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"I know, I know, it sounds more like Nine Inch Noise!"
February 11, 2014 8:06 PM   Subscribe

A camera attached to weather balloons touches down in a farmer's field, revealing shocking footage. The year is 1991, and Hard Copy is mad at Trent Reznor.
posted by Pope Guilty (35 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a priceless relic of several different things: small-town paranoia about occult murders; late 80s/early 90s alt-rock video making; and syndicated tabloid journalism from a quarter century ago. It's hilarious and delightful and absolutely worth seeing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:15 PM on February 11 [15 favorites]


Oh god, the "art student" reenactment. Some serious journalism right there!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:23 PM on February 11 [13 favorites]


"Mr. Reznor, what do you have to say in your defense?"

" "

"Mr. Reznor, your silence will only incriminate you further."

" "

"No, Mr. Reznor, don't take your anger out on me! Get back! Get back!!!"
posted by Iridic at 8:23 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]




Dramatization:May not have actually happened.
posted by 445supermag at 8:25 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


small-town paranoia about occult murders

The school administrators of the sleepy little rural town I went to high school in were obsessed with Satanism and the idea that this little shit town was hiding a malevolent Satan-worshipping cult. Like, specifically banning it in the school handbook, interrogating students who wore a lot of black or played roleplaying games about their involvement in Satanism, the whole nine yards. Some dick ran over a swan in the park and somebody (rumor at the time was the cops) had to quietly tell the Principal to stop telling people it had been gutted and hanged by devil-worshippers. And this wasn't even during the height of the Satanic Panic- this was like 1998!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:28 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


A camera attached to weather balloons touches down in a farmer's field, revealing shocking footage

Is there a surprise at the end?
 
posted by Herodios at 8:30 PM on February 11


Everything about this is wonderful.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:30 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna watch this again and again. I'm gonna order Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza and Clearly Canadians and have a party and invite people in artfully torn blue jeans over to watch it with me. I'm gonna record it onto a VHS and show it on an old school 13" television. I'm gonna snuggle the tv while it plays this clip and whisper sweet nothings in its rabbit ears.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:42 PM on February 11 [15 favorites]


FWIW, the finished video for "Down In It." (Bonus video.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


5+ years earlier, Trent Reznor had a different look and sound, as part of Exotic Birds (No Communication music video, before Trent was a member, and possibly featuring Trent in a live show in '89). And looking a bit darker, while playing in a much cheerier pop group, Slam Bamboo.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]


The year is 1991, and Hard Copy is mad at Trent Reznor

"The year is 1991, and Hard Copy is mad at Trent Reznor TRENT RESNOR"

Amazing
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:59 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]




You did it. You maniacs! You used the dawn music at 0:38! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
posted by Evilspork at 9:06 PM on February 11 [8 favorites]


Like, specifically banning it in the school handbook,

Really enjoying the idea of a bunch of Satanists all ready to make an offering to Baphomet but those ACCURSED FOOLS banned it in their school handbook and now they are powerless.

But seriously, remember when people thought music was dangerous? Remember when there were Congressional hearings about the evils of rock music? Hell, remember when The Simpsons was RUINING AMERICA rather than a beloved institution? Bart Simpson used to be controversial.

Oh god I've turned into an old.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:17 PM on February 11 [19 favorites]


I've seen this before, remember it fondly. It is so a snapshot of its era, for all the reasons other commenters have given. :)
posted by edheil at 9:19 PM on February 11


"...remember when The Simpsons was RUINING AMERICA rather than a beloved institution?"

Or when vice presidential candidates were more worried about Murphy Brown than foreign policy.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:25 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]




I'll say!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:29 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


TRENT RESNOR
I remember a Pittsburgh newscaster talking about the outrage over the upcoming "Marilyn Mason" show.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:38 PM on February 11


Yeesh! 1991 looks like the olden days.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:52 PM on February 11


2014 is to 1991 as 1991 was to 1968, so yeah, basically olden days.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:39 PM on February 11 [14 favorites]


That cop at the start looks so much like the cop from 'The Fugitive' it's uncanny. Looky here.
posted by h00py at 10:43 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I had no idea this occurred. It's so typically Trent Reznor, though. It's interesting to see he was doing this sort of culture jamming viral marketing thing from the very beginning.

He also figured out that if you make your band's logo out of straight lines, it will end up carved in high school desks everywhere.
posted by triceryclops at 11:07 PM on February 11 [10 favorites]


He also figured out that if you make your band's logo out of straight lines, it will end up carved in high school desks everywhere.

Remind me to name my band Stussy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:36 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


I love how one-sided their commentary is. "Trent Reznor had absolutely no regret about the year of wasted police time that could have been used to solve REAL crimes." Yeah, it's all Trent's fault.
posted by mmoncur at 1:40 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


This is hilarious, but it's just a wacky series of events, not "culture jamming viral marketing". They didn't release a video-carrying balloon into the wild hoping it would get picked up by the cops.
posted by the bricabrac man at 2:50 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


This is truly an inspirational story. I wonder how often video or photos end up in police hands because someone sees something in them "suspicious". Seems like some clever people could accomplish something highly, um, entertaining. Yea, that's right. Entertaining. Yup. :-))
posted by Goofyy at 4:09 AM on February 12


He also figured out that if you make your band's logo out of straight lines, it will end up carved in high school desks everywhere.

I remember o0o drawn on everything in my high school in 1984.
posted by waving at 5:14 AM on February 12


He had a flare for wearing jewelry, in his nose!
posted by oddman at 5:29 AM on February 12 [7 favorites]


I love how one-sided their commentary is. "Trent Reznor had absolutely no regret about the year of wasted police time that could have been used to solve REAL crimes." Yeah, it's all Trent's fault.

And speaking of videotapes and no regrets, this is the same reporter who would go on to buy and air the tape that surfaces right before Amy Fisher's suicide attempts, then follow it up with an audiotape where she details her history of sexual abuse.

Representatives of "Hard Copy" said they did not believe the videotape led to Fisher's attempted suicide.

"I do not feel responsible in any way," said Rafael Abramovitz, the reporter who acquired the video and audio tapes.

posted by gimli at 7:44 AM on February 12


I'm trying to to decide if this is better or worse than today's Fox News/Nancy Grace sensationalism... I was a kid back then, and I absolutely remember the controversy about Marilyn Manson, but never noticed any about Nine Inch Nails.

Also Pretty Hate Machine was the very first CD I ever owned. Awesome.
posted by Big_B at 7:48 AM on February 12


Poe's Law.

The dramatization at 5:32 is hilarious: "Now I'm not certain who the art student was, or what he was doing at the moment, but I imagine it was something like this. He must have been at an easel. There must have been a model, and apparently the television was going on at full blast at the same time."

So of course, they get a mime and a model from central casting, dress the mime like a character from an 80s New Wave video, and undress the model. Then they have the mime react to the television with a double-take straight from a Buster Keaton movie. And to top it off, he's painting the Mona Lisa.

This, coupled with the bucolic farmer wandering the Michigan heartland to the strains of Pyr Gynt, and I have a hard time believing that anyone was taking this seriously. Then there's the beautiful line, "Paul Woods doesn't wear rings in his nose."
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:51 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


So of course, they get a mime and a model from central casting, dress the mime like a character from an 80s New Wave video, and undress the model. Then they have the mime react to the television with a double-take straight from a Buster Keaton movie. And to top it off, he's painting the Mona Lisa.

That bit is a joke. I mean, the whole thing is a joke but that bit's a deliberate "ho ho, we are making a funny, you will laugh, yes?" joke.
posted by yoink at 9:15 AM on February 12


CBrachyrhynchos: "I have a hard time believing that anyone was taking this seriously."

This was a segment from Hard Copy. While not a comedy show or anything, it was not exactly a show people took seriously either.
posted by Bugbread at 10:38 PM on February 13


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