Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can we have kippers for breakfast?

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.  

And then...

I'm sure you've heard the album "Breakfast in America," by Supertramp, from 1979.  The English progressive-art rock-pop band made an album that was one you just had to have, because it had great tunes like "The Logical Song" and "Breakfast in America" and "Goodbye Stranger" and "Take The Long Way Home."

It sold a bazillion records for A&M Records, it's the biggest selling English language in the history of France, and it won two Grammy Awards in 1980.

And yet, you haven't played your copy lately.  Probably the last time anyone dragged the worn old vinyl record out of its jacket was in the early 90's, when Jan and Fred came over that night to talk about Fred's new job with that dot.com outfit out of Cleveland. Of course, who could have foreseen how that was going to turn out?  And Fred says to this day that he is just as happy teaching Driver Education down at U-Driv-Urself as he would be at, say, Apple or Samsung.  Who needs the pressure?

That was really the last time you thought about that ancient record, with the picture of the diner waitress  "Libby," holding a tall glass of orange juice, in place of the Statue of Liberty in an illustrated New York City.  It all seemed like a tribute to the great tradition of Breakfasts in America, and then someone named David Icke, a former English soccer player who now sponsors wacky conspiracy theories, put out his claim that the album serves to prove that way back in the latter part of 1978, while the band was recording the album in Los Angeles, people were already planning the 9/11/01 attacks on America, and this album jacket proves it.

A member of the Icke Forum, "Eve", wisely points out:

"Album came out in 1979," it reads.

"9/11 reference.
"9/11 was served with breakfast...not to mention the everyday fight for freedom: "Breakfast In America."
'Eve' appears to be convinced and continues:
"Orange juice = fireball," she adds.
"You are looking out of the window of a plane, she is showing the target."
'Eve' even posts a reversed view of the cover which 'appears' to show the 'U' and 'P' of Supertramp flipped around to look like the figures '9' and '11'.

 This is not unprecedented.  The formation of a "splinter" group of people who were "board" with the standard brand of reactionary politics was presaged by this record album, from the 1950s.  It shows the first meeting of what we now call the Tea Party.  It turns out, it all started in Boston, where a silver-haired man entertained a bevy of beauties and so enchanted them that they all went out that very night to eliminate taxes ("we can do fine without 'em!"), reduce government ("we can have the police driving the snow plows to reduce the work force and get two jobs done at oncet") and promote individual responsibility for taking part in a strengthened local government ("Just not on Monday nights; that's my poker night") just as soon as they finished their tea and cookies.

Old records hold the key to the future, but it can't really be locked up.

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