MumbleMumbleSatan September 16, 2011 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Within the last year, there was a post on the blue that had a video of a (British?) guy giving a lecture where he played a song backwards (maybe a Led Zeppelin song?) and it sounded like gibberish and then he played it again, but with lyrics on the screen to influence your mind to hear what was "really" being said. Could you help me find this?
posted by chara to MetaFilter-Related at 6:58 AM (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The most recent was Pharm's post about part of a talk that Simon Singh gives.
posted by metaBugs at 7:04 AM on September 16, 2011

Maybe you're thinking of this comment linking to Jeff Milner's backmasking stuff?

Or possibly this July post about a 1989 film called Hell's Bells, about Satanic message backmasked into Metal.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:04 AM on September 16, 2011

Thanks odinsdream & metaBugs!
posted by chara at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2011

Huh. In Pharm's post, Blasdelb links to a TED talk by Michael Shermer, saying that it looks like Singh ripped that bit off from Shermer's talk. (The relevant part is at about 10 minutes in)

The talks are definitely strikingly similar in places, but I have a hard time believing that it was Singh stealing stuff without permission. Singh has been giving a very similar talk for several years -- possibly before that TED talk was recorded, but I can't swear to it -- and I've seen him give it to two very large groups of skeptics in the UK, among whom he has a very high profile, which would be a spectacularly stupid thing to do if it was stolen. More than that, there's a section of the talk about an exchange that Singh had with Katie Melua, that Singh has definitely been talking about for years. I can't believe that Singh stole that from Shermer, but they tell the story almost identically, and use exactly use the same audio clips. If there's to be any accusation of copying, Shermer must've got that bit from Singh.

(The Katie Melua story isn't really relelvant to the question, but it's a cool story. I like Simon's telling of the story slightly better, but a quick search didn't turn it up on youtube.)
posted by metaBugs at 7:39 AM on September 16, 2011

Just to throw into the pot, the Stairway backmasking stuff goes way back - I heard all the backwards content first time when Singh played it due to an unhealthy amused obsession with silly backmasking claims I had some years ago.
posted by robself at 8:25 AM on September 16, 2011

metaBugs, Shermer credits Singh for the Kaie Melua story in that section, and describes him as a friend, so I don't think there's anything untoward going on.
posted by devon at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

That gag - playing the Led Zep song and making the audience 'hear' the backmasking - doesn't originate with either Shermer or Singh. It was used as early as the late 80s by people advocating against music censorship. (I can't find any cites, unfortunately, but I saw it done at least twice circa 1988-1990, once in a school science class and once in a talk by someone speaking against the PMRC or somesuch group. )
(vague, I know, but I was a mere sprog).

Incidentally, in last year's "Uncaged Monkeys" show, Richard Wiseman did the same trick with Carmina Burana (played normally) - making the entire audience 'hear' lyrics about how a particular brand of cookies causes STDs.
posted by Wylla at 10:16 AM on September 16, 2011

Semi-relatedly – everyone should probably hear DJ Lobsterdust's mashup "Queen VS Satan: the Satanic Reverses (aka 'It's Fun To Smoke Dust')," because it's sort of fun and contains a nice example of one of those anti-rock-music preachers who talk about backmasking.
posted by koeselitz at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

And here I thought you were thinking of my comment (with exactly the same content :P).

I'm almost certain I've posted about it somewhere else around here too.. Ahh, here it is.
posted by Chuckles at 12:23 PM on September 16, 2011

I saw "The Real Thing" in university in the late 1980s, i.e. a Christian worried about Satan corrupting our souls. He demonstrated that "Another One Bites the Dust" played backwards tells us to "start to smoke marijuana".

Sadly, the presentation was too late, Satan / Freddie Mercury had already got to me.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:56 PM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Achievement Unlocked: Have one of your posts referenced in Metatalk by anyone except yourself.
posted by pharm at 7:38 AM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh here's to my sweet mathowie.
The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is mathowie
We will give him $5 $5 $5
There was a thread with 1600 comments where he made us suffer, sad mathowie
posted by crapmatic at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Whose power is Satan" always seems pretty stupid. Yeah, of course his power is Satan. Spiderman would never get away with that crap.
posted by Winnemac at 10:43 PM on September 17, 2011

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