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Dance into the fire

Duran Duran archives
The final countdown ... to the explosion at the Eiffel Tower in Duran Duran's 1985 James Bond film theme song music video "A View to a Kill."
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OKLAHOMA CITY --  A light rain was falling as I walked over to the parking meter on Classen Blvd. Something caught my eye near my feet. It was a purple toy of some sort. It looked like an anthropomorphic, purple toy octopus.

There it is again. The octopus. I keep seeing it again and again. But why?

Well, let’s look at the top film in the world this week: the new James Bond 007 film SPECTRE.

While watching SPECTRE (albeit, not the best in the long and storied Bond film canon), particularly the opening scenes in Mexico City during Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities, I couldn’t help but think of Help!

TICKET TO RIDE

Yes, the 1965 Beatles film Help! where drummer Ringo Starr is being chased by the members of a Hindu death cult that demands the wearer of a ruby-colored ring must be sacrificed (I note this in my recent piece “The tyranny of evil men”) to Kali. Ringo had received the ring in the mail from a fan and decided to wear it. The Kali death cultists (which I connected to ISIS - thank you, Libyan Sibyl - and World War III in July 2014, here) will do anything to appease the goddess, no matter where it takes them.

The Fab Four have to seek help from Scotland Yard (syncing with British Intelligence in SPECTRE) to protect them and, at one point, are protected on the Salisbury Plain – Stonehenge in the distance – by the British military (as they perform/record “The Night Before” and “I Need You”), tanks included, because the Beatles were considered so important to the Britain and to the Crown, considering John, Paul, George and Ringo are protected at Buckingham Palace for a bit, until the Kali death cult manages to sneak in, nearly splattering Ringo with red paint and sacrificing him.

"Freemason?" (United Artists)

As I wrote in 2014: "In Devin McKinney’s fascinating 2003 book Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History, he references the Kali cultists who seek to bring violence and death to the one who ‘wears the ring’ and that the goddess of death, Kali, will not be satisfied until this happens.

‘Sacrifice, remember, is the theme,” writes McKinney. “In the course of the movie, the Beatles are driven to relinquish ever more of themselves in order to remain insulated from the madness they’ve inspired – which is now other people’s madness more than their own.”

And so the terrorists in ISIS also release a certain "madness" into the world, as I noted at the time: "ISIS-Kali is inspiring 'madness.' Look at the ISIS photos on Google images and prepare to be shocked. The world seems to be descending into madness and war and people, increasingly, are doing their best to insulate themselves from what is taking place outside their front door. Escapist technology and so forth. There's no marching in the streets against imperialism and war much anymore. By 1965-66, The Beatles were doing their best to survive, particularly as Help's Kali cultists (read:crazed fans) hunted them down." I recently noted how experts in Britain say "jihadimania" is now the new "Beatlemania." But is it a front for secret organizations seeking a "new world order," as one character suggests in SPECTRE?

As for the Beatles film, well, Help! is a silly romp around the world and a spoof of the James Bond films of the era. In fact, in Help! when the band hides out in the Austrian Alps, they stay in the snowy mountain town of Obertauern. This is within a two hours drive from Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee, where several snow-laden scenes of SPECTRE were filmed. 

In SPECTRE, a ring with an octopus on it is discovered by Bond after a thrilling chase scene through (and above) Mexico City. 

The octopus-themed SPECTRE ring. (MGM)

Jay Dyer, at JaysAnalysis.com, has an excellent overview of the “few insights into the nature of real geopolitics and espionage that only the Bond films can do.” Everything from insight on the “PROMIS Octopus software”  (that Danny Casolaro was investigating before he was killed in 1991), the total-surveillance state and the panopticon that is actually coming into  being before our eyes.

Dyer lays out the scene in Mexico City, as Bond walks – arm-in-arm with a beautiful woman – wearing a skeleton costume. He is trying to track down of a cartel underworld figure named Sciarra.

Writes Dyer of the opening scenes in Mexico City: “The scenery elicits numerous demonic elements, including devil masks, effigies, corpses, and Santa Muerte.”

Revelers during a "Day of the Dead" parade in Mexico City in the opening scenes of SPECTRE. (MGM)

Santa Muerte – “Saint Death or “Holy Death” – is the personifaction of death and is associated with healing, protection and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. Observances of Santa Muerte were not openly noted until recent times in Mexico, where Santa Muerte is revered. Devotees believe Santa Muerte can protect against assaults, accidents, gun violence and all types of violent death.”

While aboard a helicopter, fighting to the death, Bond manages to knock Sciarra out of the chopper, but before he does, he grabs the ring – a ring with an octopus on it.

Oh, and I should mention that before Help! was titled Help!, it had been given a most octopus-friendly name – Eight Arms to Hold You. (Note our  Oct. 23, 2013 Dust Devil Dreams post "Help! Jellied Edmondfish and eight (or more) arms to hold you.")

FRIDAY THE 13th

On October 30, 2015 - a night known as “Devil’s Night” in the United States – the long-lasting British pop group Duran Duran appeared on the recently-relaunched British entertainment program TFI Friday. Appearing along with “Double D” were the Eagles of Death Metal, the same band that two weeks later would be playing in the Bataclan theater in Paris during an ISIS-led terrorist attack that killed 89 people (recall the French Revolution was in 1789 and 2015-set Back to the Future Pt. 2 was released in 1989). The band is led by self-described political conservatives Jesse "The Devil" Hughes and Josh Homme. 

Curiously, the two bands collaborated on TFI Friday to perform a duet of Duran Duran’s 1982 hit “Save a Prayer,” a song which Eagles of Death Metal recorded on their new album Zipper Down. What was weird is that this collaboration, with the Eagles of Death Metal - an early 21st Century, fun-loving and establishment-approved, hard-rock band of Gen X'ers filling in for the Rolling Stones-esque "bad boys" role (their Zipper Down album cover is reminscent of the Stones' 1971 album Sticky Fingers). EODM are bringing their generation together with the Reagan/Thatcher-era "Beatles" - Duran Duran, while harkening back another 20 years to the 1960's and the actual Beatles/Stones rivalry. 

They were in Europe promoting Zipper Down and were scheduled to play the Batalcan on Friday the 13th of November. Amazingly, across town at the iconic Eiffel Tower, Duran Duran out with a new album called Paper Gods – released on September 11th, was scheduled to perform there for a 24-hour climate change webcast – 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth – hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.

However, while in the midst of the event, after Duran Duran’s performance, the terrorist attacks took place and Gore suspended the concert.

“Out of solidarity with the French people and the City of Paris,” said Gore, he said, for ending the webcast early.

Duran Duran, meanwhile, split back  for London and arrived safely, according to their Twitter feed.

“BON. SIMON Le BON”

This, of course, reminded me of 30 years ago, when Duran Duran had two hits released around the same time in that synchromystic year of 1985 – “Save a Prayer,” originally released in 1982 (on their Rio album - note prior sync), but re-released as a single in the U.S. in ’85, and their theme song for the James Bond film A View to a Kill. The song “A View to a Kill” was the only James Bond theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

So, as we had with Back to the Future – syncing 1985 and 2015 – we have James Bond AND Duran Duran, two iconic slices of British pop culture – syncing 1985 and 2015.

As for the "A View to a Kill" music video, we have the band members, including singer Simon Le Bon, acting as “spies and assassins,” scampering about the Eiffel Tower in a Godley & Crème-directed video that is a bit confusing.

Nevertheless, these scenes are interspersed with scenes from A View to a Kill featuring Roger Moore’s James Bond and various villains escaping (like Grace Jones) or meeting their demise.

All the while, according to the Duran Duran wiki page: “Simon Le Bon wanders about, using  a portable cassette player to set off a series of explosions elsewhere in the world.” (Read this somewhat amusing overview of this Paris-set Duran Duran music video here).

He ends the cheesy video by accidentally pushing a button on his "Walkman" trigger and detonating a bomb on the Eiffel Tower. Do Simon, Nick, Roger, John and Andy survive the fiery blast at the Eiffel Tower? Now the most thought about manmade structure in the world at this time and place?

The "Walkman" bomb going off at the Eiffel Tower in Duran Duran's 1985 music video "A View to a KIll."

"Dance into the fire," indeed!

Eerie, in light of 1985-set Back to the Future warning of a "terrorist attack" and 9/11, as noted in Joe Alexander's Back to the Future Predicts 9/11.

As for "Save a Prayer," I should note that the video, filmed in Sri Lanka in 1982, was beautifully shot just as that island nation was on the brink of civil war. Tensions were high. And now, in November 2015, the Eagles of Death Metal version of "Save a Prayer" is already number one on iTunes and Amazon. And social media efforts are currently underway to make "Save a Prayer" by Eagles of Death Metal number on the UK charts, with proceeds going to a charity yet to be determined.

As "Bon, Simon Le Bon" Tweeted: "“@EODMforNo1 @DuranDuran will donate all proceeds due to us, from this version. Considering options that are useful, peaceful & uniting.”

LET'S ROCK 

What this video also reminded me of was the Beatles' Help! film, where they play as if they are in a Bond film. Duran Duran's popularity was often compared to Beatlemania. And the talk of a "ring," either in Help! or in SPECTRE, brings to mind another ring - the "Owl Cave" ring of mystery and dark power in David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (again, that "fire" imagery). 

This is probably a good place to mention The Economist magazine, published in January, that featured "predictions" on the front cover. While this blogger suggests the Paris terrorist attacks were predicted, noting two arrows with "dates" on their feathers, along with other clues, the mound of dirt placed between Alice of the Lewis Carroll "Wonderland" stories and an image of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting La Belle Ferronière are there as well. That painting is currently located in the Louvre, in Paris, of course. The blogger, however, does not explain the mound of dirt, or its significance.

I suggest that "the mound" is somehow synchromystically linked to Twin Peaks, as the "Owl Cave" ring, as when the ring, linked with the Black Lodge, is found, it is placed on a mound of dirt. Dark forces are at work there, as they are now, on 2015 Earth. Or in the dark corners of the world haunted by James Bond.

In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, FBI Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) is at the Fat Trout Trailer Park in Deer Meadow, Washington. As noted at TwinPeaksGazette.com: "After investigating outside the trailer and noting that no one was home, he notices something underneath the trailer. He bends down as the camera focuses in on a mound of dirt with the Owl Cave Ring sitting atop, much like how Cooper would later find Laura’s necklace sitting on top of a dirt mound in the train car.

Desmond bends down and reaches for the ring as the shot fades out. We later learn that the agent has vanished."

Of course, when Agent Dale Cooper arrives to investigate Desmond's disappearance, written in the dirt on the missing agent's windshield is the enigmatic phrase "Let's rock."

Lynch likes the "rock." Incredibly, directed a 2011 Duran Duran concert video called UNSTAGED. And earlier this year, Duran Duran, Oklahoma City's Flaming Lips, Moby, and Sky Ferreira, among others, all performed songs from Lynch's films at an event known as the "Music of David Lynch" tribute. Lynch is tight with Simon Le Bon and the guys. Curious. 

Perhaps Simon Le Bon will be in the upcoming Twin Peaks reboot? 

Oh, and recall that in Lynch's Blue Velvet, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) tells Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) that he prefers Heineken (the official beer of SPECTRE, I should note) and Booth replies: "Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!"

Yeah. Yeah. Enjoy your brewskis while you can. It appears that we are now entering the uncharted waters we all feared. Recall in SPECTRE, if you don't go with "the program" you might find your city falling victim to a false-flag terror attack, as Cape Town, South Africa discovers.

It looks like war is most definitely on the horizon.

But Duran Duran has already been there - going to "war" against Spandau Ballet in a 1984 episode of Pop Quiz

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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