Despite his status as the unofficial poet laureate of an entire generation, Bob Dylan’s lyrics often exhibit a characteristic colorful inanity that can be exploited for humorous purposes. Here, a real Bob Dylan line is mixed in with bits of doggerel that relate to local townships, popular culture, or often nothing at all. Each line delivers a laugh when read, but try singing one or two out loud in the voice of a whiny troubador for maximum effect. The Wallflowers are fronted by one of Bob’s legitimate progeny, Jakob Dylan, thus implying in the scoring section that only someone with no knowledge of the father would tolerate the son. “Positively 4th Street” is a real Dylan song, and of course only the man himself could separate all the wheat from chaff.
The “*Now That*” has three points to make, and eight hundred words to make them in. (1) Any time spent in college should be wasted on schoolwork as little as possible, and exploration of the new and unconventional as much as possible. (2) Thank you for voting in our special fee. (3) The excitement with which we rush to employment in the coming months will seem silly given the space of a few decades.
Exposed-Brain John Wayne is a parody of the blustering invulnerability of John Wayne and American icons in general. Like most tough guys, this freak of nature is all talk. He sputters his catch phrases in order to hide his vulnerability, which, in this case, is not just the usual macho insecurity but a dangerous birth defect which has left him without a protective cranium. The exchange of bravado with the antagonist, Guadalupe, continues until the concluding panel, where Wayne must concede to his rival his great limits as a disabled human being. Indeed, in order to survive, Exposed-Brain John Wayne must spend his days in a protective bubble, where terrific fears of birds that threaten to end his life in a single swoop plague his days and nights. The sand dune of the American psyche where the Duke once stood and spat bravely is now a wet spot where this raw-headed invalid sits and drools. “Big Trouble” is a parody of the movie titles which Wayne headlined in his day.
Gandhi Joe Pesci is an absurdist dream that smashes together two polar opposites of legendary temperament--the studied nonviolent approach of Gandhi and the irrepressible rage of Joe Pesci’s movie characters. Here, we see Pesci’s testosterone flood the gates of Gandhi’s detached control and take over behavior. What we have is a man who looks like Gandhi and who represents the same nonviolent philosophies of Gandhi, but is fundamentally different from Gandhi. This is because he is possessed by the spirit of Joe Pesci’s character from films such as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, etc. This non-violence advocate is ferocious as a shrew.
Ike Eisenhower’s Rude Awakening is a lapel-shaking reminder that killing is a sin, and even Christian warlords (no matter how popular they are with a moral majority) are going to Hell because the Good Book says so. Wars frequently have some sort of religious associations, and this is in direct contradiction to “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” This cartoon highlights the immutability of God’s laws by pitting an angelic bureaucrat against a cranky, long-dead “Ike.” After a brief but colorful argument, Ike disappears through a holy portal to Hell. Perhaps more interesting than the deeper religious implications of this sequential photo comic is the questions it raises about the administrative efficiency of Heaven. How many mistakes are made by God’s gang?
There are few organisms whose existence is as categorically pathetic as the cow bred solely for veal. This piece contrasts the life of a Stanford student--with its boredom, unfulfillment, and incessant whining and with the actual continual physical agony of the veal cow. Short conversational vignettes highlight areas of life such as food, shelter, sex, and social interaction.
This “*No Fear*” comic parodies the “No Fear” T-shirt phenomenon, an example of consumer fetishism at its most extreme. Here, the messages gradually degenerate from their “competitive beast” origins to reveal the true insecurities and fears of the human beings behind the coverings. The last words of “Know Fear” suggest that only through acknowledgement of fears and insecurities, which are natural, is the danger of fear ameliorated. Repression and denial of fear by projection of strength elevates fear’s presence in the subconcious. Mostly, however, it’s a convenient play on words.
Some call Rainier Beer a cheap, watery beer--a beer made by people with shit for brains.
Many works of fiction feature a brief summary of the events to follow before every chapter. The working premise here is that a charming English detective story has in fact revealed the murderer in the chapter summaries. Additional gratuitous British humor is added with names like “Crothersby,” mention of “the help,” and use of the term “rummy.”
Cereal Boy is Meyer Library Man’s imaginary companion, and as such has little in the way of internal organs. Thus, when he consumes a hot dog, it simply falls to the bottom of the cardboard box that is his body cavity, denying him nourishment.
An unintended trend was noticed in the pages of the last Chaparral--we ran a full four “*dead baby*” jokes of different varieties. What if the mores of a century of American history were brought to bear on the medium of dead babies? The staff quickly assembled a list of jokes, each one symbolic of a particular decade. Early in the century the language is ornate, and the influence classical. By the end of the century the subject matter has turned to movies and cocaine, and the form is the Top Ten List: one of the Eighties’ lasting contributions to humor. Those who choose to take offense at this array will be happy to know that “Amish Crackwhore” was never a serious contender for publication.
What if our popular Marguerite bus system was inhabited by manic-depressive imposters who made passengers uncomfortable? This is the chilling premise for Marguerite Driver. Esquivel Dakota is a sort of Stanford bogeyman figure: a twitching, unpredictable threat to the calm that our predictable campus provides. Go to the Quad at three in the morning. Lay down on the ground and look up into the blank foreverhood of the sky. The Esquivel Dakotas of the world are very far away. . . or are they? Yes.
Behaviorism Strikes Bullfighting matches the upstart Fifties psychological trend with the grand Spanish matador tradition. Behaviorists thought that humans could be controlled like rats, with electric shock impulses and food to repair their twisted lives. We see exactly how well behaviorism works for our industrious bull: after only two violent 5000-volt doses, he is conditioned not only to avoid the bullfighters tired cape trick, but also to win over the crowd, a lovely damsel, and a hardened peasant with his sad tale and smooth Mariachi guitar. Even our brave matador himself melts under the spell of the soft serenade, and the final panel shows the two ancient bitter rivals sharing a cool draft at the local Spanish pub. Now that was awfully big of them, don’t you think?
The Cave Program parodies the many overseas opportunities Stanford students have. What if there existed a “campus” not in Paris or Oxford, but at the bottom of a very dark cave somewhere in New Mexico? Cave roaches are the prime form of sustenance, and indeed the only reason for living. Eyes quickly become vestigial, and colorless skin is the norm. No one can see anything, so black picture boxes are only appropriate. Of course, this is a Stanford campus, so there is no shortage of juvenile T-shirts and careerism.
With L. Ron Hubbard churning out cheap quantized prophecy straight out of an iron tube from his grave, the Delphi Oracle--once revered by Pericles and Achilles--has lost much of its ancient credibility. The Oracle, now a lonely and desperate creature, will gladly trade priceless information, even perform inane parlor tricks, just for some company to soften his harsh existence. That’s where the fun begins. You see, the Oracle is resolving questions that humans, in all of their grand quests, don’t really want answered. Of course, the Anglican Lutheran in our audience is not all that surprised.
This cover was conceived as a response to the theme’s title: “The Transmitter Faces South.” The title was conceived at a barbecue in which a kid with very curly hair repeatedly said the phrase “The Transmitter Faces South” in response to the question, posed only once, “Why can’t we get Foothill College radio?” He repeated the phrase “The Transmitter Faces South” several times in the same tone, using the same intonation and the same stresses on the individual syllables of the words. Like a robot. We figured this transmitter-obsessed kid was getting a “cosmic transmission” of his own, and we grabbed his chilling channeled phrase for our next issue’s theme.
The Transmitter now faces South. What does this mean? The cover is an exploration of the subtle change in transmission information that reality is now experiencing. On the front cover, two kids play electric leapfrog, behavior made possible by the new increase in energy. In the lower right corner, dominating the leap-frogged boy, is the icon of the Jester. This icon transmits electric information to the joyous beneficiary of the Transmitter’s turn South. The structure at the left half of the front cover is another transmitter, made of intertwined humans, representing the synergistic nature of a creative endeavor. The Jester stretches upwards in order to transmit inspiration from a higher source, which may be God or just another human being with something to transmit. The Jester reaches in order to keep his human body transmitter fresh with energy and inspiration.
The back cover features a blindfolded male with a spark plug wreath brandished around his head. He is the symbol of artistic intuition, trusting the rush of instinctual urges because they are more immediate and seemingly more “real” than subjective sensory information. Above and below him are letter-like figures that tell a story. Yet another transmitter flowers along the edge of the back cover, and above and below this structure we see the unbroken egg of waiting and the broken egg of breakthrough.
If you dip all the corners of the issue’s pages in lemon juice, the Jester’s secret will be revealed.