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The Reagans Speak Out on Drugs, 25 years later
March 5, 2013 6:48 PM   Subscribe

25 years ago, the Reagans spoke out on drugs, and they were, rather surprisingly, in support of a variety of substances. This wasn't a new video showing a sudden change of heart, but the work of two years, editing a longer speech to the nation that was originally broadcast in 1986. The new video couldn't be seen on TV, but was shared, traded, and bootlegged on VHS tapes. The case was originally labeled "A uniquely edited version of a real televised address to the American people," noting that it was made by Cliff Roth, an audio/visual geek and teacher who had access to a high quality film reel and audio source, plus the time and resources to make a piece of "editing art".
posted by filthy light thief (25 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish this guy could use his old school skills to make a film of RONALD REGAN CUT UP WHILE TALKING [sic].
posted by Countess Elena at 6:59 PM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Inspiring.
posted by telstar at 7:05 PM on March 5, 2013


This would have reduced drug use a generation ago.
posted by Brian B. at 7:13 PM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, I love it so.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:18 PM on March 5, 2013


Say yes to drugs, even to the point of making others uncomfortable...

Hil arious. Thanks!
posted by Flashman at 7:21 PM on March 5, 2013


Cute. Now make them do Call Me Maybe.
posted by etc. at 7:23 PM on March 5, 2013


What band used samples from this? Help, it's driving me nuts.
posted by davebush at 7:29 PM on March 5, 2013


davebush, it was Black Grape in "Get Higher."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 PM on March 5, 2013


Yes! I was just thinking "it's a band like Blake Grape". Thanks.
posted by davebush at 7:36 PM on March 5, 2013


From TFA:

Probably the biggest TV exposure it got was on a late-night show on USA called Up All Night.

I am pretty certain that is incorrect. I saw it on the USA Channel's show Night Flight.

I always remembered that video. It inspired me to do my own editing of presidential speeches, and I'm sure it was inspiration for guys like the Emergency Broadcast Network.

When I finally got ahold of video editing equipment capable of doing the job. I remember people saying they couldn't stand to listen to Bush making speeches, it enraged them to the point they wanted to smash their TV. So I decided to fix that. I took some Bush speeches and painstakingly edited out all the words. It looks like he's twitching all over the place, then applause. The effect was so great that some asshole in my own town plagiarized it and submitted it to a film festival.. and won a prize! That incident actually appeared on MeFi, long ago before I was a member, but I couldn't locate it in a search.

Since my video server is down (I swear I'll fix it someday) I will release a low-quality version of my edited George Bush State of the Union speech. It's 11Mb at low quality encoding, I have higher rez versions but they're impractically large without streaming services. I think my edit encapsulates the experience of the George Bush years in a way that is almost impossible to capture any other way. I think I described it by saying I edited out all the lies and other unnecessary words. You'll get the idea after a minute or two, but I encourage you to stick through all 25 minutes, the sheer weight of the nothingness takes on a haunting quality.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:47 PM on March 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah - I remember watching this on the Underground Tape Railroad!!!
posted by symbioid at 8:04 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always remembered that video. It inspired me to do my own editing of presidential speeches, and I'm sure it was inspiration for guys like the Emergency Broadcast Network.

If he started in 1986, he also predated The Evolution Control Committee.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:07 PM on March 5, 2013


This of course reminds me of Doug Kahn's Reagan Speaks. See also DiYMedia.net but I can't seem to find the one with Thatcher. Though now, I'm not sure if I ever heard it or just saw references to it.
posted by user92371 at 8:35 PM on March 5, 2013


I remember people saying they couldn't stand to listen to Bush making speeches, it enraged them to the point they wanted to smash their TV.

It's true! I remember being at a gym once when they had one of his campaign speeches on TV. The sound was off and the subtitles were on - I was amazed to find that if you took the smarmy lying asshole tone of voice away, he actually came off like kind of a normal person. His actual policies were still completely full of shit but it was at least possible to see why it was possible that nearly half the country actually liked him. He certainly had a good speechwriter that day, at least.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:36 PM on March 5, 2013


No. Fuck No.
posted by nj_subgenius at 8:40 PM on March 5, 2013


He will rock you.
posted by vrakatar at 8:57 PM on March 5, 2013


The alternative timeline that could have been.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:51 PM on March 5, 2013


I remember people saying they couldn't stand to listen to Bush making speeches, it enraged them to the point they wanted to smash their TV.

Back to Reagan: The President's Speech
posted by homunculus at 10:27 PM on March 5, 2013


I think the idea is like so: if they talked about how events really did turn out, this is what they might have said.
posted by telstar at 10:28 PM on March 5, 2013


I'm sure it was inspiration for guys like the Emergency Broadcast Network yt .

I love this show!
posted by homunculus at 10:31 PM on March 5, 2013


So good! It reminded me of this Bush SOTU remix.
posted by the_bone at 10:40 PM on March 5, 2013


Here's Nancy sharing her inspiring pro-drug message in a very, very special episode of Diff'rent Strokes.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on March 6, 2013


I can't listen to this now, but I have the distinct feeling this probably is part (or all of) some audio I used of Reagan in a music mix about drugs.

I mixed bits of it in with Steppenwolf's "Goddamn the Pusher"

My copy was from cassette and I was never sure where I got it from.

I can't wait to get home to listen to this.

Thanks!
posted by mmrtnt at 12:25 PM on March 6, 2013


Look at that enormous puppet head on Nancy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:41 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah - I remember watching this on the Underground Tape Railroad!!!

Kids who never knew a pre-Internet, pre-YouTube era don't know how reflective of reality that was. You couldn't just get these tapes. You had to know a guy. And it wasn't just any guy. It had to be a guy who knows a guy.
posted by jonp72 at 6:09 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


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