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ORANGE CRUSH ("Cameron Frye - this one's for you ...")

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OKLAHOMA CITY – On the night of June 11, 2016, my family was inside watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (synchromystically, 30 years to the day after it was released in theaters), while I was on the porch scanning some interesting websites – including – which offered an article headlined “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Conspiracy Theories & Unusual Leads.”

This particular article suggests that the 1986 John Hughes comedy classic is about a title character who doesn’t actually exist and that Ferris Bueller is actually a figment of troubled Cameron Frye’s imagination – a young man possibly with a split personality.

"On the outset, I grant you, it seems like an incredibly bizarre thought.  It does, however, make far more sense than a suggestion this crazy normally should.  If Ferris’ character was a product of Cameron’s imagination, Tyler Durden-style, it would quickly explain how Ferris is able to talk to the camera and why he had no conflict in his life; you need to technically exist before you have conflict.  When I thought about it, it did seem apt.  Ferris is the person that Cameron wishes he could be, who does all the things Cameron wishes he was strong enough to do.  It’s why Ferris’ only impetus in the film is to encourage, prod and sometimes simply shove Cameron out of his comfort zone. It's likely that Cameron has an (orange) crush on Sloane."

The author of the piece, Chris Neumer, concludes that Ferris is real and not imaginary, but before reaching that conclusion and toying with the idea of a Fight Club-esque conspiracy, he notes that three main characters - Ferris, sister Jeannie and Dean Rooney – all sing “Danke Schoen” at various points in the film. Initially, the author thought the “Danke Schoen” link was like “the presence of oranges” in The Godfather films, as a sign of impending death.

That comment about oranges caught my attention. That was because in early 2015, I wrote a piece for Dust Devil Dreams titled “Arrange the oranges.” It notes the work of Roman Polanski's Chinatown, among others. It also links back to an orange-themed 2013 post 'Stones and oranges under a rainbow." 

I noted this Godfather/orange link in the piece where I note – via the website – that “If you enter the words ‘Godfather,’ ‘oranges’ and ‘symbols’ in a search engine, you’ll find examples and discussion about this death symbolism.”

Earlier this year, actor Malcolm McDowell (linked to syncs at Dust Devil Dreams here and here) told the New York Daily News’s Keri Blakinger that the Stanley Kubrick-directed film A Clockwork Orange, released 44 years ago, reflects the rise of violence, drug use and the expansion of the prison system, as foretold via author Anthony Burgess’s dystopian vision.

Said McDowell: “I don’t see any aversion therapy, thank god, but it’s amazing how there’s so many people incarcerated in America. We are so backward in our thinking, we are so medieval.”

All people are talking about, more than a day after the deadly shootings in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida (located in Orange County) which resulted in 50 dead and over 50 injured, was by an ISIS supporter, armed with an AR-15 and a 9mm Glock, allegedly bought from a gun store in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Shockingly, the gunman - Omar Mateen - bought the guns legally, despite being on the FBI's radar. Red flags were surrounding Mateen on all sides and nothing was done.

There is also another notable Orange County - the one located in southern California and home of Anaheim and Disneyland, also known as the "Magic Kingdom," just as the other Disney resort nicknamed "Magic Kingdom" is in Orange County, Florida.

The ska-punk-pop band No Doubt, led by Gwen Stefani, named their breakthrough 1995 album Tragic Kingdom, as a cynical play on the name "Magic Kingdom," while also including a cover image of the band in an orange grove and Stefani holding a fly-ridden, rotten orange. The band presents itself as a spoiled "product." The slogan "Bought and sold out in U.S.A." can be seen on the album cover as well. Syncing with No Doubt is the ska-punk band Save Ferris. This band was formed in 1995 when Tragic Kingdom was released - in Orange County, California, of course.

In their 1997 video for "The World is New," ("new world"?), Save Ferris is shown hurtling through the air in a green house - Dorothy and Wizard of Oz-like - and at one point a jetliner is shown through the window, over the drummer's left shoulder, heading directly towards this "flying house" ...

Note the jetliner outside the window of the Save Ferris house in "The World is New" music video. 

"SAVE FERRIS" was also the slogan on the water tower in the Chicago suburb where Ferris Bueller lived and inspired the band name. Did the tower and the slogan really exist, or was it a figment of Cameron's imagination? This all brings to mind the Fight Club/9-11 conspiracies involving the Twin Towers and the World Trade Center "sphere," featured in a 1985 Miami Vice episode (noted in this Dust Devil Dreams post and an ep featuring a "bloody gun battle" and a "crescent moon"), filmed around the time Ferris Bueller's Day Off was being filmed. 

One of the key (and great) songs on Tragic Kingdom (also the title of a Red Dirt Report column about this massacre by Scott J. Hamilton), is "Sunday Morning." The events at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando took place on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016. It's just odd, considering this band and this particular album had been on my mind quite a bit prior to the events of this past, horrific Sunday morning ...


A little more than a week before the massacre, there was an online effort to highlight the widespread problem of gun violence noted with the hashtag #WearOrange, which was supported by "hundreds of thousands of Americans," including numerous celebrities, from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe (sync "Orange Crush") to actress Susan Sarandon. There is this orange link to gun violence now.

And while the color orange has been on my mind of late, so has the name "Orlando." I mention this because just a few days before the shootings, I happened to hear the 1973 hit by Tony Orlando & Dawn "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree." I've heard it dozens of times before, but on this particular occasion, it really stood out to me and I did a lot of online research on Tony Orlando & Dawn.

And when I heard about what would be the worst mass shooting in modern American history (and worst terror attack on American soil since September 11, 2001), I noted the name "Tony Orlando." And after reading Loren Coleman's Twilight Language post about the shooting (a day after Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed, also in Orlando), a commenter named Cory, the first to comment, wrote: "I keep thinking of the 70s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn. Does this tie the city of Orlando to your Red Dawn imagery? Or does nobody but us old fogies remember them?" Wow! I was thinking the same thing. 

And this morning, getting up just before dawn, to appear on the Mitchell in the Morning radio show with LGBT activist and friend Scott Hamilton, I was leafing through the local newspaper and noted an article about the Tony Awards (talking about the big winner Hamilton) and my eyes caught the sync link in the headline ... "Tony Awards dedicated to Orlando shooting victims," with "Tony" appearing on the top line, right above the name "Orlando." It was very eerie.

One thing is for certain ... there will be a lot of invoking of 9/11. And we all know Trump and Hillary won't let this latest crisis and horrific tragedy go to waste.

UPDATE (6:23 p.m. June 13, 2016): Following our ORANGE COUNTY rabbit trail, it was noted by a Facebook pal o' mine that the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen - Seddique Mateen - is a curious character. A native Afghan who is actually running for president of his native country, he has offered tepid apologies for his son's horrific massacre of 50 people and the injury of more than 50 more. He also visited Washington recently and met with several prominent congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who is from Orange County, California and represents that county as part of California's 48th congressional district.The connection would make sense considering Rohrabacher's interest in the affairs of Afghanistan. 

UPDATE: June 17, 2016 9:58 a.m.) In an eerie postscript, I just learned on The Kitchen Sync Facebook page that hockey legend Gordie Howe (Number 9) died at the age of 88. It was Cameron who wears a Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings hockey jersey throughout Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Howe died ONE day before the 30th anniversary of the premiere of that film.

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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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