[FoRK] Sex Offenders up the arms race.

Joe Barrera joe at barrera.org
Mon Feb 7 19:25:26 PST 2005


"Everyone's Gone To The Movies"

This is a superb example of the Steely technique of weaving warped or 
surreal content into a perky, upbeat tune.

Mr. LaPage seems to be a rank and evil guy who seduces naive young teens 
by showing them ratty porn on his home Super 8 projector (many of you 
may not even remember those noisy little things)--thus "sorry we only 
have eight" millimeter frames, rather than sixteen. He waits until 
responsible adults are out of the picture, then invites you to "take off 
your cheaters" (glasses). Now why would you take off your glasses to see 
a movie? Duh.... Unless you're over forty.

fezo north (GB, 6/9/98): I thought the line... was "take off your 
sneakers" thus making it easier for the chinos to come off later.

I especially love the "Come on..." interplay with that beckoning 
sax--makes me think of a snake's tongue flickering.

I wonder if the locution "projection machine" is another nod to 
Nathanael West. In The Day Of The Locust, the protagonist tags along 
with some Hollywood swells to a brothel ("nautch joint") where they 
watch a soft-porn film on a balky "projection machine." This, along with 
"cheaters," is old slang dating from the '30's.

Any ideas on Mr. LaPage's name? Twist on Anton LaVey, the well-known 

stevevdan (GB, 8/11/98): It is definitely about some pedophile...and I 
think it was originally intended for 'Can't Buy A Thrill' which was to 
have an album cover that tied in with it (i.e. a pedophile leering at a 
little girl) [see 'New Times' interview from circa 1976 where Becker and 
Fagen mention original CBAT artwork}....

Myra Eyefull (GB, 8/11/98): Well since I investigate sexual abuse for a 
living, the song... really drops a lot of suggestive remarks that gives 
me the impression that Mr. LaPage is a pedophile. Many pedophiles are 
likable fun people who engage their prey with fun things to do. They 
call their sexual acts "games" that are not to be shared with other 
adults. Mr. LaPage seems to be saying, he will show these porno films 
and then while the others are out, he will teach the child a "new game" 
to play. In other words, he will molest the child and perhaps tale his 
own movies of the acts to be sold for a child pornography ring.

Rose Darling (GB, 8/11/98): (hum to "Just a Gigolo") "Just a pedophile, 
always wears a smile, but Dan fans know the game he's playing..."

Mock Turtle (GB, 8/12/98): I have always interpreted Mr. LaPage as a 
full-blown child molester. Are you sure it's "soon you will be 
eighteen," and not "soon you will be a teen"? Also, the "sixteen or 
more" fits in with this; while most people are attracted to people 16+, 
LaPage goes for eight-year-olds.

Roy.Scam (GB, 8/19/98): We seem to have forgotten that the focus of the 
song is on the two people left in the room ("..now we're alone at 
last.") Mr Lapage and the movies are just an excuse to clear out the 
other youngsters so that some love-prone guy can put a move on his 17 
year old object of admiration, a la Billie J. Kramer's "Little 
Children". The narrator may even be underaged himself. With all 
apologies to my favorite social worker, whether this is sleezy or not 
lies in the perceptions of the listener.--The fact that we don't have 
enough apples to stage a decent apple bob is a quickly improvised lame 
excuse to disperse the crowd.* Those movies might be about trout fishing 
in Quebec.
...* In all honesty, "I know you're used to 16 or more; sorry I only 
have 8." doesn't sound like a very effective pick up line.

Deanoooooh (1/16/99): I feel it's really about "everyone's come to the 
movies". That is to say all of Mr. LaPage's "friends" have come over. 
"Now we're alone at last," we being Mr. LaPage's secret little group, 
himself included. the we suggests that they all share a common bond, in 
this case a sick one. There is no daddy and mama in this little game, 
only we.
I appreciate all you "well-wishers" who are trying to find an innocent 
meaning in this song, but I think deep down we all know that this song's 
subject matter is every bit as disturbing as it appears on the surface.
And yet I can't stop singing it.

tom (GB, 2/9/00): is the narrator of the song really one of the 
participants (actually female) who has the hots for one of the young studs?
the boys always take an interesting angle in the bigger picture

Daddy G (GB, 2/11/00): On Cheaters: “Cheaters,” is another word for 
glasses — but you don’t hear it much anymore. I always wondered why you 
would “take off your cheaters” if you were going to see a movie. The 
only thing I could come up with was that it might be a metaphor for 
“take off your rose-colored glasses,” in other words, “let me show you 
how things really are.”

wormtom (GB, 5/3/00): the "soon you will be 18" refers to of legal age 
then to work professionally in cheap porn
the "16 or more, sorry we only have 8" refers to milimeters of film. The 
cheap porn was shot on 8mm and 16 mm handycams

NotMyNancy (GB, 5/3/00): Isn't there a double entendre about "used to 16 
OR MORE...sorry we only have 8"? Apropos of a decadent porno motif?
Like, the last scene in Boogie Nights?

SD Bob (5/10/00): While reading others thoughts on this song, something 
triggered a long-lost memory. I was in high school from the mid to late 
60's. In those days, the girls wore skirts or dresses, pants were not 
allowed. Under those skirts, many girls wore what I think are called 
Pettipants. Think of bicycle pants, but made of a silky or nylon 
material and you'll get the idea. I presume they were worn to prevent 
exposure of their panties on a windy day or during an "accidental" 
pencil drop by one of us guys in the classroom. Anyway, the guys didn't 
call them pettipants; they called them "beaver cheaters", for obvious 
reasons. I think since Don & Walt are about my age, that this is 
probably what they had in mind when they came up with the line "take off 
your cheaters and sit right down".

Jim B (Digest, 5/19/00):
 > Soon it will be too late
 > bobbing for apples can wait
 > we know you're used to sixteen or more
 > sorry we only have eight

I've interpreted it to be the message of a sleaze-ball supplier of 
child-porn to some customer saying "'sorry we only have eight' kids for 
you to survey."
Now THIS is dastardly. But what a great hook. That's the Steely conundrum.

Earl Reed (Digest, 5/19/00): My favorite interpretation (and possibly 
the right one) is inches of a certain body organ. It probably makes the 
most sense Steelywise, since it seems that there's a lot of funny 
business going on at his place. The more traditional thought would be 
apples in the tub. But would D+W be so straightforward? I don't think so:)

BADsnkrs (Digest, 5/19/00): Mr Lapage was the known source where 
adolescent curiosity met celluloid reality.

The Fez (12/27/01): I believe that the reference to 'Mr. LaPage' is to 
LaPage airplane glue that kids in the 60's and 70's used to build 
plastic models. Some brilliant person realized that you could get a 
cheap high by inhaling the stuff. The pedophile in the song is going to 
get the unsuspecting child high on the glue before the fun begins. Oh, 
and by the way, cheaters are another name for sneakers. Once
off, the pants can be easily dropped.
Rajah (GB, 1/14/04): .... Now I was told another defintion of 
"cheaters". The lady who faux-finished my kitchen a few years back was 
also a stripper at an oldtime place in Hollywood called, "Jumbo's Clown 
Room," a venue which offers a decidedly satiric presentation of the 
striptease as we used to call it in gentler days before the ladies 
commenced displaying their nether regions in a manner more reminiscent 
of an OB/GNY exam than a piquant enticement and she informed me that the 
tiny little short-shorts' style underwear/pants which are ubiquitous if 
you go to a club or if you open a ladies' lingerie catalogue (Victoria's 
Secret is the standard) these days used to be known in the old days, she 
being a lady of a certain age shall we say, as "cheaters". Before the 
thong, before the bikini bottoms came the "cheaters". So taking off your 
cheaters and sitting right down to watch a movie would seem to lend a 
whole new shade of meaning if viewed in this light to "Everyone's Gone 
to the Movies". Yes, the Rajah is also a scholar of the history of 
ladies undergarments. Was there ever any doubt? The Day Of The Locust, 
by Nathanael West. If the last time you read this was in freshman 
English, try it again; it's amazing. For other West links, see "My Old 
School" and "Deacon Blues."
"Less Than Zero," by Elvis Costello, on "My Aim Is True"--similar theme 
on a much later release.

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