Flash Gordon's Ape - Boiler Room, Part 2: The Grand Design

from by Turn Me On, Dead Man Recordings

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"Boiler Room" by Flash Gordon's Ape is a 25+-minute sound collage about how events are expressed through media and how media influence history, as well. Crowmeat Bob points to J.G. Ballard as an influence at work in "Boiler Room", as well as Peter Dale Scott's notion of "deep politics". Deep politics is concerned with shadowy forces underlying our everyday institutions. These forces create historical imperatives and rely on the collective suppression of information to continue operating. Crowmeat Bob refers to "a malevolent, sentient force that... creates these sacrifical events like the JFK spectacle" In a sense, the idea of conspiracy is rendered meaningless in a world where these pervasive systems are at work--deep political structures operate according to their own mandates.

The "Boiler Room" is a "menacing underground chamber where history is forged." Crowmeat Bob cites Stephen King's The Shining as an influence here, where the Overlook Hotel can be seen as an allegory for the history of the United States. Jack discovers the Overlook's history in a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings he finds in the boiler room. It is there that Jack becomes aware of the underlying violence that drives events at the hotel. Also, the destruction of the hotel is caused by an explosion emanating from the boiler room.

Excerpted on this compilation is "Part 2: The Grand Design". From his LP Man Is Not Alone, Senator Everett Dirkson (who assisted LBJ in forming the Warren Commission) asks listeners to "consider the grand design and the hand of the designer" followed by the Old Testament account of creation. The epic scale of this theme is reinforced by "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss. "Boiler Room" then intercuts a recording of the concluding remarks of a speech John F. Kennedy gave in Fort Worth on the morning on November 22, 1963, with a revival preacher asserting that the end times are upon us. Unaware of the fate waiting for him in Dallas later that day, JFK expressed his optimism about the world's prospects for peace.

"Part 2: The Grand Design" presents contrasting "light" and "dark" views of Dallas. After a brief section of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's "Dallas" ("I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind"), we hear a quote from Randall Adams, who was the subject of Errol Morris's documentary The Thin Blue Line (1988). Adams, who was wrongly convicted of murdering a Texas police officer, quotes his mother as saying, "if there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County. She's right. She's right." Interestingly, in 2011 Errol Morris made a short documentary about the Umbrella Man, who was in Dealey Plaza on the day JFK was assassinated. Conspiracy theorists have long speculated on the motives of this odd figure who on bright sunny day brought an umbrella to JFK's motorcade and opened it as JFK's motorcade passed by. Through an interview with JFK assassination researcher Josiah "Tink" Thompson, Morris reveals the bizarre, yet benign motives of the Umbrella Man.

"Part 2: The Grand Design" concludes with a brief section at the end of Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. A radio operator pitifully calls for anyone to respond after the destruction of New York by alien forces--a media creation that many listeners mistook for an actual report of a real-world event.


from Conspiracy A​-​Go​-​Go, released November 1, 2013
John A - guitar
Crowmeat Bob - double and electric bass
Pat Tiglao - drums




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Turn Me On, Dead Man is an internet radio station on radionomy.com playing garage, punk and psychedelia from the last five decades.

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