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

Southern waters

Universal Pictures
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – It was sometime in the mid-1990’s in western Michigan. An uncle of mine had purchased a used 1974 Audi from a friend who had been living in Chicago. With the Illinois license plates expired, my uncle naturally registered the car there in Michigan and threw the old, expired Illinois plates in the back seat.

Keeping the car parked near a river, I suddenly had a Jaws-inspired idea. In that 1975 film, a Louisiana license plate  (007 o 981) is pulled out of the carcass of a tiger shark by Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Officer Martin Brody (Roy Scheider). It is noted by Hooper that the shark probably came up to New England (where Jaws takes place) via the Gulf Stream, “from southern waters” after someone back in Louisiana probably threw it in a river.

It is here that I should note that the first three numbers – 007 – are an obvious reference to James Bond. It was in 1972 that director Guy Hamilton was in Louisiana bayou country filming the Bond film Live and Let Die, arguably the best of the 1970’s-era Bond films, and one with occult overtones and featuring, arguably, the best Paul McCartney and Wings song ever – the film’s bombastic title track. I later discovered a 2013 post at that noted how Jaws director Steven Spielberg desired to film a Bond movie. As you may recall, towards the end of Live and Let Die, while in Kananga's lair, Bond (Roger Moore) and Solitaire (Jane Seymour) are lowered into a shark tank, bu they escape and Bond gets a shark-gun pellet in Kananga's mouth, causing him to float to the top of the cave and explode, not unlike what happens to the shark at the end of Jaws.

Syncing with all of this is the fact that in celebration of 40 years of Saturday Night Live, Bill Murray reprised his role as lounge singer Nick Ocean and sings the non-existent song lyrics to Jaws, as scenes of Quint's boat being destroyed by the infamous shark play behind him - as first seen 40 years ago in theaters. What is curious, is that Nick Ocean's made-up lyrics sync with my "Back to the egg" post last year (also noted in a recent Dust Devil Dreams post) about me singing lyrics to a song called "Back to the Egg" - a reference to the 1979 Paul McCartney and Wings album of the same name - that doesn't exist. And yet in the dream I knew all the words. Incidentally, McCartney (or whoever the hell he is) appeared on this SNL 40th gig, performing (ironically enough) "I've Just Seen a Face" and "Maybe I'm Amazed." 

So, some 20 years after Jaws premiered, I stood on a dock on this small river feeding into Lake Michigan and threw the Illinois license plate into the dark water. No sharks, obviously, but who knows … maybe it will show up again, somewhere far away. It had happened before, for me. In August 1983, while on a ferry boat ride from Charlevoix, Michigan to Beaver Island on Lake Michigan, I threw a plastic Coca-Cola bottle overboard with a note – my name and address written on it – and incredibly, I received a reply from a Native American boy who found my “message in a bottle” near the community of Cross Village.

Back to the Louisiana license plate in Jaws … the last two digits – 981 – strike me as a reference to the month of September and the year 1981 – six years in the future, obviously, from 1975.

On September 1, 1981 (09/01/81), the Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, Albert Speer, died while on a trip to London (three days before singer Beyonce Knowles was born). Speer, of course, was in Hitler’s inner circle and was thought to be a possible successor to the Fuhrer. Speer had his rivals within the Nazi Party and Hitler had a certain devotion to the man who was later put on trial at Nuremburg and found guilty of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity for his role with the Nazis. He would serve 20 years in Spandau Prison in West Berlin.

What is synchromystically interesting for me is that in my last Dust Devil Dreams post, “Astral Plane Crash,” I note the significance (for me) of the Machines of Loving Grace song “Perfect Tan (Bikini Atoll).” The significance of the hydrogen bomb test on that Marshall Islands atoll that was the largest in American history and had a devastating impact on people and the environment. The other song that caught my attention was “Albert Speer.”

In this dark and ominous song from the 1993 album Concentration, the Arizona band is apparently focusing on the dark side of America and its fascist tendencies and embrace of “debauchery” while “smiling perfect through innocent teeth.”

Speer claimed he knew nothing of the death camps. But it was later revealed that Speer was present in October 1943 when Himmler announced “all Jews would be killed.” And yet in the book Will the Real Albert Speer Please Stand Up?, author Geetanjali Mukherjee writes in a section titled "The Jewish Question: How Much Did He Know?" Speer allegedly tells a chronicler of Reich activities that information suggesting he knew about Jews being deported or put in concentration camps "cease to exist." An interesting phrase in that the doomed Dennis Wilson, singer/drummer of The Beach Boys, reworked Charles Manson's song "Cease to Exist" and called it "Never Learn Not to Love" - a song Machines of Loving Grace's Scott Benzel covered with his old band and incorporates into his current video art project, as seen here at Note the final Benzel video, incorporating Heaven's Gate's cult leader Marshall Applewhite talking of the "evolutionary level beyond human." The title? "Heaven's 1 and 3 Gates."

Synchromystically, Christopher Knowles, at The Secret Sun has been talking about Heaven's Gate as of late, as noted here at "Stargates and Solar Temples, Part Two: Galaxy Gate." Some interesting and chilling information.

Singer Scott Benzel sneers/sings on “Albert Speer”: “Sleep warmly under columns of light / sleep with the fishes tonight.” One suspects that Benzel was also watching the best film of all time – The Godfather.

That line, “sleeps with the fishes,” as used in The Godfather, indicates someone is dead. And as immigrants from Sicily, the Mafia figures in that film found a new life … and power in the “land of the free” – or as Benzel and Machines of Loving Grace note: “Get em up get em down on their knees / All praise to Allah / Who provides what we need / A Swiss precision suicide machine / Jesus Christ / Soul on ice / Sleep with the motherfucking fishes tonight.”

The band, when asked who Albert Speer was, wrote this about Speer's "devotion" to Hitler, saying: "Speer was apparently a frustrated romantic whose reciprocated love for Hitler, a sublimated, nonsexual, but homoerotic devotion, blinded him tot he dark realities which he chose not to see, hear or believe." Here, from the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive is Albert Speer testifying at the Nuremburg Trials

Which brings us back to Steven Spielberg. It was also in late 1993 that Spielberg’s film about the Holocaust, Schindler’s List, was released. Speer would claim he knew nothing of the events that are portrayed in Spielberg’s Schindler’s ListAnd that was in 1993 – 50 years after Speer admitted (in 1943) to being aware of the Nazi atrocities against the Jews and the Holocaust.

Rewind a bit to Jaws and Quint's monologue about the Japanese submarine that torpedoed the U.S.S. Indianapolis in the Pacific, after it delivered the atomic bomb to the base at Tinian, in the Northern Marianas (where the Enola Gay was based) that would be used to destroy Hiroshima, Japan. Hundreds of sailors - those that survivied the initial torpedoing, found themselves in shark-infested waters. It's a harrowing story, and because the atomic bomb mission was top secret, no one looked for them for a week. 

The name "Indianapolis" syncs with Indiana, the state Richard Dreyfuss's "lineman" character Roy Neary lives in when he has a close encounter with a UFO in Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Dreyfuss's pal in Jaws, Roy Scheider, has his own "close encounters" as Dr. Heywood Floyd in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Both "encounters" for both characters are viewed as positive and enlightening.

My interest in the "mystique" of Louisiana (here we are a day or so before Mardi Gras) - via 1970's and early 80's movies and television (from Live and Let Die to Savage Bees and later to the Dave Robicheaux story-turned-film Heaven's Prisoners, starring 2001 aficionado Alec Baldwin - and to me, where my old cartoon strip Kimball Parish, based in Louisiana, was named after "Kimball," one of the hibernating astronauts aboard the U.S.S. Discovery in 2001) - helped me work for a few years in a fascinating-yet-frustrating enviornment. I was able to present stories about everything from Bigfoot to UFOs on the pages of a Gannett-owned newspaper, for a little while, anyway.

It is through sync that many positive and enlightening experiences are shared. 

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