Is there really a New World Order that secretly controls us all? If there is…then Duran Duran may know about it.
The conspiracy theory goes something like this: there is a secret cabal of the wealthy, the powerful, and the elite. They have a globalist agenda in which they will eventually emerge as the heads of a totalitarian one-world government. The composition of this shadow government is said to include in part or in whole organizations such as The Freemasons, The Illuminati, The Skull and Bones Society, and anybody left alive from Green Acres. Supporters of this conspiracy theory claim to have evidence to submit this notion. They point to the pyramid, Illuminati-like seal on the back of the American one-dollar bill. Unfurled around the pyramid is a banner imprinted with the Latin phrase, “novus ordo seclorum.” This has been roughly translated to “New World Order.” Conspiracy enthusiasts also cite a 1990 speech by President George H.W. Bush (King George I) in which he stated: “Now, we can see a new world coming into view.” Remember, Bush was a former member of Skull and Bones.
How does this have anything to do with Duran Duran (read: world’s greatest band)? Plenty. I shall expound.
In 1984, Duran Duran released their hit single, “New Moon On Monday.” The video that accompanied the song has been oft cited as a prime example of 80s cheese and big hair that was adamantine from gel and spray. Even then-guitarist Andy Taylor admitted in his memoir that the band has half-crocked on booze throughout the video shoot. But was all this nay saying and downplaying a cover-up? An attempt at concealing the greater truth that Duran were attempting to expose? That the world was coming under the tyrannical heal of a one-world government? Time to check out the extended version of the video for the deeper answers.
We open in a theater as a French play rehearses on stage. The lead character is a sort of French clown or harlequin…and he’s kinda scary. Grim-faced soldiers dressed in all-black uniforms and shiny jackboots, giving them a look that is quite reminiscent of Imperial officers from Star Wars, oversee the entire rehearsal. Enter lead singer Simon Le Bon. He takes a seat in the balcony of the empty theater and we see a symbol upon the lapel of his black leather jacket. It’s an impressive looking glyph, sort of a “Z” shape crossed with a swastika.
In the context of the video, it seems to be the sigil of an underground resistance against the soldiers who are servants of the totalitarian regime.
This is not lost upon one of the troopers. He marches over to Simon and demands a typical “your papers, please.” As everything checks out, the soldier then leads Simon backstage in the theater. Simon catches a glimpse of Roger Taylor in a small office. The two men exchange knowing glances and Roger goes back to writing at his desk. Roger seems so at peace there, scribbling away at what might be inventory sheets or payroll forms. This might even foretell his departure from the band. “Enough sneaking out of hotel rooms. Corporate middle management’s got to have less stress.”
Anyway, Simon is brought to a dressing room where he meets with a hot, leggy brunette in a leather mini skirt and black tights. The New World Order sure knows how to hit a guy’s weak spot. Bastards. Nevertheless, the woman (Miss France 1980 it turns out…and I’m betting even money that Simon shagged her) tells Simon she is “only interested in order.” Emphasis mine. Aha! A clue! But wait…she admits that her father is missing, taken away by the regime. She might be on the side of the angels after all.
The woman brings Simon to a motorcycle she has parked in an alley outside. Embarrassingly enough, Simon ends up riding bitch. At the same time, Roger exits the theater and drives off in his own car. As Simon and his new hottie take off down the Charles Dickens-esque cobblestone streets of this European hamlet, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine just where this is taking place. The language has been French but the look is Eastern European, post-World War II. The geek in me would like to believe that they are in Latveria and that the tyrant-in-chief is none other than Doctor Doom. He would, after all, be a fitting candidate for head of The New World Order. But I digress…
Following them as they ride, we begin to see that something is rotten in Denmark…or wherever they are. Troops stand everywhere throughout the streets. A bearded dissident is beaten to the ground and we hear a gunshot off camera. Another man is clubbed as he is forced to wash the sigil of la resistance (the Z thingy, remember?) from a brick wall. Oddly enough, the same thing happened to me when I carved that same said symbol into a desk in high school. Just as I thought during that time, how much longer can people live under such totalitarian conditions? As in Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables, a revolution is inevitable.
We see the burgeoning development of this, of people willing to take up arms against their oppressors. Bass guitarist John Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes load wooden crates onto a horse-drawn cart. These crates have an ominous label stenciled across them in black: EXPLOSIVES. Now here’s where my critical thinking gets the better of me and I begin to check out of the video. First of all, the idea of these guys handling highly volatile ordinance scares me. Secondly, I find it most unlikely that Nick would engage in any form of manual labor. I would have bought it if he had been hanging back, supervising John and Roger and saying, “Hurry up now, chaps. There’s trouble a’brewin’.” I’m also hoping that the boys were at that point knowledgeable/sober enough not to smoke around those crates. Anyway, with Nick’s twirl of a key on chain they’re off.
Cut to an abandoned factory. Roger meets Andy who has assembled a makeshift printing press and is running off propaganda leaflets. You know, like you used to do with the school’s mimeograph machine? Or maybe that was just me. Andy wears a vintage cap, the kind seen on today’s hipsters. It sort of completes the look as he stands next to the printing press. New Wave meets Newsies. I wonder if Pop Trash Beauty could work up a take on that look? Maybe if we ask nicely enough…and throw in a latte. Or two. Sorry. I keep digressin’. Roger and Andy head out to distribute their fliers, detained only momentarily by New World Order secret police at a checkpoint barricade. It is in that scene that we see the flag of the regime. It’s a field of black with two white, isosceles triangles crisscrossed. Triangles. A bit like pyramids, hmmm?
The whole merry band of MTV Robin Hoods meets up at…where else?…a pub. John must have learned a thing or two from all of those James Bond movies as he slinks into the pub all Secret Squirrel-like, long coat wrapped around him and tossing furtive glances about at the locals who likewise eye him with suspicion. Sort of reminds me of issue #251 of Unknown Soldier. The men plus the French girl start boozin’ and begin to discuss what one can only presume to be revolutionary strategy. Or make-up and cinema. Nick plays with a matchbox…an actual matchbox, not the toy cars…until Andy slaps it down with haste for the soldiers have entered the tavern and begin shooing everyone out. Again, Duran demonstrate themselves as pioneers, laying the groundwork for the Semisonic song, “Closing Time” long before its inception.
A woman who looks a lot like Betty White leads John and Nick into the basement or wine cellar of the tavern. The secret chamber is bathed in a green, techno glow. Sitting upon a wooden workbench is a sophisticated device for 1984…a PC computer. An IBM from the look of it. Complete with the green, monotone screen. The words “La Luna” scroll onscreen as Betty White taps at the keys.We're left to only wonder of the mystery contained therein.
Meanwhile, Simon, Roger, and Andy take it to the streets. They begin to covertly distribute the leaflets all while avoiding the watchful eyes of the Gestapo. Seriously, imperialistic flunkies must all go to the same place for their training. None of them seem to be able to shoot straight or be all that perceptive.
Night falls. Game time! Viva la revolution! To the barricades! Get the kite, Roger!
That’s right. A kite. The Durans hoist aloft a kite made from what appears to be aluminum, like reflective radar chaff. Somehow this material alloy harnesses the power of the skies and transmits the energy back to the ground. Only it is not electricity that is brought down a la Ben Franklin from the heavens. It is the energy of the Moon. Yep. The Moon. Seriously folks, I couldn’t make this up.
Betty White sends John and Nick outside to join the revolt. Once on scene, they unload the wooden crates and John cracks them open with an axe. You remember those crates labeled “EXPLOSIVES?” Yeah, he uses an axe. Elsewhere, Simon waves the flag of the revolution and rallies the workers of the oppressed proletariat. Naturally, the New World Order will have none of this. The riot police are dispatched on horseback to break up the demonstration. Fear these soldiers for they are armed with…lightsabers. You read that correctly. Star Wars-style lightsabers. With that sort of sci-fi technology on the side of the fascists, you may expect this to go down like a replay of Tiananmen Square only with more eyeliner and rouge. But you’d be wrong!
The army of the New World Order is no match for fireworks, flags, and Moon energy. The establishment falls. Freedom has won. The war is over. Everybody celebrates with more fireworks, the symbol of the revolution illuminated, and dancing. Whole lotta dancing.
This whole crazy thing is so laden with symbolism. Did Duran Duran attempt to subtly alert us to the existence of the New World Order? Were they trying to tell us that we would one day have to stand up and take our society back…using fireworks and moon kites? A thread at Above Top Secret has many users dissecting the occult symbols on the record, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, the album that contains “New Moon On Monday.” Others point towards the very lyrics of the songs.
“Shake up the pictures with lizard mixtures.” A warning about the very reptoid hybrids of which David Icke speaks?
“Breaking away with the beast of both worlds.” An allusion to the return of the Annunaki?
“I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite.” A hint that the Nibiru...the "nemesis star"... will knock an asteroid lose and hurtle into the Earth, plunging us back into another ice age and the rise of Thundarr the Barbarian?
Or is it just Simon Le Bon kickin’ it freestyle?
Who can tell? Except for the members of Duran Duran. They may know. They may know very well indeed…and so far, they ain’t talking.
Please, please, please head over to Pop Trash Beauty. There you will find make-up looks based on the video and likely commentary of the band’s fashion and hairstyles of the time. Check out this look she whipped up for us in no time. The crazy mime guy never looked so good.
Until later, via con dios. And remember…knowledge is power.
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