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"Superman, where are you now?"

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Thirty years ago, the prog-rock band Genesis (which had morphed into pop-rock in the 1980’s under the brilliant leadership of musical genius Phil Collins) had just finished recording their biggest album yet – Invisible Touch – an album which sold six million copies in the United States alone and spawned five top five singles, including my favorite, “Land of Confusion.”

And perhaps because this is the 30th anniversary of the release of Invisible Touch that I have been playing it a lot in the car recently. And “Land of Confusion” – a song that resonates as much today as it did in 1986 – is by far my favorite track. (I mention it in another Dust Devil Dreams piece "Been haunted by a million screams").

So, driving along the other day I was thinking back to the brilliant video (which lost to former Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” for best music video that year) for “Land of Confusion,” which was created by the folks behind the British puppetry show Spitting Image, which was known for caricatured celebrities. And in the “Land of Confusion” video, the caricatures are everywhere, from star Ronald Reagan to all of the Genesis band members to politicians (Margaret Thatcher) to dictators like Muammar al-Gaddafi and Italian fascist Benito Mussolini! (whose name  - here in 2016, folks - has been coming up a lot in relation to Donald Trump as well as Gaddafi’s name in relation to Hillary Clinton, whose destructive actions as U.S. Secretary of State led to Libya becoming a completely failed state).

Yes, 1986 is reflecting 2016 and vice-versa. So, the scene in the “Land of Confusion” video that caught my attention the most was during the bridge where Collins (who is expected to make a big comeback this year), sings: “I won’t be coming home tonight / My generation will put it right / We’re not just making promises / That we know, we’ll never keep.”

It is during this scene where Collins is answering a telephone that had morphed from a bone (2001: A Space Odyssey-style) as Prince puts ketchup and mustard on his long tongue and wraps his own tongue in a bun and begins to eat it – as if he is eating his own words!


This is coming a day after Prince’s rather unexpected death from what some are saying was a “weird flu.” The sensational suggests that Prince may have been killed by the “chemtrail flu,” since Prince and Merle Haggard (who recently passed away) both had been rather outspoken on the controversial subject of chemtrails.

As Prince said on the Tavis Smiley TV program: “When I was a kid, I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and thought, ‘That’s cool.’ A just went over. But then you started to see a whole bunch of them. And then the next thing you know everyone is fighting and arguing and you didn’t know why.” 

Weird flu? The character James Cole (Bruce Willis) talks about a "weird flu" spreading rapidly around the world in 12 Monkeys (1995). That is before it is discovered to be the deadly virus - a pandemic which kills billions. I thought of this just last week where two stories, side-by-side sync with 12 Monkeys, talking about the Zika virus and another about a Chinese boy who fell in a well. Rewatch 12 Monkeys and you'll see what I mean.

So, after learning about Prince's death, I was thinking about songs of his I had enjoyed, including the Prince-penned Bangles song "Manic Monday," which happened to reach its highest spot this week 30 years ago at number two - right behind Prince & The Revolution's "KIss." 

Watching the video, there is a scene early on showing a vehicle traveling through a tunnel. The light and the shape of the light against the tunnel gives it the appearance of a nuclear explosion.

And at the end of the video there is a wall calendar showing the date - April 21, 1986, exactly 30 years ago to the day prior to Prince's death at his home in Minnesota. 

And while April 1986 was a busy month news-wise (not our Dust Devil Dreams piece syncing Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the USSR), it was the same month and year (April 15, 1986) that the United States conducted Operation El Dorado Canyon, which was the bombing of Libya. This bombing raid resulted in the death of dozens of Libyans, including Gaddafi's recently-adopted baby daughter Hanna. He of course is featured in the "Land of Confusion" music video and is brought up a lot by those critical of Hillary Clinton. And this article in Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper - an article which came out a day before Prince's death - said that Gaddafi was really killed was because he wanted an African, gold-backed currency.

Prince was quoted as saying that the Anglo-American "system" is essentially a slave plantation system and that we are all essentially slaves. Prince was outspoken, as have been many other celebrities who meet their ends far too soon.

And before I wrap this up, the wars are heating up - as it felt back in '86. Tension is rising and "Superman" is nowhere to be found. These are troubling times and the images and messages in my dreams are troubling. But I still remain optimistic about the future and humanity's destiny.

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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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