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The tyranny of evil men

Miramax Films
Be cool, Ringo.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – IN Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 cult classic Pulp Fiction, the hitman Jules (Samuel L. Jackson), famously prevents mass violence and bloodshed in a southern California diner when he confronts an English criminal (and his cuckoo girlfriend) who wants his wallet (“the one that says ‘Bad Motherfucker’”).

Jules, now seeking a path away from a life of mayhem and murder, decides he is going to “walk the earth," leaving the old life behind, "like Caine in Kung Fu."

Jules doesn’t know the criminal’s name, but when he addresses him, he calls him “Ringo.” Calling someone "Ringo" is American slang (according to for a Brit, since there is nothing more British than the Beatles and Ringo Starr has the most unusual name within the Fab Four.

But while Ringo Starr is about “peace and love” (it’s his mantra), the Pulp Fiction Ringo (Tim Roth) is a petty criminal, existing on the violent side of life. A modern-day thuggee. Jules, however, is of a religious bent and likes to share Bible verses to strike fear into his enemies. Very Old Testament. But now at a crossroads, Jules wants to change his ways. He's seen things. Miracles.

Says Jules to Ringo: "The truth is…you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd."


I was reminded of that this summer when reports began coming out about “the face of ISIS.” This balaclava-covered face is of a bloody butcher and crazed religious fanatic from Britain named Mohammed Emwazi, except the media called him “Jihadi John,” the “John” being a reference to Beatle John Lennon, himself murdered by a crazed assassin 35 years ago.

Oddly, throughout the day today, the Beatles and their 1965 film Help! came up multiple times, and, if I may say so, pretty close to home.

Another day at the beach, with John, Paul, George, Ringo and Kali ... (United Artists)

A few days before the Paris attacks, someone emailed me a story about fundamentalist Christians concerned that the Hindu goddess Kali - she of power, change, time and destruction - was projected onto the side of the Empire State Building in August.

This "projection" of Kali appeared exactly 50 years after Help! premiered, a film that spoofed the Indian Kali death cults of the 18th and 19th centuries when Great Britain controlled India. Peaceful drummer Ringo Starr ends up with a sacrificial ring on his finger and he and John, George and Paul have to flee the crazed Kali cult militants as they try to sacrifice Ringo. Hmmm ... 

As Ringo tells a cultist: "Get sacrificed?!? I don't subscribe to your religion!" 

Ain't it the truth!

Help! also spoofed the James Bond films that were all the rage at the time. Coincidentally, the biggest film in the world as I write this is the new James Bond film SPECTRE (and this as an episode of the James Bond-spoofing TV series Get Smart plays in the other room, with Maxwell Smart battling KAOS. Seriously!). And I should also mention that in SPECTRE, the symbol of the evil organization is the "Octopus." Beatles fans may recall that the original title of Help! was Eight Arms to Hold You ... 

But back to Jihadi John ... Apparently Emwazi got the nickname from hostages he and other British ISIS terrorists had held captive. John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, said the nickname was "distasteful" and that she wouldn't let these terrorists destroy the name of John Lennon and the Beatles.

In April, the UK Telegraph reported that ISIS jihadists like “Jihadi John,” “are becoming like the Beatles and other pop idols with British boys wanting to be them and girls wanting to be with them.”

A year before John Lennon was assassinated in New York, outside his home at the Dakota building, the British punk-rock band The Clash released their best album, London Calling, with the aggressive title track featuring the following line: “London calling, now don’t look to us / Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust.

I note this as I just heard a portion of “London Calling” playing in the other room on the film Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

And so now we learn that, in all likelihood, Jihadi John has “bitten the dust.” Whether or not “jihadimania” (as coined by Nazir Afzal, a senior British prosecutor) has bitten the dust is another matter all together, particularly in light of the horrific news coming out of Paris, France this evening.


The scale and coordination of the terror attacks in Paris this Friday the 13th of November – a “Black Friday” in French history now – are unprecedented. The California rock band Eagles of Death Metal were performing tonight at a venue in Paris called the Bataclan. And AFP is reporting over “100 people killed at Paris concert hall.” Terrorists were armed with assault rifles and shot everyone in sight. While members of Eagles of Death Metal escaped, some crew members are missing.

As a synchromystic aside, I want to note that during the weekend prior to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, I watched conservative commentator Barbara Olson was on one of the Sunday morning talk shows and I remember thinking how distant and sad she seemed there in the studio. It was as if Olson knew something very bad was about to happen. She was onboard Flight 77 on 9/11, and allegedly died when it crashed into the Pentagon.

I mention that because about 10 days ago I was in a local record store and the new album by the Eagles of Death Metal was on display and I couldn't help but look at it and try to remind myself what I actually knew about the band. Little did I know that people around the world, previously unfamiliar with this sleaze-rock outfit, would know their name. One of the songs on their Zipper Down album is a cover of the 1982 Duran Duran song "Save a Prayer." A melancholy song that is open to interpretation.

The rather sleazy and striking cover of Eagles of Death Metal's new album Zipper Down.

Additionally, a suicide bomb went off outside a soccer stadium where France and Germany were playing. French President Francois Hollande was in attendance at the soccer match and escaped unharmed. He later commented on the attacks and mass loss of life. Hollande said: “This is a horror.”

The bombing outside the soccer stadium echoes the October 1, 2005 suicide bombing outside the University of Oklahoma football stadium. My friend Michael Wright (a man I knew and who died under mysterious circumstanes six years ago after independently investigating that bombing and other "oddities" at OU) wrote the following about the alleged (and failed) suicide bomber Joel Henry Hinrichs here.


This coordinated terror attack in Paris comes hours after it was reported that "Jihadi John" was most assuredly killed by a US-fired Hellfire missile which struck a car in which "Jihadi John" was riding in near the Syrian town of Raqqa.

It is believed that the ISIS executioner known as "Jihadi John" was killed by a missile strike. 

Britain was part of the coalition fighting ISIS and Prime Minister David Cameron said killing the "lead executioner" of ISIS was "the right thing to do."

So, was Jihadi John's death a main reason for the attacks in Paris? 

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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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