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Miscellany of Symptoms

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0265
Run Time
0h 21m 4s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
1979 - 1982
Outtakes from Novo Dextro: Purity and Danger (1982), an "ethnographic dossier of political symptoms to place Nazis in context."
Begins with footage of a group (including politician John Anderson) on stage singing "America the Beautiful" in front of a banner reading "Hillel Foundation - Jewish Federation." A woman stands with a sign that says "Remember.. Birkenau." This is followed by news footage shot off of a television screen, describing a neo-Nazi rally in Evanston, Illinois on October 19, 1980 that was met by 2500 protesters. Stamets' own footage from the Evanston event follows.

Next is footage of an "America for Jesus" rally held in Chicago. Jerry Falwell, president of the Moral Majority political organization, is introduced to the crowd. Stamets films members of the Chicagoland chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers marching, a man carrying a large cross by Buckingham Fountain, and a man singing with a puppet.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the America First Committee Arthur Jones is seen protesting Falwell downtown, citing that he is a Zionist. Jones and two others hold signs reading “Rev. Falwell READ your BIBLE!,” “The Moral Majority YES! Jews NO!,” “Americans will NOT FIGHT Jewish WARS.” Audio from a “special Christmas message” from the America First Committee plays while Mayor Jane Byrne holds an event celebrating Hanukkah.

Short scene of another conservative rally (possibly the "Washington for Jesus" event in Washington, D.C. in 1980), followed by scenes of a protest in Chicago. Activists hold signs reading “Reagan is Righteous, Russia is a Bully,” “Cuba out of El Salvador,” “Support Regan’s [sic] Ant-Communism,” and “Give Duarté a Chance.” They sing “God Bless America.”

This is followed by footage of miscellaneous scenes around Chicago: dancers at the Chicago International Folk Fair, Hare Krishnas, crowds at the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, kids playing by Buckingham Fountain, a street preacher with a puppet, and a TV story about the Village People.

Most of the rest of the footage concerns disc jockey Steve Dahl of WLUP "The Loop." Dahl, wearing a clown nose, breaks a disco record over his head while onlookers chant “disco sucks.” Dahl's sidekick Garry Meier holds a mock interview with Dahl, who pretends to be a woman. There is a brief scene from the Steve Dahl Breakfast Club (where a boy is dressed as Satan), followed by scenes of "Disco Demolition Night" at Comiskey Park in 1979 (teens hold a sign that says “FUCK YOU! DISCO SUCKS Ross! Insane Coho Lips Sez Go White Sox”). Over footage of the event, there is audio of an interview between Dahl and fellow DJ Buzz Kilman. Kilman says “burning records does raise images of uh, Heil Hitler, fascism, book burning, censorship.” Dahl responds by quoting Deuteronomy. Next, Dahl rips the penis off of a mannequin on stage, then the breasts off of another. The film ends with short shots of an outdoor rock concert (the band plays The Kinks' "You Really Got Me"), cops doing pushups, and roller-skaters dancing in a park.
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Byrne, Jane (is participant)
Meier, Garry (is participant)
Dahl, Steve (is participant)
Art Jones (is participant)
Anderson, John (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (depicts)