Saturday, December 4, 2010

Irrational Fear of the Month: December

One new thing I learned to fear this month for no apparent reason is something I never directly thought about until recently faced with it. For the longest time I just carried on with my life not noticing how secretly terrifying it is. I believe it to be a harbinger of doom and ask all of the sleepless knights who read this, if the moment presents itself, to put an end to this blight of goodness and all things considered awesome. Of course I'm talking about Music from the 1920's

(This contraption only plays evil)

Every month here on "j.Bowman Can't Sleep" starts with me admitting an irrational fear and explaining to people who think I'm just being a big pussy why it scares me. I feel this may be one of the most irrational fears yet. However I stand behind it 100%. If you need to convince someone that something is haunted, creepy or just plain wrong, there is a secret weapon that you can utilize. There is something inheirently spooky about old phonograph style jazz music. It's pretty damn unsettling. I don't remember which movie it was, but there was a recent film that played 1920s jazz over the end credits. I've never been terrified while reading who the second unit director was...and I still haven't for two reasons.

1. I got scared and ran out of the theatre like a little girl (jump rope, pig tails, the whole deal)
2. 2nd unit director? Aside from his mother, who gives a shit?

I'm not sure what I find so fear inducing about this music, perhaps it's the always present "static" sound in the background. I would not be surprised to hear a demonic voice tell me to feed my stereo a cat in the middle of a song. I have no idea how people in the 20's didn't spend their entire days pissing themselves whenever they'd hear this music on the radio. I'm also willing to bet that they had no choice in the matter, the radio would turn itself on and off when it felt people were going too long without ruining their trousers. You know all the popular twists we have nowadays? I believe they were all written back in the 20s when the popular music at time creeped the shit out of people. Classic twists like "He's been dead for 10 years" or "The calls are coming from inside the house" or "Olivia Newton John is a whore now, so that makes everything alright". I'm 78% positive "Grease" was written in the 1920s (I don't know what a hand-jive is....all I know is that I don't want one). This music was also pretty much the official soundtrack of two dark dark times in human history: Prohibition and The Great Depression. Everything I know of Prohibition comes from "The Untouchables" and I'm not sure when the great depression happened but surely it must have been at the same time. I'd normally search online to find out exactly when it was, but it's 6:21am and the google search bar is all the way up fuck it, let's just say it happened in the 20s and move on.

So this might be the hardest Irrational Fear of the Month to explain in....ummm....words, but I've worked diligently to present it to you in a very stupid way (it doesn't take that long). So I compiled some pictures from various sources, and have created 2 montages set to very different music. The pictures I selected were primarily from google searches for things like "fun", "Carnival", "Rudy", "Friends", "Party", "Family" and I even tried "wholesome" just to get the happiest pictures to further emphasize my fear of 1920's music. It can turn even the most pure montages into something that's unholy and 7 different kinds of wrong. So here is the first one, which I also needed a song for. I chose the song that basically plays in my head whenever me and "mon peeps" are hanging out, laughing, drinking champagne and anything else that makes us look like we're in a Sears catalogue. The song of course is "Closer to Free" by The Bodeans which incidently was also the theme song for the tv shows "Party of Five" and the sci-fi action packed thrill ride that was..."M.A.N.T.I.S."

 (See that guy? Right there? He played the M.A.N.T.I.S.)

Bodeans, "Closer to Free". A familiar song to anyone who watched Party of Five or the two guys who watched the first 20 minutes of M.A.N.T.I.S. before the network cancelled it mid-episode. I'd like to think MANTIS caught the guy. Without further delay, Let's go to the videotape!

Now that was actually kinda nice. Some happy stuff in there. Zack & Kelly? My heart has been warmed. That montage, you would think, is incorruptable. That's what I thought too, and I'm the one who made both of these. Now check out the EXACT same video only all I've done is changed the music. The song is "St. James Infirmary" by a guy named Cab Calloway who is probable dead now.

(*12 seconds of research*)

Yep, he dead. So here is montage 2, and even though I've done NOTHING to change this video, keep in mind it might be haunted by a dead man. As if it wasn't creepy enough already. I didn't just have this song on my itunes, so I had to go searching for it which meant confronting my fear head on. For like 45 minutes. I had to watch 8 Mile twice afterwards just to get my courage back up to a tolerable level. If Eminem can find it within himself to square off against Papa Doc and the Free World in a rap battle, I think we all can find the courage to listen to 90 seconds of this. Turn off the lights and check out what has become of my wholesome  montage.


Okay....I'm man enough to admit that I added a picture of Reba McEntire in there to emphasize the creepiness (she's got dead eyes and no soul. Look at her and tell me I'm wrong). "Anonymous" has decided to disagree with that and go to bat for Reba and her beauty down in the comments section. Now keep in mind I've never met Reba and I'm sure she is a lovely lady (and she rocked the shit in "Tremors"), however that does nothing to disuade me from my belief that she looks like a face eating succubus. I found some more pictures of her, so you can decide for yourself:

She probably is a lovely woman, but these four random Reba pictures have done little to sway my opinion that her face is trying to escape to the back of her head. Anonymous, if that is your real name, if you still feel strongly in the alternative, that's cool. Agree to disagree......but seriously just look at her.

Aside from the Reba pic in the montage, anything else you saw in that video is probably your mind playing tricks on you because the music is eery, spooky and just plain wrong.

The Shymalan picture was added by me as well, cause fuck that guy. Seriously.

Thanks for Reading


Hitting LIKE on the j.Bowman Can't Sleep facebook page immediately enters you into a raffle where I will sing you "The Song That Never Ends" for 4 days straight. It is actually a pretty annoying prize to win, but you'd still be a winner, so that's something.


  1. Wow - your hit counter is in the THOUSANDS!

  2. CreepedOverAirWaysDecember 4, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    i also have a fear of twenties music... im afraid that it will play and i will hear people speaking to me, and no one else will hear them. im also afraid that demonic voice, or the voice of the singer, will brake from the song and speak to me, perhaps telling me that they are watching me, or that tell me what will happen in the future... of course it would be total calamity. Glad to know that there is someone who is just as terrified as i am.

  3. I looked -- you're wrong! Reba's beautiful!

  4. Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've added a few more pictures of her in the post to express mine. The people can choose what side they are on.

  5. Could not think of a more terrifying figure for Canadians/Hockey Fans. The man is a menace.