I Think We're ALL Bozos On This Bus
December 19, 2016 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Worried about the future? Concerned about targeted advertising? Does virtual reality or augmented reality seem threatening? Is the spectre of Artificial Intelligence something that alarms you? Don't worry, Firesign Theatre covered all this for you 45 years ago in their fourth album I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus [38m]. Let the air out of your shoes (if you wear them) and discover what you forgot you knew!
posted by hippybear (27 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Squeezes Wheez
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:37 PM on December 19, 2016


I was in a high school marching band when this album came out, and I have never been in buses that were more bozo-filled than the ones that took us to the parades and football games where we performed. Good times.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love Firesign Theater, although I was just a few years too young to appreciate them when their best records were released. This one got heavy play on the ol' 8-track back in high school, however (1978-82).
posted by mosk at 10:16 PM on December 19, 2016


Uhh, Clem
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:17 PM on December 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


To be honest, with the "worker" and the self-cloning, it's oddly Westworld in a lot of ways, too.
posted by hippybear at 10:18 PM on December 19, 2016


Sweet dreams are made of this.
posted by pjmoy at 10:25 PM on December 19, 2016


I know the bees are sleeping with my wife
posted by solarion at 10:51 PM on December 19, 2016


I discovered this album, and listened to it obsessively, when I was nine years old. I am told that this explains much about my personality.
posted by Kinbote at 11:41 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I once heard that Firesign Theater records were not made with solid vinyl, but with multiple very thin layers of mylar that wore away as they were played, which explained why they were in fact different each time you listened to them.
posted by Bruce H. at 2:33 AM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hey Paolo! He broke de precedent!
posted by skippyhacker at 3:58 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sure, dealing with today's complex World of the Future is like having bees live in your head. But, there they are!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:16 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Uh, Bob.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:38 AM on December 20, 2016


Pluck the duck, who have I got to lose?
posted by sydnius at 4:50 AM on December 20, 2016


In my youth, I spent many happy hours lying on a beanbag chair in the music listening room at Western. Firesign Theater played a large role.

To the best of my recollection.

And I made my fiancee listen to Nick Danger before I would marry her.
posted by Pablo MacWilliams at 7:02 AM on December 20, 2016


And for many years our phone message told people that we were "Up in the aviary, stunting trees."
posted by Pablo MacWilliams at 7:10 AM on December 20, 2016


I listened to The Firesign Theater a lot in high school, had no idea what was going on, loved it!
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:47 AM on December 20, 2016


Fudd's First Law of Opposition: If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:49 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Close B clothes mode!
posted by Devoidoid at 8:19 AM on December 20, 2016


The 'hacking' by Clem is based on (according to wikipedia) -- "his dialog with the fair's computer includes messages found in the DEC PDP-10, a popular mainframe computer at the time. (Some of the lines are error messages from MACLISP.) An identification followed by the word "hello" initiated an interactive session on contemporary Univac, General Electric, and university timesharing systems. Many of the things the computer said were based on ELIZA, a computer program which simulated a Rogerian psychotherapist.[1] For example, the phrase Clem used to put The President into maintenance mode, "this is Worker speaking," is based on the fact that the user could type "worker" at Eliza's command prompt, and Eliza would then display the command prompt for the Lisp software environment in which Eliza ran. And if the user neglected to end a statement or question to Eliza with a punctuation mark, Eliza's parser would fail, displaying the message "Unhappy: MkNam" to indicate that a function called "MkNam" was the point of failure. The President said the same thing, pronouncing it "unhappy macnam."

Also - if you have an iPhone, tell Siri "This is worker speaking. Hello" and there's an appropriate response
posted by Mr.Pointy at 8:36 AM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I really miss these miscreants of Joycean psychedelia. I guess I have to dig out the old records and take a trip back to the fun fair. Everybody likes to squeeze the wheeze!
posted by njohnson23 at 8:47 AM on December 20, 2016


if you have an iPhone, tell Siri "This is worker speaking. Hello"

LMFAO
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 AM on December 20, 2016


I really miss these miscreants of Joycean psychedelia.

So many fond memories. My favorite was Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers.

George:
...not in any way want to put myself in a confrontatory position either with the United Snakes, or with Them. And you can believe me, because I never lie and I'm always right. So wake up! [slap and baby crying] And take a look at your only logical choice. Me. George Tirebiter.

Voice Over:
Paid for by the Tirebiter For Political Solutions Committee, Sector R.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 AM on December 20, 2016


There's also a wonderful moment where two of the albums, How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All" and "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers" connect with each other.

In Dwarf the "listener" (who later morphs into an aged George Tirebiter) is watching TV and makes a call to order a pizza. He requests: "I'd like a large, no anchovies, please." The response on the other ends is: "Sorry, I spell my name Danger!" and the phone hangs up. That's Nick Danger from How Can You Be...
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 11:06 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


And lest we forget: Shoes for Industry! Shoes for the dead!
posted by rtimmel at 1:14 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also ask Siri about the porridge bird.
posted by nonane at 3:31 PM on December 20, 2016


"Malmborg in Plano," say I.
posted by On the Corner at 4:04 AM on December 23, 2016


Let's talk about a Firesign Theater tarot.
posted by Bruce H. at 6:19 PM on January 9, 2017


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