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Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Syncing "Donnie Darko" (note the teacher holding a copy of "Watership Down" as I read the bunny-syncing book "The KLF ..."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – As I drove from the radio station down I-235 this morning, I heard the opening chords to “The Killing Moon” by Echo & The Bunnymen. I could see the hazy sun rising higher in this sky this late October morning, but no moon.

… until tonight. My children eagerly pointed out the waxing crescent moon.

The past week I kept hearing 80's New Wave songs that were featured int he 2001 Donnie Darko.  "Under the Milky Way" by The Church. "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears, "Mad World" by Tears for Fears (remade for the film by Gary Jules), "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division ... it was as if hearing these songs was preparing me for something. And when I heard "The Killing Moon" this morning, I felt a wave of acknowledgement ...

While re-watching Donnie Darko (The Director’s Cut) tonight (something I like to do every October), I was listening to the segment of the film where Drew Barrymore’s character teaches Graham Greene’s The Destructors to her class. Soon afterward, a water main is busted at the school, just like in The Destructors. Out of destruction – creation.

Which prompted me to pick a book up off of the shelf – one I had bought a few months back and had not yet gotten to – The KLF: Chaos, Magic & The Band Who Burned a Million Pounds by Ben Goldacre.

It was the idea of burning a 1 million pounds that really got me. Why did they do it? It seemed like something director Richard Kelly was trying to get across in Donnie Darko.

I remembered The KLF from the late 80’s and early 90’s, during their heyday. There was an air of mystery about them, as I recalled. Anyway, I’m reading the book and one of the members was key in the forming of the aforementioned Echo & The Bunnymen in Liverpool – a city that Carl Jung allegedly dreamt about (in a spot not far from the future Cavern  Club – where the Beatles really got started) and how Bill Drummond (who managed the Bunnymen) felt a certain power in “Pictures on My Wall” single sleeve (a song I mentioned in reference to the show The Americans) and the very sinister looking “Echo” bunny face made up on the trees on the cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s album Crocodiles, an album I thought about just yesterday, while watching The Happiest Millionaire – where a millionaire keeps alligators in his fine home (rather than crocodiles).

The ears of the bunny. Drummond could not talk about the trickster bunny Echo, just as Donnie can't fully allow himself to talk about the six-foot tall bunny Frank. The one haunting his dreams. Bunny rabbits play a major role in both Donnie Darko and The KLF book. The reference to Watership Down is also worth noting, in regards to the film.

This book then takes me into recently-tread territory of Discordianism and the life of Kerry Thornley and the synchronistic and “fantastic” coincidences surrounding Thornley, Jim Garrison and the assassination of John F. Kennedy – something I’ve discussed in my recent Adam Gorightly book reviews.

And so listening to “The Killing Moon” this morning on the radio and hearing it on Donnie Darko (it is featured in the opening of the film in the original – replaced by “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS in the Director’s Cut – while “The Killing Moon” later appears in the Halloween party scene towards the end of the film, to great effect as Ian McCulloch sings “fate, up against your will” – which I referenced in a piece a while back regarding the tragic death of Peaches Geldof and her connection to INXS’s late singer Michael Hutchence.

Again, all these ideas and thoughts and connections are swirling around me, not unlike the cyclonic clouds that provide the time tunnels in Donnie Darko – that subtle scene midway in the film where a jet airliner flies overhead as the school kids wait for the bus – this, just a month or so after 9/11. In fact, just as I wrote in my recent piece “Just say no,” where I talk about today’s date – October 27, 2001 – Donnie Darko, synchromystically enough!, came out in the United States on October 28, 2001! October 28, 2014 is just 23 minutes from now – as I type this. Thirteen years have passed ... lucky for us ...

And 23, in the world of Robert Anton Wilson and Discordianism and in sync studies plays a major role! I see that number all the time. And reading The KLF book, while watching Donnie Darko had somewhat the same effect as listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz. It was utterly shocking. I still have chills and only got through a third of the book whilst watching this cinematic classic.

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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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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

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