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"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." - Galatians 5:1
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 5:28
"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." - Leviticus 25:10
"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me: As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free; His truth is marching on." -The Battle Hymn of the Republic
"Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
"We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!" -John Adams
"I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson
One aspect that Sesame Street especially excels in is its music. Throughout the years, the show has had many of its songs performed by fictional Muppet bands, from "Little Jerry and the Monotones" to "Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats."
Being around for more than 40 years, the show’s music and musicians often reflected the popular music trends of the time period they were broadcast in, from the rock n roll of the 1960s to the disco of the 1970s.
So when the 1980s came around, the show needed a band that reflected the new wave music of the era. Thus "How Now Brown and the Moo Wave" were introduced.
Their first music video was called "Danger", and true to its name, the song was about how everything in life had the potential to kill you (like mentioning Sherman in Savannah!):
And what better way to reflect the dark theme of the song than with a music video set in a dark creepy alley?
The song itself really isn’t that bad. In fact, it’s really upbeat and catchy, even if they’re singing about the different ways you can die. (And am I the only one who thinks that the backbeat sounds almost like a beating heart?)
The setting, however, does have a creep factor. Its set in a dark, dirty city alley at night with a lot of heavy traffic noise in the background. It's the type of setting where you can easily get a knife in the back before either getting mugged or raped.
On top of that, in the middle of the song, there’s a part where a man is playing a piano while dangling from a rope—which ends up snapping, sending the piano and its player crashing into the street below.
Is this supposed to be one of those music videos where somebody supposedly died while on set? Seems like it.
Truthfully, this music video never scared me, though from what I hear, it did send a chill up the spine of other children.
Now, on the surface, a music video about paint really shouldn’t be all that “scary.” But I don’t know. Am I the only one who thinks that the paint dripping in the background looks almost like blood? Not in color, mind you, just in consistency? It almost drips like it, too.
I never saw MTV growing up. My folks never had cable. So I wasn’t very familiar with the music videos being shown at the time, or the effects they had. So this entire video, with both its music and visual effects, seemed really trippy, like I was going on an acid trip. (Though, obviously, as a kid, I had no idea what that was.)
But then halfway through the video, things get a whole lot more, well, “weird.”
It starts when a blotch of paints splatters across the screen. When its starts to drip down, it almost seems like everything in the room is melting.
The music video then cuts to the lead singer, who now appears to be naked. (It’s really his white shirt blending in with the green screen, but as a kid, I didn’t know that!) He lets out a loud scream as paint splatters on him and the screen begins to melt away.
No lie. That. Was. TERRIFYING. To me as a kid.
I honestly believe the guy was melting away and that he was screaming in agony, almost like the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz.
I kid you not. Whenever that music video ever came on again, I would quickly race to the remote and switch over to another channel and wait for a long time until I knew it was over.
Even when there was an episode that came on that I knew would have that music video, I would refuse to watch Sesame Street for that day.
And if I were in a setting that prevented me from changing the channel, like my kindergarten class, which often showed Sesame Street before school began, I would excuse myself to the bathroom just to get away.
Yes, aside from the "Sesame Street News Flash" opening, this was the single most scariest thing on Sesame Street for me. Now, admittedly, most of this fear was grounded in me not knowing much about music videos as a kid. But isn’t that what most childhood fears are based on: children not knowing any better?
And fortunately, from what I can tell in this video’s comment section, I wasn’t the only toddler to be scared silly by this. That’s probably why this particular band never made more than two songs.
Oh, and as for this being the single scariest thing for me on Sesame Street? I take that back. There is one other skit that was scarier than this. And we’re only on #4 on this list!
As with last Halloween, I’m going to be sharing something that’s truly terrifying: evangelical propaganda!
That’s right: once again, I’m sharing a few selections from the so-bad-they’re-good Chick Tracts. And my first selection is perhaps the most famous—or rather, infamous, of them all: Dark Dungeons.
As the name implies, this is the anti-Dungeon and Dragons comic that was written during a time when most Bible-thumping fundies feared that this role-playing game was going to turn children into blood-drinking, infant-sacrificing Satan worshippers, when in reality, it would turn them into something far more frightening: basement-dwelling, Cheeto-and-Mountain-Dew consuming nerds with no sex life (but plenty of acne)!
I kid. Those people are actually cool, and given the chance, I would gladly hang out with them and play a few rounds of D&D with them. If anything, it was the backlash against role-playing games that got me interested in the fantasy role-playing genre. (Fancy that: telling someone not to do something only tempts them to try it.)
In this comic, an innocent, naïve teenage girl is drawn into the occult after playing a single game of D&D, which apparently provides “intense occult training.” Huh! So tossing a die and yelling “Wizard uses fire” is enough “intense occult training” to allow someone to join a witch’s coven? I guess by that logic, playing a single mission in Grand Theft Auto is enough “training” for me to car jack a vehicle and go on a drive-by shooting spree.
Now, I’ve never played a single game of D&D, though I have played a few video game RPGs, but it’s pretty clear to me that the people who created this comic knew less about the game than I did—which seems to be the case with most of the anti-D&D propaganda at the time, or pretty much any form of anti-Occult influence propaganda. (Remember the hysteria about Harry Potter?)
Speaking of which, it’s strange that we don’t seem the same level of paranoia against modern role-playing games such as World of Warcraft—and people actually have died playing that game!
But enough of the history lesson: here’s the comic in all of its lulzy glory:
In one week, my fan fiction The Dark Stallion will make its world debut. I'll be releasing a few teasers until then. For now, here is the fanfic summary and original character bios.
A skilled unicorn in search of an ancient artifact. A lost pegasus who lost his memories. A wandering swordpony who wields his sword against evil. When these three colts cross paths with the Mane 6 in Ponyville, they begin encountering dark forces that suddenly befall the otherwise quiet town. Now they must team up to thwart the devious plans of the Shadow Clan and their mysterious leader, the Dark Stallion.
A 12-part epic fan fiction premiering Nov. 1.
Original Character Bios
Xander (Master Unicorn) Created by BlameThe1st
A master spellcaster who graduated top honors from a prestigious military academy, no other unicorn can match the magical powress of Xander—except, perhaps, for Twilight Sparkle. Though his magic is otherwise unsurpassed, not so much are his social skills, what with him being a recluse who rarely desires interaction with other ponies.
As the son of a late great archeologist, when his father tragically passed away years ago, Xander took it upon himself to find the ancient artifact his father had long been searching for. His search has since taken him to Ponyville. What is this artifact for which he desperately seeks, and does it have anything to do with the mysterious Shadow Clan that has befallen the town?
Skywind (Amnesiac Pegasus) Originally created by ex626AKAKeon
Not much is known about this pegasus colt. Not even he knows anything about himself. He simply fell out of the sky one day and would have crashed to his death had it not been for the heroic feats of Rainbow Dash. Other than his own name, Skywind, he knows nothing else.
Having lost his memories, he finds himself lost in a town he never heard of and surrounded by ponies he does not know. Fortunately, he has Rainbow Dash by his side to aid him and help him return his lost memories. The two soon form a special bond with their love for flying fast and having fun doing so. But the question remains: who is he, and what is he doing in Ponyville? And does his mysterious appearance have anything to do with the sudden appearance of the Shadow Clan?
Ninja Star (Wandering Swordpony) Originally created by Ninja-8004
A sojourning swordpony from a far-off land, his travels have taken him through Equestria where he has been tracking down and fighting off the mysterious Shadow Clan. His journey has since taken him to Ponyville where he has discovered that the Shadow Clan has now targeted the Mane 6. Though he does not know much about the Clan’s intentions in Ponyville, he is determined to remain there until the evil has been vanquished.
True to his name, this earth pony is an armor-clad warrior skilled in the art of the ninja. He can wield a katana, throw a kunai, toss a shuriken, run fast, and disappear and reappear on a whim. With a heart as pure as gold, he is willing to risk his safety to fight and defend the defenseless. It is for this reason that he has taken a liking to Fluttershy—or rather, she to him—and has agreed to train her to defend herself. But will he be able to defend her and the rest of the town against the Shadow Clan?
What is gravity? It is the force that attracts smaller objects to larger ones. It is this force that attracts people like you and me to the earth. Without it, we would all float away into space. It’s almost like an “invisible hand” that pulls us to the earth.
The same thing applies to magnetism. This is the force that attracts objects of particular electrical charges to objects of opposing charges. It is the force that allows your refrigerator magnets to stick to your refrigerator. It’s almost like an “invisible hand” that pulls them to the fridge.
By no means does associating either gravity or magnetism to “invisible hands” imply that they are “magical.” Both forces are scientific phenomena that can be empirically observed, tested, and researched. Calling them “invisible hands” simply allows for a metaphor by which people can better understand them.
And yet, when market forces—which can also be scientifically and empirically observed, tested, and researched, specifically through metrics such as GDP and CPI—are referred to as the “Invisible Hand of the Free Market,” they are not considered “scientific.” They are considered “magical.”
The “invisible hand” is often dismissed as a “supernatural” agent such as God, which guides creation through intelligent design, when, in reality, it is more comparable to natural selection, where complexity and design arise in nature from spontaneous order without the assistance of an outside agent.
This is what free-market economists refer to when they use the metaphor of the “invisible hand.” They are referring to how market forces allow individuals within the marketplace to seek their own rational self-interests through voluntary trade and labor. In this sense, the “invisible hand” is a force that organizes society from the “bottom up” through consumer choices rather than the “top down” through government central planning—a method that, ironically, critics of the “invisible hand” support!
The “invisible hand” is hardly an untested hypothesis. Since capitalism was first implemented more than 200 years ago, world GDP per capita has increased significantly, and with it, so have living standards. It’s no surprise that the introduction of capitalism correlates with the Industrial Revolution, which saw the rise of scientific, technological, and medical innovations that have allowed us to live longer and more comfortable lives than our predecessors.
So if you enjoy waking up in your air-conditioned apartment and driving in your Prius down to Starbucks to sip a pumpkin spice latte while watching House of Cards on Netflix with your iPad—and you prefer this to living in a mud hut on an acre of farmland working yourself to the bone from sunrise to sunset just to grow enough food to get your family through the winter and survive until the ripe age of 30, don’t thank magic. Thank the invisible hand!
Oh, and what’s especially ironic is that many people, specifically Keynesian economists, who dismiss the “invisible hand” as “magic” subscribe to the Keynes notion of “animal spirits” guiding the market. If you’re like me, when you think of “animal spirits,” you probably think of a shaman dressed in animal skins and chanting incarnations into a fire. And yet, to Keynesians, “animal spirits” are supposedly “scientific”, while “invisible hands” are magic. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!