[FoRK] Sex Offenders up the arms race.
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 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,
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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