Urban Legends...

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    I hate them and since a long time, I'm not more listening to people, who always repeats the same old bla bla.

    Very good example, that's disproved offical, in the last days!:

    When in a german talking comes the school-topic, you can "set your watch on it", that the speaking starts, that in todays schools, parents with money are immediately there and ready for action, including proceed against teachers, when the kid was treated unfair in the eyes of the parents.

    Total bullshit. The data of every state in Germany was analyzed and the number of such cases are VERY less. Only some hundred. And even declining!
     
  2. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    One of my favourite urban legends is the one that Charles Manson auditioned for the Monkees. Which is, of course, bunk. Lots from wartime - e.g. the so-called Blitz Spirit (actually, the Blitz saw a spike in thefts and even rapes in the London area, all carried out under the blackouts). The cranes in London's dockyards dipping as a mark of respect for Churchill's funeral barge passing in 1965: In 2015, John Lynch, who was a crane driver at the time in those docks, told the BBC that it was neverc spontaneous - not least as Churchill was unpopular among the dockers (hard as it is for some to believe nowadays, Churchill as an Untouchable British Icon is very much a posthumous invention). The bare also passed on a Saturday afternoon - when the crane operators didn't normally work. Lynch's claim (which seems credible) is that they were paid overtime for the specific purpose of being there to perform that "spontaneous" gesture.
     
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  3. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Rats the size of cats.

    Such creatures may exist *somewhere*, but the common pest rats in North America, the Norway rat and the somewhat smaller roof rat, aka black rat (although they come in other colors) rarely exceed one pound, and most are considerably smaller than that.
     
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  4. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Although Manson did have an acquaintance with Terry Melcher via Dennis Wilson. Melcher considered signing Manson to a recording contract but decided against it. When Sharon Tate et al were murdered in the house where Melcher had previously lived and which Manson had visited when Melcher resided there, well, Melcher’s concern for his own safety was perfectly understandable.

    From such a fact as that spring embellishments that with sloppy and/or deliberately inaccurate retellings become the sort of urban legend you describe.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Interesting. I remember reading years ago that some Manson recordings had been released (in a world where there's an Ed Gein Fan Club, I am not in the least bit surprised there are ghouls as would buy such a thing), but I believe by court order all the royalties go to the families of his cult's victims.
     
  6. Manson & some of the family lived at Dennis Wilson's home for some time when Manson was trying to break into the music industry.

    Every few yrs someone seems to come up with a new version of an old Urban Legend that (Jesse James, Billy the Kid, JFK, Jim Morrison, Elvis; take your pick) didn't really die but rather faked their death using a body double & lived on into old age reinventing themselves.

    In 2002-2003 yet another person came forward claiming his great-grandfather Jeremiah James who died in 1935 was the real Jesse James. Bill Kurtis of A&E TV fame agreed to finance an exhumation for DNA testing, saying odds were against it being Jesse James but it "makes for good television" (I lost a little of my respect for Kurtis that night). Other members of the extended family said the great-grandson was crazy & went to court in an effort to stop the exhumation but lost. All this took place after the 1999 exhumation in Kearney, MO that resulted in an exact match to the mtDNA from the great-grandson & great-great-grandson of Susan Lavinia James, the younger full sister of Frank & Jesse.

    Turns out Jeremiah James had brown eyes (which his extended family already knew); Jesse James had blue eyes. And the skeletal remains of Jeremiah James did not have the missing left hand ring finger tip that Jesse James shot off in an accident while loading a cap & ball pistol when he was just 15 yrs old. And there was no match to the mtDNA.

    I guess the great-grandson of Jeremiah James got his 15 min of fame if that is what he was after.
     
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  7. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Manson wasn’t totally bereft of musical talents, but the existing recordings of him and his songs makes Melcher’s refusal to sign him seem perfectly reasonable. There are untold thousands of people in every corner of the country who play a guitar and sing well enough to give a listen (and even more in greater Los Angeles, then and now), but few who warranted the time and resources it took to produce a record and get it to market.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  8. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    The Muhlenberg legend is an urban legend in the United States and Germany. According to the legend, the single vote of Frederick Muhlenberg, the first ever Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, prevented German from becoming an official language of the United States. The story has a long history, and has been told in several variations, which may be based in part on actual events.

    The United States however has no statutory official language; English has been used on a de facto basis, owing to its status as the country's predominant language. At times various states have passed their own official language laws. Franz Löher, whose 1847 German book included an early version of the story. There are several versions of the story. One source of the legend may be a vote in the United States House of Representatives in 1794, after a group of German immigrants asked for the translation of some laws into German. This petition was debated by the House of Representatives, but was not acted upon. A vote to adjourn and reconsider it at a later time was defeated 42 to 41. Muhlenberg (of German descent himself, who had not voted in the roll call) was later quoted as having said "the faster the Germans become Americans, the better it will be."
     
  9. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    And then there are those urban legends that were never meant to be anything but satire, that were so outrageous as obviously to be untrue, but were taken seriously anyway.

    Consider the case of “The Parts That Were Left Out of the Kennedy Book,” written in 1967 by the recently deceased Paul Krassner and published in The Realist, the periodical he edited and published.

    In that infamous piece Krassner, mimicking the style of William Manchester in his recently published “The Death of a President,” wrote, among other things, that Lyndon Johnson committed acts of necrophilia on Kennedy’s corpse as it was being flown back to Washington from Dallas.

    I was still very much a minor back then, but I recall hearing of Johnson’s alleged sins against the departed pretty boy’s earthly remains long before I’d ever heard of Paul Krassner and his largely satirical publication.

    I have little doubt that back then many took it seriously, and that some still do.
     
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  10. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    On St George’s Day each year, April 23rd, there are re-enactments across England of a legend centuries old, told and retold by generations. The legend goes that Saint George, a Roman soldier in the 10th century, came across a town plagued by an evil dragon about to kill the king of England’s daughter. George is said to have slayed the dragon, freed the town and rescued the princess, thus becoming the patron saint of England.

    A story much-loved by Hollywood, the English legend of Robin Hood became a figurehead for the triumph of good over evil – the foundation for many a tale since. This lovable outlaw and his band of Merry Men were praised for robbing the rich to give to the poor, outwitting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and remaining loyal to their beloved king – King Richard. You can visit The Mighty Oak, which stands tall in Sherwood Forest, to this very day.

    The many legends of King Arthur have captured imaginations for centuries. The most famous of British kings, Arthur was said to have defended the country against Saxon invaders and is at the centre of numerous tales, achieving mythical status in Britain. Arguably the most famous of all tales is the Sword in the Stone. Legend says the magician Merlin placed a sword in a stone and whomever was able to pull it out would be the rightful king. Arthur pulls the sword called Excalibur from the stone and becomes the King of England.
     
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  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The king of all 20th Century American urban legends has to be the "that ought to hold the little bastards for another night" incident, attributed to just about every personality who has ever hosted a radio or television kiddie show since the late 1920s. It's most often attributed to Uncle Don Carney of WOR, who hosted a cutesy show for little children for over twenty years, and there is absolutely no contemporary documentation or "outcry in the press" concerning such an incident anywhere in the historical record, whether concerning Carney's career or that of any other known kids' performer.

    A more recent version of the story is that Mister Rogers once flipped off his audience on the air.

    [​IMG]

    Well, screen captures don't lie -- but liars capture screens. Mister Rogers did indeed display the above digit in a 1967 program, but he did so during a performance of the children's counting song "Where Is Thumbkin," in which each finger is given a name and held up in turn over the course of the song, with lyrics sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques." Here, we are seeing "Tall Man" get his turn in the song. Rogers is not the only wholesome kids' TV personality of the 1960s to do this selection, complete with gestures -- it was also a favorite of Mr. Green Jeans on "Captain Kangaroo."
     
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  12. One of my favorite urban legends is what Daniel Boone was supposed to have said when asked why he was leaving Kentucky in 1799 after 32 yrs living there, "It's just gettin' too damn crowded."

    A sentiment I can relate to.
     
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  13. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    “I can see Russia from my house.”

    Credit Tina Fey’s brilliant impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL in 2008.

    Palin never uttered the phrase, of course, although it appears that large numbers of people believe she did. Fey was satirizing Palin’s response to a question regarding her foreign policy chops when she said that due to her home state of Alaska’s proximity to Russia she would be among the first to witness the potential effects of a Russian military air incursion.
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    A common urban myth of the Era was that Franklin D. Roosevelt was actually named "Rosenfeld," and that he was in league with "Jewish internationalists" to destroy "the American Way Of Life." This tale was told with a straight face by well-to-do WASPs in private clubs and corporate boardrooms to the point where it was a point of assumed truth among those who felt That Man to be a Traitor To His Class. You will still find it taught and believed among the latter-day heirs to that "intellectual tradition" today.
     
  15. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

    I have often heard that line (and ones similar to it — substitute London or Puget Sound for San Francisco) to Mark Twain.

    Sam Clemens coined many a witticism, but there is no evidence he ever uttered that one.
     
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  16. “Don’t worry, they usually don’t swim backwards.”

    Steve Irwin (1962-2006). Australian zookeeper, conservationist and television personality known as The Crocodile Hunter, there is no evidence Irwin said that just before being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb during a break in filming an underwater documentary, Ocean's Deadliest.
     
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  17. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Popular one from East-Germany:

    Russians, which slid down a ski-jump hill on a usual (children's) sled.

    Of course, this crap is said on every east-german ski-jump hill... ;)
     
  18. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster. The earliest report of a monster in the vicinity of Loch Ness appears in the Life of St. Columba by Adomnán, written in the sixth century AD. According to Adomnán, writing about a century after the events described, Irish monk Saint Columba was staying in the land of the Picts with his companions when he encountered local residents burying a man by the River Ness. They explained that the man was swimming in the river when he was attacked by a "water beast" which mauled him and dragged him underwater. Although they tried to rescue him in a boat, he was dead. Columba sent a follower, Luigne moccu Min, to swim across the river. The beast approached him, but Columba made the sign of the cross and said: "Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once." The creature stopped as if it had been "pulled back with ropes" and fled, and Columba's men and the Picts gave thanks for what they perceived as a miracle.

    Believers in the monster point to this story, set in the River Ness rather than the loch itself, as evidence for the creature's existence as early as the sixth century. Sceptics question the narrative's reliability, noting that water-beast stories were extremely common in medieval hagiographies and Adomnán's tale probably recycles a common motif attached to a local landmark. According to sceptics, Adomnán's story may be independent of the modern Loch Ness Monster legend and became attached to it by believers seeking to bolster their claims. Ronald Binns considers that this is the most serious of various alleged early sightings of the monster, but all other claimed sightings before 1933 are dubious and do not prove a monster tradition before that date. Christopher Cairney uses a specific historical and cultural analysis of Adomnán to separate Adomnán's story about St. Columba from the modern myth of the Loch Ness Monster, but finds an earlier and culturally significant use of Celtic "water beast" folklore along the way. In doing so he also discredits any strong connection between kelpies or water-horses and the modern "media-augmented" creation of the Loch Ness Monster.

    Nessie's descendants have been around for over 1500 years? I tell you, this legend is as believable as the tooth fairy.
     
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  19. Another personal favorite:

    Jack Daniel (1846-1911), founder of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. Jack died at age 65 from blood poisoning. Urban legend has it that it started in a big toe when he kicked his safe after forgetting the combination, & his final request from his deathbed was:

    “One last drink, please.”

    An urban legend straight out of the marketing dept!

    IMG_4466.JPG
     
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  20. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    I'll drink to that.
     
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