"From the deepest part of Western Europe
A young child will be born to poor people:
Who will by his speech seduce a great multitude,
His reputation will increase in the Kingdom of the East"
"The ancient work will be accomplished,
and from the roof evil will fall on the great man.
Being dead they will accuse an innocent of the deed:
the guilty one is hidden in the misty woods."
Students of the Occult with a particular eye toward prophecy and
Sixteenth Century France will recognize the above quatrains as two of
the more remarkable predictions made by the French physician Michel de
Nostradame, better known as Nostradamus. In C3, Q35, the ‘deepest part
of Western Europe’ is obviously Austria, and the ‘young child’ ‘Who
will by his speech seduce a great multitude’ is certainly Hitler, or
‘Hister’ as the seer refers to him in later quatrains, making reference
not only to the Great Dictator’s name but also his birthplace; Hister
being the Latin for the river Danube on whose shores Hitler was born.
With equally uncanny accuracy Nostradamus forecasts the Kennedy Assassination. "from the roof" doubtless refers to the
shot fired from the Book Depository and if the ‘Misty Wood’ isn’t the Grassy Knoll, then
what else is it?
The Great Seers remains now rest within the walls of the
Church of the Cordeliers of Salon under an inscription which translated from the Latin
"Here rest the bones of the illustrious Michel
Nostradamus, alone of all mortals, judged worthy to record with his near divine pen, under the
influence of the stars, the future events of the entire world."
All well and good.
But you kind of have to admit, the opening quotes are
his best shots. Most of the other Quatrains are softballs prophecy-wise. World ending in
fire, mass genocide, trouble arising in the Middle East. I mean,
really. Show me a fifty year span of recorded history when trouble wasn’t
arising in the Middle East. Genocide is pretty much what humans do to
pass the time when organized sport ceases to be sufficiently entertaining
and fire? Number one way to end things, coming in significantly ahead of both Flood and Pestilence.
"Hmm, I wonder what B.S. I can come up with today!"
Be honest. You know sooner or later things will end
badly for all of us, and if you’re reading this essay, my guess is you’re not even mildly
psychic, let alone a prophet. You’re almost certainly a useless little
college student living in your parents basement or a jobless statistic
who’s footing atop the internet bubble turned out to be a tad softer
than anticipated. You don’t need to be Nostradamus to guess a chunk of
land that three world religions claim as their own might turn out to be
I don’t know about you guys, but what I look for in a
clairvoyant visionary is a ‘heads up’ about the horrors I had no way of
anticipating on my own. Where the hell was old Nostro on the Singin’
Bellybuttons? I scanned every damn quatrain, sixtain, rain in Spain and
everything else ending in ain, there’s nothing that could even loosely
be seen as a television commercial with singin’ belly buttons, so how
good could he have been, really? I mean one lousy little rhyming couplet
hinting that someday I might sit down in front of the TV with a nice
tube of Pringles and a gallon of Jeagermeister and instead of a nice,
relaxing session of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ I’d have my frontal lobe
brutally sanded by the singin’ bellybuttons might have saved my
insurance company some very hefty therapy bills. If the Goddamn Prognosticating Escargot Muncher
could guess Hitler’s name, shouldn’t an ingeniously crafted Brain Eraser like the Singin’ Bellybutton
Commercial have registered on his Magic, Galic, Future Predictin’ Bowl O’ Water?
Okay, sure, if this was just a bunch of Bellybuttons
made to sing via the glories of computer animation and the Oracle of the Jerry Lewis
Lovers had missed it, okay. No harm, no foul. But it’s far more
complicated than just the fact that these Bellybuttons sing. Oh yes,
my friend. It’s nothing so simple.
What do they sing? "I’m coming out" by former Supreme,
Ms. Diana Ross. What are we to make of this bizarre choice? What subliminal message are
the mad scientists of Madison Avenue insidiously bundling with their
A.) These Belly buttons are going surge forward like pop
up thermometers on thanksgiving turkeys, becoming ‘outies’.
B.) These bellybuttons are
admitting they only desire intercourse with bellybuttons of their own gender. Since
all the bellybuttons are on female abdomens, we will assume the ad is an endorsement of Lesbianism
C.) Something directly behind the bellybuttons is
singing. Remember that scene in ‘Alien’?
D.) Anthropomorphic bellybuttons actively endorse the
Singin' Bellybuttons. OH THE HORROR!
Attentive viewers of this ad (and I cannot for the life
of me recall what it is trying to sell) will note a brief shot of a small, terrified,
African American, male child. As this is the only fully human image the
viewer sees, we are doubtless supposed to identify with this child. I
know faced with this terrifying mutation and it’s joyous celebration in
song, I’m terrified, and I’m only watching it on TV. The people who made
this ad want you to see the child’s fear. They are saying ‘Yes, you
are right to fear these marching, singing Bellybuttons. You SHOULD be
afraid. You live in a horrifying unpredictable world full of monsters,
the unimaginable CAN happen and the manner of your death will indescribable!’ If Frenchy La Big Brain had warned me
about this I think I might wake up screaming a few less times a night, because I’d have
known to lay off TV summer of ‘01. He’d of said "Hey, you might make
yourself a nice reading list, cause pretty much from June on it’s
nothin’ but Singin’ Bellybuttons, Bears and Cavemen." I mean, Good
Christ, what if thinking I’ve already seen the worst I proceed blithely
forward and next week there some friggin' commercial with Bears,
Cavemen AND singin’ Bellybuttons? I’ll have to blow my brain out and who’s gonna
care for my wife and kids then? How about writing me a cute little
quatrain to answer that question, Mr. Public Urinating, Euro Disney
Bashing, Cheese and Wine Elitist, Cryptic Bastard! It was bad enough you
never told me there’d be a Mayor McCheese, but I got over that. I
learned to live with the notion of a publicly elected figure with a
Cheeseburger for a head, I even came to see it as charmingly ironic, but
not letting me know the Singin’ Bellybuttons were coming, that’s pretty
much unforgivable. Look, it’s easy;
"Millennium and one, in every home a windowed box
will spill forth marching armies of exposed girth
and once healed umbilic wounds proclaim in song
sisterly affinity for Gay Disco Tunes"
That’s the kind of eerie foreshadowing I’d find useful.
Nostradamus Schmostradamus, if he can’t warn me about that friggin’ ‘Zoom Zoom Zoom’
kid in the Mazda ads who needs any part of him?
Thanks a lot Nostradamus... THANKS FOR NOTHING!