By Jared Quillen
So if you’re like me,..."/> By Jared Quillen
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How Rowdy Roddy Piper Put the Hope Back Into Kentucky Basketball


By Jared Quillen
So if you’re like me, you like corny awesome movies and you were very excited to see the corny awesome, “They Live” come on AMC the other day; AMC because this movie is indeed an American Movie Classic. With great lines like, “Just that idiot licking his balls again” and “I’m came here to chew bubble gum and kick some ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum” this movie is fantastic start to finish. The film score is but one song that plays intermittently throughout the film. “They live” also features one of the longest one on one fight scenes in film history between the Piper and Keith David, who would later call his French fries sacred in “Men at Work”, another classic, as they pummel each other because Keith refuses to wear Rowdy’s sunglasses.

So what does this have to do with Kentucky basketball, well give me a moment and I’ll get to that. “They Live” is a film about a group of aliens that comes to Earth to make windfall profits off the unsuspecting human race. “They” keep people asleep by hypnotizing them with messages that you can only see by wearing special sunglasses, that also reveal the skeleton like faces of the aliens. Hence Rowdy’s desire that Mr David wear said sunglasses.

Anyway, a year after this film came out (1989) Shepard Fairey (a rather unfortunate name)was an art student at Rhode Island School of Design. It was Fairey who started the “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” street art campaign. He was later ordered to stop using Andre the Giant’s name as he was using it without permission. He then changed his campaign to the “Obey the Giant Campaign” to represent the same idea that the evil corporate aliens were trying to instill in us unsuspecting humans. You know, the same old crap about how evil capitalists are taking advantage of you and you should just obey them without thinking. Fairey really liked the message from this B-movie and was inspired enough to take “Obey” from the film and add it to his (stolen) “Giant” image.

Fairey’s campaign was so successful that it began popping up all over the world, even being copied and altered on occasion. You should know that Fairey has been very aggressive in bringing lawsuits to order people to cease and desist using any semblance of “his” giant work. Interesting as he originally stole someone else’s likeness and image in the first place. Not sure if he knew about the picture of the Giant that made it onto my wife’s trendy t-shirt.

Well anyway, Shepard Fairey grew very famous and would eventually go on to create the Obama “Hope” picture, also illegally as he used Obama’s likeness without permission. He originally put “Progress” as the caption on the picture (by the way he stole someone else’s photo work for the picture that he used to make the red and blue image). The Obama campaign team liked the picture so much when they saw it that they asked him to redo it but this time using hope as the caption. The picture was a huge success and has popped up all over the place in posters, t-shirts, and campaign pins.

Later a photoshop expert UK fan decided to appropriate Fairey’s picture and put John Wall in Barack Hussein Obama’s place to represent the hope that John Wall was bringing back to the Kentucky basketball program. So there you have it. Hope has been restored to Kentucky basketball and all because Rowdy Roddy Piper ran out of chewing gum.

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