probably had since looked into WTC7 (a funny idea). Now, though, he interrupted (Rooke’s speech was getting increasingly polemical and wide-ranging). “This is not an inquiry into the events of 9/11,” Nicholls declared, collecting his No-Shit-Sherlock Award 2013 with the kind of silken irony you could only hope to spin from the soul of a judge. “This is an offence under Section 363 of the Communications Act.”

The prosecutor—a youngish guy called Garth Hanniford with a blandly handsome face and a horrible off-the-rack blue suit—was then invited to cross-examine the defendant. Good old Garth. He gave the impression of a man incapable of summoning much in the way of effort or enthusiasm for anything, and had been observing the extreme novelty of the day’s events—surely the most interesting afternoon of a working life spent prosecuting TV license avoidance?—with all the attentiveness of someone watching a friend play computer games.

He now stood up and launched into what one suspected was his habitual cross-examination.

“Do you possess a television Mr Rooke?”

“Yes I do.”

“And do you possess a television license?”

“No I do not.”

“And do you watch television?”

“Sometimes.”

So… you’re happy to make use of the service but not to pay for it?”

“Well, I’ll monitor it if I have to. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. And it was only through watching the BBC that I could know that I would be committing a crime by paying for it.”

“No further questions,” mumbled Perry Mason, another day’s work already behind him.

On the wall behind the witness box, two decent sized television screens were on standby. There was something delectably Dadaist about the prospect that, any minute now, in a British court, we would presumably be watching the famous clip of the BBC newscaster informing viewers that the third building in the World Trade Center complex, WTC7, had just collapsed, while, in the background of the shot, it was still stood there—a stubborn facet of that surreal riddle (9/11) that had driven tens of thousands into the cold arms of paranoid schizophrenia. Now, as the witnesses for the defense filed in – the as-advertised all-star cast of maverick academics and former spooks—it was as if the national unconscious really was going to momentarily overwhelm the national superego.

Judge Nicholls, however, had other ideas. With an air of mild mischief, he started to tip his hand. As I understood it, his argument was that, even were he to sit through the show and at the end exclaim, “Jumping Jesus—9/11 was an inside job and the BBC are a pack of scoundrels!”—it would be beyond his jurisdiction to consequently exempt Mr Rooke from paying his license fee (let alone brand the Beeb “an organisation that supports terrorism,” or whatever). The day’s witnesses and exhibits, therefore, were superfluous.

In short, Loose Change Live was facing a major existential threat!

Judge and defendant went round in circles for a while…

“…I don’t want to incriminate myself by paying fees to an organisation complicit in terrorism. I will pay once the police establish that the BBC has nothing to do with terrorism…”

“… I do not believe that I have the power to rule under the Terrorism Act…”

“… I just want to present the evidence, that I am not allowed to do so leaves me slightly baffled…”

“…even if I accept the evidence, this court has no power to create a defense in the manner which you put forward…”

And so on. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was growing flat; the day building to a brutal anti-climax. Then, sensing the jig was up, Rooke suddenly lashed out.

“There is such a thing as morality, you know,” he declared (hell of a thing to chuck in the face of a judge). “You had me swear on a Bible, and now you’re asking me to commit a crime. If the BBC covers up a pedophile ring—keep paying. If they cover up 9/11—keep paying. Keep paying keep paying keep paying keep paying. When on earth does it stop? I’m sick of it.”

Judge Nicholls’ features darkened: there had been insolence (unanswerable insolence) in Rooke’s outburst, and the weight of the audience seemed suddenly and for the first time to press against him. He muttered he would retire to consider the evidence, stood up, and exited the court stage right with as near to a flounce as he had surely come in his entire career. Rooke had drawn a drop of blood!

When Nicholls returned to sentence him, the mood in the court received a further lift—he handed the defendant a conditional discharge of six months, ordering him to pay £200 legal fees, but not a fine, or even the outstanding license fee—it was a so-called “zero sentence.”

Rooke was passed a form to fill in.

“Can I just clarify,” he said, pausing with his pen in hand, “you’re ordering me to commit a crime?”

“I’ve given the judgement,” Nicholls responded, “I won’t be adding anything further to it now.” He raised his eyebrows. “Now do you want to fill in that form for me?”

Hearty thanks to David Kerekes

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Discussion
The Need to Feed: Lydia Lunch goes ‘Martha Stewart’ with a decadently delicious new cookbook
03.04.2013
04:07 pm

Topics:
Books
Food

Tags:
Lydia Lunch


 
No Wave underground legend, feminist icon, artist, author, actress, musician and all-around troublemaker Lydia Lunch is now the author of a cookbook, The Need to Feed: Recipes for Developing a Healthy Obsession for Deeply Satisfying Foods, a “hedonist’s guide.”

Via email Lydia answered a few questions.

Dangerous Minds: Our mutual friend, author Chris Campion, told me that you were coming out with a cookbook, and via hoighty-toighty publisher Rizzoli, even, and that seemed somewhat out of character for you. Chris assured me that you were indeed a *most fantastic gourmet chef* and that your culinary skills were a not-so-very well-kept secret. The recipes in The Need to Feed—a Lydia Lunch-esque title if ever there was one—seem to bear that out, but still, how did a cookbook by Lydia Lunch end up being published by Rizzoli? It seems like there must be a story there…

Lydia Lunch: A few bizarre coincidences led up to me pitching the idea to Rizzoli. I had written the introduction to Cesar Padilla’s book Ripped: T-Shirts from the Underground, which they had published in 2010.

I kept seeing it everywhere. Artist Martynka Wawrzyniak, R.Kern’s partner, had originally pitched the book to Rizzoli and worked on it with Cesar. I was on a rare visit to New York shortly after its publication and met with Martynka. She suggested we pitch something to Rizzoli together and was instrumental in making The Need to Feed happen.

Around the same time someone had sent me an article from the TV Guide, in which Michelle Forbes claimed I was the inspiration for her character in True Blood. A witchy vixen who throws orgiastic bacchanals full of food laced with intoxicants in order to celebrate the resultant pandemonium. This inspired me to pen The Need to Feed.

Martynka is Vegan, loves food and to cook, shares my political disgust with the US Food industry and is a brilliant artist in her own right. Acting as editor and co-conspirator, she was able to push forward my politics, sass and vitriol, not the typical fare of a book that deals with food.

DM: And so now you are the proud author of a cookbook.

Lydia Lunch:I wrote the recipes with Marcy Blaustein, a friend of many years who left the thankless confines of the music industry to concentrate on catering in Hollywood, because as she once said “Everyone loves you when you feed them.” She’s just opened her first restaurant in Los Angeles called Eat This on Santa Monica and Hudson.

DM: Since I’ve never been invited to one, what are your dinner parties like? And what is the secret ingredient for a perfect Lydia Lunch dinner party?

Lydia Lunch: A great mix of people, enough time to enjoy the evening (long Sunday afternoons are actually best). Easy, spicy, tasty finger foods, great music, stimulating conversation…A relaxed atmosphere where people leave full of LIFE.

I asked Lydia if there was just one dish that was her favorite from The Need to Feed and she said it would be her jerk chicken marinade recipe:


I Said Jerk That Chicken!

If it’s hot…no doubt I’m going to want to stick it in my mouth. Just the way I am. I love any food that makes me break a sweat. Slowly savoring the healing heat as it penetrates every cell, kick starting the nerve endings and revitalizing the synapses as they gush with endorphins. Gooey good fun! Jamaican jerk marinades are magic to the mouth. The combination of heat, sweet and pungency create a powerful tangy rush of oral delight! Jerk is exotic, deeply penetrating, incredibly satisfying and yet highly addictive goodness. Gotta love it.

1-tablespoon ground allspice
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

6 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced

2 small yellow onions diced
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1 inch of fresh ginger minced
2 - 3 Scotch Bonnet chili peppers deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup olive oil


METHOD:

Toast the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a dry pan on low heat for 1 minute. Transfer to a blender adding cayenne, black pepper, thyme, scallions, onions, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, brown sugar, orange juice and lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil. STAND BACK! And blend. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Use as marinade for chicken, turkey, pork or vegetables. Lather both sides of meat in jerk sauce and marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge. Reserve the rest of the marinade for dipping. Grill, broil or bake. Use to brush on vegetables before grilling. Serve with rice and Mango Salsa.
        

Mango Salsa:

2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 mango, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro minced
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients and allow to marinate and to chill for 1 hour.

*Word of warning: Wear plastic gloves when handling hot chili peppers. Especially Scotch Bonnet…you touch yourself and the neighbors will hear you scream. You touch someone else, they will be calling the police.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Andy Warhol’s Index: A Pop Art, pop-up children’s book for druggy hipsters, 1967
02.26.2013
08:39 am

Topics:
Art
Books

Tags:
Andy Warhol
Velvet Underground


 
Andy Warhol’s Index, the Pope of Pop’s mass-produced 1967 pop-up book has been described as a “children’s book for hipsters.” It’s an item seldom encountered these days outside of auction houses, or high end book dealers, but on occasion the item does, er, pop-up on eBay for a decent price. You can usually find several expensive copies on ABEbooks.com.

The prices can vary quite a bit: there’s a hardback version with a plastic lenticular cover vs a foil-printed paperback, and copies signed by Warhol, obviously, have quite a premium on them. The other factor in how dealers price the book, however, tends to be about how complete it is. Random House probably didn’t published too many of these to begin with, and obviously they were hand-made to a certain extent. Many of the goodies that were originally part of the package tend to have gotten lost over the decades, so a complete edition is difficult to come by and often very expensive (I’ve owned two copies of this myself, an incomplete hardback copy that I lost in a girlfriend “divorce” and the pristine, complete paperback I found for a shockingly low price at The Strand’s rare book room about fifteen years ago that’s sitting on a shelf behind me as I type this).

Whenever someone over to the house expresses an interest in my book collection, Andy Warhol’s Index is one of the first things I pull out. As you can see from this video below, it’s a pretty impressive item, with pop-up planes, accordions, Campbell’s soup cans, Edie, Lou, Nico, things you’re supposed to dunk into water, even a pop-up paper castle meant to stand-in for the infamous dwelling where visiting rock bands stayed when they were in Los Angeles in the 60s.

Contributors besides Warhol were David Paul, Stephen Shore, Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein, Paul Morissey, Ondine, Nico, Christopher Cerf, Alan Rinzler, Gerald Harrison and Akihito Shirakawa.
 

 
The flexi disc of a 1966 Factory “Conversation” (Nico, Lou, Andy, John Cale and others talking about a mock-up of the book itself) is almost never found still in the binding. Listen below:
 

 

 
The tear-off sheet to the right of Henry Geldzahler, the influential curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, above, was supposed to be dunked into a glass of water. Rumors were that it was blotter acid, but I think instead (I’ve never tried it) you got Warhol’s signature in invisible ink or it expanded like a sponge.
 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Rock’n'roll as spontaneous Paganism: Mick Farren on Nick Cave, Elvis and the Devil
02.22.2013
06:29 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Nick Cave
Mick Farren


 
Guest post by the great Mick Farren—an exclusive extract from his contribution to Mark Goodall’s Gathering of the Tribe: Music and Heavy Conscious Creation, a collection of essays on music and the occult, featuring contributions on The Fall, The Beatles, The Wu Tang Clan and more. Now available in paperback for the special price of $20.77.

Even the most cursory theological (or even Reichian) shakedown will reveal that rock’n’roll has quantum multiples of the potential mythic/mystic power ever commanded by conventional Satanism. Where so much of contemporary Satanism—with its upside down crosses, modified but still liturgical robes and rituals, its ammended litanies, the serving of a faux-Eucharist from the naked torso of an immobilized cooch dancer on bad acid (shout out, hey, Susan Atkins!)—reveals it as nothing nothing more than an inverted critique of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. (Much in the way that Marxism was essentially a critique of Victorian capitalism rather than a stand alone philosophy.)

Rock’n’roll, on the other hand, arrived on its own mythical half-shell and right away went about its own anarchic rites and wild communions. Jim Morrison, although decidedly from the death-star dark-side, and a fully accredited Agent of Chaos knew he didn’t need any contracts with Beelzebub. He was the Lizard King. He could do anything. The only deal he’d cut would be with Dionysius. John Lennon had stood in the power-eye of the rock’n’roll hurricane and knew what he was talking about when he made his famous “the Beatles are bigger than Jesus” remark.(That is, oddly, rarely quoted in full.)

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock’n’roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.

A full decade before Lennon and Morrison, however, some of the preachers who railed against rock’n’roll showed an awareness this brand new back-beat-from-the-pit might not be an instrument of Satan at all but a whole new independent threat to the god-fearing. In April of 1956. Lutheran minister W. Carter Merbreier attended an Elvis Presley show in Philadelphia where he observed “nervous, giggling girls screaming, falling to their knees as if in prayer, flopping limply over seats, stretching rigidly, wriggling in a supreme effort of ecstasy.” A few months later Des Moines Baptist, the Rev. Carl Elgena, warned his congregation that “Elvis Presley is morally insane and leading other young people to the same end. The belief of unholy pleasure has sent the morals of our nation down to rock bottom and the crowning addition to this day’s corruption is Elvis Presleyism.”

The concept “Elvis Presleyism” brings us to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ album The Firstborn is Dead. In the opening song, “Tupelo”—a radical reworking of a John Lee Hooker classic—Cave makes the vividly dramatic suggestion that the birth of Elvis Presley, coupled with the death of stillborn twin, Jesse Garon, was the product of a supernatural, of not apocalyptic, event horizon.

The black rain come down
Water water everywhere
Where no bird can fly no fish can swim
Where no bird can fly no fish can swim
No fish can swim
Til The King is born in Tupelo!

Cave wrote ‘Tupelo’ in 1984, seven years after Presley’s death, when it was plain that many of Elvis Presley’s more obsessive fans maintained a personal relationship with their idol that was wholly akin to born-again Christians professing to have an exclusive one-on-one with Jesus. When the Reverends Merbreier and Elgena hinted, way back in 1956, that Elvis might be the dangerous pied piper of some form of neo-paganism, they had the protection of the pulpit. For a lay person to explore such a concept would have been to court accusations of being certifiably crazy or worse. Who in their right mind could seriously suggest that the Son of Gladys might be—in addition to all his other accomplishments—a 20th century fertility symbol inately desired by a frightened world, maybe even before the mushroom clouds had fully dissipated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Humanity had developed the chain-reaction capacity for global-scale species-destruction, but had failed to evolve a philosophy to handle such hideous and overwhelming power. Couple that with plans for cookie-cutter totalitarian capitalism in one hemisphere with mirror-image Marxist repression in the other, plus new and tricky concepts like consumer uniformity and the pharmaceutical-brainwash tyranny of the psycho-civilized society (a major favorite of Sidney Gottlieb and the gang at MKULTRA), and a great many people—especially young people—wondered if they’d be better off back in the jungle for some animalism among the Old Gods.

Could the Elvis, the hillbilly cat, also be a Avalon mist-figure from an Arthurian Lord-of-the-Dance saga, or the myths of wounded Fisher Kings that stretched clear back to the megaliths of prehistory — and were so seriously and ironically invoked when Constantine and St. Augustine were mixing up Jesus Christ with Mithras to create the official deity of the Roman War Machine? Elvis the Fertility God may have also found himself cross fertilized by the horned and phallic, dark Legba divinities of Dahomey with their human sacrifices and Amazon girl soldiers, but, hell, isn’t that the just story of rock’n’roll?

If the pop culture of the mid-20th century was indeed a neo-pagan theocracy on the half shell, Marilyn Monroe could well have been drafted in as goddess-consort—although that might well cause a measure of temporal confusion that perhaps Jack Kennedy was the true Boy King from Camelot who actually took the hit. This would leave Elvis—who, by 1963, had been shorn and symbolically grunt-castrated as a conscript in what had formerly been George Patton’s Second Armored Division (Hell On Wheels)—as a much more esoteric entity.

But did anyone promise theology would be fast? Religions do not coagulate overnight. Christianity has had two full millenia on the game, plenty of time to work out its tortures, terrors, inquisitions, witchhunts, and multiple varieties of auto-da-fé. Rock—should it really prove to be a pagan belief system, or, more likely, a suspension of disbelief—has only been rolling for a tad over half a century, and, although it has exerted a profound effect on the culture of the times, its behaviour has been remarkably benign. It has provoked a number of peaceful mass gatherings, a few riots, only a very modest number of actual death cults, and made something of a junkie mess of the war in Vietnam.

Rock’n’roll has yet to pull any kind shit that stacks up against the Crusades or the Malleus Maleficarum. Although the second decade of the 21st century is hardly a halcyon time for paganism of any kind, and Evangelical Christianity—in the USA at least—is being allowed to get away with wholly unreasonable acts of fundamental stupidity. Route 66 runs now through a cruelly synched Bible Belt, and bands I don’t even care to name sell holy relics of what was once truly sacred. Perhaps some minor reformation might be about due, although the time is hardly ripe for burning corporate rock bands or even Simon Cowell in the cathedral square. At best we might reflect on Nick Cave and his speculations on what wonders might have attended the birth of Elvis Presley on January 8th, 1935, and wonder where they may take us.

In a clap-board shack with a roof of tin
Where the rain came down and leaked within
A young mother frozen on a concrete floor
With a bottle and a box and a cradle of straw

And Robert Johnson? Well hell, maybe he was taking about a wholly different devil.

The King will walk on Tupelo!
Tupelo-o-o! O Tupelo!
He carried the burden outa Tupelo!
Tupelo-o-o! Hey Tupelo! [Repeat]
You will reap just what you sow

Mick Farren

Previously on Dangerous Minds: Punk Esotericism: The Occult Roots of the Wu Tang Clan
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Discussion
Lego my video: Tim Pope reacts to seeing one of his videos for The Cure recreated in Lego
02.19.2013
10:07 am

Topics:
Animation
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
The Cure
Tim Pope


 
This is a guest post from renowned director Tim Pope.

OK, I admit it: I am the one that chucked The Cure over a cliff in a wardrobe.

The main part of the video was committed to celluloid in a large, wet floored hanger in London—in fact one of the largest spaces I can remember ever filming in. Weird, given the fact that we were literally doing the claustrophobia of the cupboard’s interior.

The exterior bit was filmed at Beachy Head, a beauty spot in the UK’s west Sussex, where the snowy white rocks fall away to the ocean, 162 metres below. A frocked priest even drives this stretch of coastline in a Landrover vehicle to talk people out of committing suicide here, for which it has become synonymous, and there are on average sadly over three attempts a week.

Little did I know that I was shooting something I would be talking about thirty years later. To me, this was just another in a string of videos I made for the group. All in all, I probably did 37 Cure videos. I say “probably” because I honestly don’t know—let’s just leave that to the experts. Ask the average Goth in the street “how many videos did Tim Pope shoot for The Cure?’ and he or she will tell you, with precise dates, the meaning of the video and most of all about what haircut Robert sported that day. See, these videos seem to ‘run deep’ with people, indeed. I often, still to this day, get people contacting me to ask if their university thesis might be about our videos. I of course made, and do make, videos for many other artists, of which I am exceedingly proud: Neil Young, Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The The, Talk Talk, Paul Weller. More recently, Fatboy Slim, Amanda Palmer, The Kaiser Chiefs, others. But still it is generally The Cure ones that people want to come back to, especially as the fans seem particularly fervent and loyal.

Often on a cab ride, when it comes in the conversation to the part about what your job is, I will portray myself as a plumber, or private detective, or fireman. Anything, but to talk about ‘that’ video. However hard I try, though, it always seems to come back to: “Oh, you did the wardrobe video! I love that video! It’s my favorite from the eighties!” I guess it’s going to be etched on my gravestone: “Tim Pope. Yeah, he did the wardrobe video.” Still, mustn’t grumble, eh? Like they say, “better to be remembered for something.” There were others that (amongst the guesstimated canon of 37) have gone in deep to people’s psyches, seemingly penetrating their inner beings like syrup tentacles. “Lovecats” for The Cure saw Robert dance in circles about a room, talking about “cagey tigers,” while he sent the audience giddy with his cat-like choreography—oh, and I punched him on the nose with a stuffed cat.

“Love Song” saw him and band—Simon, Porl, Boris, Roger—in a cave of penises; shocking even to me when I saw the film back in the harsh light of the editing suite: “Oh God, I’ve gone too far this time!” “Inbetween Days”, where I placed the (very expensive) camera in a shopping basket attached to a piece of rope, so we could give the effect of Robert chucking the camera away, and then catching it again. “Lullaby”—and here we come to the point of why I am writing this now—where Robert (to quote the lyric) “feels like” he’s “being eaten by a thousand million shivering furry holes” (One of the best lines of any pop song, ever, surely?). What was I to do with the video?

Famously, Robert was shocked to see my interpretation of a spider’s mouth—go check the video for yourself and tell me if you think what ‘eats’ him resembles any part of the female anatomy. In other parts of the video, where he is bed-bound, he spent a day inside a spiderweb made from glue like candy floss and doubtless had colorful, solvent-based dreams that night. The byproduct of the glue was that it pulled out half of his hair when he tried to remove it from his face. Which, when you are a RS, is, I guess, bad news—bad news if you are anyone, really.

These videos are all part of my misspent youth—the equivalence of the “naughty things” others got up to behind bicycle sheds. Mine just happened to be a little more, erm, public. I am used to seeing piss-takes, versions, ripoffs, of my work with The Cure, but I was particularly taken with the intriguing version of “Lullaby” in, wait for it, Lego.

Yes, like most people, I have built many a building or airplane from this iconic stuff, but never a video. See it here on Dangerous Minds for the first time. Part of me wants to know why someone would go to all this trouble? To replicate an entire video, frame by frame, cut by cut, shot by shot—wow! My congratulations to the person who made it, credited on the end title card as “Lucas Tuzar.” Lucas says something, in further words, about it being “for Nicola Tuzar’s birthday” and a few others “all of them are big The Cure fans”. I don’t know if he means “big” in terms of their physical size, or he is referencing their passion for the group. Probably the latter, I would guess.

So, there you have it: one of my videos now made in Lego. Thank you, Lucas!

You can see more of my videos at my website www.timpope.tv, or you can get my Twitter feed @timpopedirector.

Below, the original Tim Pope-directed “Lullaby” from 1989:
 


 
The Lego remake:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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