All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Blue eye

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
The nazar/evil eye talisman that fell from its string during the playing of "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – Back in 2017, an old friend suggested that I pick up the new album from Imagine Dragons, this one titled Evolve.

I was vaguely familiar with the band, having appreciated their 2013 music video for the single “On Top of the World,” which “playfully satirizes the conspiracy theories about director Stanley Kubrick’s alleged involvement in the faking of the Apollo Moon landings,” as I wrote in the review I did of Evolve on Sept. 12, 2017. That, of course, is a reference to theories swirling around Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining, picked apart in the fantastic documentary Room 237 and a film that is just never very far away from anything in my life. Note yesterday’s Dust Devil Dreams post, “On the right track (tin can),” where The Shining makes an appearance.

Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds in the 2013 video for "Top of the World." (Vevo)

Life's like that ... 

Granted, their bombastic, hip-pop and current music style vibe were not overly appealing to me, but one song, “Thunder,” did its level best to worm its way inside my brain. In fact, in mentioning the song in my review I wrote that it was a catchy, percussive tune that “the local NBA basketball team (Oklahoma City Thunder) would be foolish not to use at their games this season.

I didn’t pay much attention to the Evolve disc after my review, setting it aside with the more modern stuff I don’t listen to as much, preferring Beatles, Bowie and Booker T. & The MG’s, etc.

But, when you have young kids, these songs have a way of finding their way into your car and into the CD player (yes, I still listen to CD’s in the car!). And while the Evolve track “Believer” is particularly popular with them, “Thunder” gets its due, and as loud as possible.

As “Thunder” thunders through my car speakers, the bass up, and a nazar amulet, to ward off and protect against the “evil eye,” that has been hanging from my rearview mirror for about a year falls off the blue string that is holding it and it hits the console that controls the radio, heat and air and so forth.

The "evil eye" amulet hanging from my rearview mirror came off its string as "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons played. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

It kind of startled me, as I had been in the car the day before looking at this nazar and thinking about it. I had purchased it at a local store, having been inspired by the nazar amulets hanging from the rearview mirrors of taxis in Turkey while I was there some years back.

And all of this happened while listening to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, a band whose lead singer, Dan Reynolds, is active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). That fact is another clue for me to follow.

Well, there is something about that Las Vegas-based band that is captivating. That Room 237-inspired music video proved to me that the band members are aware. Previous hits for the quartet include “Radioactive” and “Demons.” Song titles that remind me of a certain scene in episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return.

So, this morning I thought I would check out the “Thunder” music video, having never seen it before. And needless to say, I was stunned by what I witnessed (and this video has been viewed over 1 billion times on YouTube!!)

Filmed in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and directed by Joseph Kahn, it begins – in black and white - with a typical city street scene, until colored beams come down from the sky and people are looking up.

The above image reminded me of the John Dee-inspired rainbow-monad-creature mascots Mandeville and Wenlock from the ritualistic 2012 London Summer Olympics. And I would be remiss if I did not remind readers of the fantastic UK series Requiem, which I highlighted in my June 2018 Dust Devil Dreams post "Keep looking up! (Skylights)."

The song begins and all the people are missing. The city is empty, save for the Reynolds and the three other Imagine Dragons members and three humanoid “entities” (whose arms bend back – like “Laura Palmer,” trapped in the Black Lodge) who then begin to see mindless “sheep” all around, clearly a metaphor for the people who did not believe in Reynolds’ artistic vision in the early days of his burgeoning music career.


In an analysis of “Thunder” and the music video, Quora writer John Young offers his interpretation: “Yet while the images are violent, it is a violence not literal but metaphysical. The singer is an angry young man, like a hundred million angry young men before him. Yet he claims to have been unique, and capable not only of raging against the machine, but of mastering it. How? Through his own artistry. He was, he tells us, outside the pale. Far outside.

Just how far outside was he? The video provides the answer in the form of three remarkable dancers, superhuman, vaguely demonic, who defy biology, gravity, and the conventions of anatomy. Each of these disturbing visions represents an aspect of the singer’s own persona, the impossible brought to life.”

Yes, Imagine Dragons’ singer, Dan Reynolds message in “Thunder” is that even if you are struggling in life, but you have dreams of better days and success, simply follow your dreams, cause after the lightning comes the thunder.

As Reynolds’ told his hometown paper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, regarding the song’s lyrics: “’Thunder’ is: ‘I’m so happy for a really (crappy) middle school and high school existence and getting kicked out of college. It’s reflecting on all those things and saying, ‘Good, I’m happy for all that because that brought me to this palce of being. It created angst inside of me that bred art.”

It certainly bred something ... and that could be related to his Mormon faith. I respect the Mormons and in the early 2000's took great interest in their culture - and fascinating contributions to popular culture in music and film (this was before Imagine Dragons formed in 2008). And at the same time, the Mormons have always been on the periphery of my life, going back to my earliest days living in suburban Washington, D.C. and being dazzled by the then-recently built Washington Mormon temple. I wrote about it in December 5, 2017 Dust Devil Dreams post "Utah saints (Surrender Dorothy)."

It's a bit all over the place and lengthy, but revealing after a re-read, with references to The Wizard of Oz, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, UFO sightings near the Washington Mormon Temple, Mitt Romney and much more. Note that one of the most paranormal places in North America is the Skinwalker Ranch near Vernal, Utah, a state settled and governed largely by Mormons to this very day. Keep in mind that retired U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who is reportedly dying, is a practicing LDS member and now pushing strongly for the US government to do more research into UFOs!

Back to the “Thunder” video: As the song progresses, the members of the band begin to multiply, as the “entities” dance and observe, including a couple of shots of the eerie aliens dancing inside a traditional Arabian souk, or market/bazaar, there in Dubai.

In fact, behind the aliens/entities (who have unusual eyes) are surrounded by colorful plates, Arabian daggers, and many, many souk lamps, not unlike several I purchased in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, which is the number one most visited tourist attraction in the world and the oldest shopping mall in the world, having essentially been there since the 15th century.

And this is where plenty of market stalls and souks sell nazar/evil eye amulets by the many thousands. While I did not overtly see a nazar among the many items in the Dubai souk featured in the “Thunder” video, I admit I was stunned by the cultural connection between my experience and the images in the video. Should I view it in terms of luck, good or bad? Or just “one of those things”? If you know me and read Dust Devil Dreams regularly, you’ll know there is a synchromystic angle here somewhere.

I should also note that regarding Reynolds’ rapid rise to fame and fortune, the nazar/evil eye amulet incident should also be viewed as cautionary, in a sense. At this website, under the subhed, “The Evil Eye – Just a Myth?,” it notes several celebrities not having this talisman on their person “soon enough.” As a result, disaster followed. The author writes: “(T)hose most often in the spotlight, such as celebrities, or those with success or reasons to be proud, should probably carry with them the protection of an evil eye amulet or evil eye talisman – just to be safe!” Perhaps Dan Reynolds is doing just that. We wish him continued success and new, exciting musical endeavors.

Oh, and the color of the "evil eye" is blue in the Middle East and Asia because blue eyes were uncommon, whereas in Europe, someone with "red eyes" are feared. This site notes that "(I)n Europe, the myth of the evil eye also originated with the idea that envious or malicious looks had the power to bring about bad luck. The largest source of the evil eye was believed to be witches. Yet those with eye colors which were rare were also seen as powerful possessors of the evil eye look."


Regarding Dubai, I should mention that Secret Sun writer Christopher Knowles has noted that world city’s sync significance, particularly in this post from a year ago headlined, "Dubai gets pearly for new Nephilim genesis." It's well worth a read. Our Lady - Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins - is noted in this piece. Remember, Imagine Dragons hail from ... Las Vegas, Nevada. A city that plays into this whole drama. Oh, and check out Fraser's striking blue eyes. My son thinks she looks like a female David Bowie and often says this about Our Lady. 

Wrote Knowles: "Similarly, Our Lady appeared-- looking quite adorable in a white three-piece suit, I might add-- at Royal Albert Hall to talk about Blue Bell Knoll for some completely unknown reason on July 23, the first day of Leo (or the Lion King). She's a Virgo, of course. 

This was exactly two months before the 9/23 Virgo-Leo alignment and ten weeks before Heaven turned upside down in Las Vegas. As regular readers know, the knoll of a bluebell is a death omen in Scottish witchcraft. 

In fact, bluebells are also called "Dead Man's Bells" up there."

Blue Eye is the name of a town both on the Arkansas and Missouri sides of the state line, named after a postmaster who had very blue eyes.I remember driving through Blue Eye, Mo. while traveling through the Ozarks in 1985 as part of a summer camp canoeing adventure. It always stayed with me. Interestingly, writer Kansas City, Mo.-born Stephen Hunter, whose adventure-prone fictional character Bob Lee Swagger, a Vietnam Veteran, is said to be from Blue Eye, Arkansas. But not the Blue Eye, Arkansas we know. It's supposed to be a fictionalized name for the actual city of Mena, Arkansas, a strange town with links to railroad promoter Arthur Stilwell and the former Queen of the Netherlands Wilhelmina. Very curious.

And regarding the Planet Weird docu-series Hellier, which we noted in "On the border" and "On the right track (tin can)," a member of the investigative team uses an occult method to further access information about the Hellier area, while in an old mine cave entrance. There is an emphasis on the "blue eyes" of the alien-type creatures that may be related to the so-called "Kentucky Goblins" that terrorized (allegedly) a family in Hellier, Kentucky, and may be related to the infamous 1955 Hopkinsville, Ky. "goblins" case. In fact, this story notes that during the unique August 21, 2017 "total solar eclipse," people were to "flock" to Hopkinsville on the 62nd anniversary of the Hopkinsville mystery.

Of course on that date I was on Spook Light Road, near Quapaw, Oklahoma, taking in the eclipse, as I wrote about in "Solar eclipses and spook lights," right there on the 94th parallel and to be noted in my forthcoming book The Stilwell Enigma. And I should also note that the mystical Arthur Stilwell was originally from Rochester, New York, in the "burned over district" where Joseph Smith had his encounter with the Angel Moroni and found those golden plates in 1820, leading to the global movement and religion that Imagine Dragons is linked with.  

Oh, and for those wondering what Joseph Smith looked like, this official page tells readers: "“He was a big-bodied, flaxen-haired youth, with small hands for his size, large feet, … a heavy growth of very light hair, and striking blue eyes, half hidden by long light lashes." Sounds about right.

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

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

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

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

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK