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Look out! Look out!

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"Pink elephants on parade..."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week, while meeting family for dinner at EMPIRE Slice House pizza joint in the Plaza District, I was struck by the statue of a pink elephant greeting me as I walked in the door.

A pink elephant?

I had been on EMPIRE’s property before but never properly inside to enjoy their craft pies.

EMPIRE has a pop-culture theme, with music, movie and more posters glued to the walls. In fact, in the men’s restroom, the eyes of Fine Young Cannibals’ Roland Gift are blacked out, no doubt by some prankster. Gift’s soulless eyes stare at your crotch.

And outside, like a sentinel, is Ellie, the pink elephant.

And yesterday, Ellie the Pink Elephant, was  in the news. Proving to be too irresistible to some hipster thieves with a pickup, Ellie was tossed in the truck bed and carted off, only to be returned the following day.

And elephants have been coming up a lot, as of late. A recent visit to the elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo (where Tusko was killed with a huge dose of LSD by Dr. Louis Jolyon “Jolly” West in 1962 – we wrote about it here)

But the idea of pink elephants. Where did it come from?

Apparently, 101 years ago, writer Jack London, in his autobiographical novel John Barleycorn, writes how he struggles with alcohol and in alcoholic ecstasy sees “blue mice and pink elephants.”

Of course Disney’s 1941 animated film Dumbo, about a good-natured elephant with freakishly-large ears, drinks water spiked with champagne and quickly gets drunk, leading to the acid-trip-like sequence “Pink Elephants on Parade.”

Yes, this sequence, where Dumbo sees “pink elephants,” includes an interesting portion where pyramids and Middle Eastern themes prevail, along with outer-space references and some pre-psychedelic animated imagery – remember, this was 1941, the year the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!

I can stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms is really too much for me

The Middle Eastern/pyraminds portion of "Pink Elephants" struck me, primarily because it feels like we've crossed over into a crazy, psychedelic netherworld in the Arab world in regards to the almost-cartoonishly awful violence caused by ISIS and their cohorts. Seeing a horned president on TV last night spinning tales of more imperial (EMPIRE) war and the ISIS (or is that ISIL?) cancer ... and this, as fellow sync blogger Loren Coleman writes of "Tridents, Pitchforks & Satan in the news." There is most certainly something diabolical afoot ...

"Look out! Look out! ..."

Jazz composer and “cosmic philosopher” Sun Ra and his band the Arkestra, recorded a version of “Pink Elephants on Parade.” Of course, Sun Ra long said that sometime in the 1930’s, he was enveloped in a light and transported to Saturn where beings there told him to drop out of college and make music because “the world was going into complete chaos … I would speak through (music), and the world would listen.” This was long before the era of flying saucers and "contactees." 

And as I write these words, the world is going into complete chaos. It doesn’t take denizens on distant Saturn to convince us of that. 

And while we are on the subject of Saturn, I find it interesting that it has been in the news a lot, as of late. The ringed planet's influence looms large, here on Earth. Note this particularly interesting news brief: "Saturn's Six-Sided Mysteries."

And then there is the issue of Back to the Future and Cronus (Saturn - the god of time) and how that film is a lot deeper than we ever knew.

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

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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