Friday, October 31, 2014

Music Video Monday Halloween Special: Mr. Cool

Hey, did you know that super-sexy W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless was in a weird conceptual band called Circus Circus before W.A.S.P. formed? Probably not. Circus Circus never took off.

Possibly because it was creepy as shit.

At first glance, the video actually looks like a pretty standard late-70's rock band performance.

Then you start to notice things. Weird, off things.

Like that bizarre look on the drummer's face.

What is he looking at? Are his eyes even pointing in the same direction? And why is he so stiff and pale? Is he a corpse?

Nah. This video is old and grainy. On better quality video, he'd certainly look normal...

Wait. Why are you making that strange, unnatural gesture with your arm, guitarist to Blackie's right?

Why, it's almost as if you're trying to ward us away...To warn us of some lurking monster...

Oh, but that's silly. It's only Blackie Lawless. I mean, he's wild and crazy and over the top and all, but surely he's not a malevolent force of evil or anyth...

OH GOD. The eyes!

The eyes, they burn. They beckon.


That's seriously about 85% of what this video consists of right there: Blackie swaying hypnotically and making scary eyes at the camera, while the grainy, patchy video makes him look even creepier.

And I watched this video. All the way through.

Wait, wasn't there a movie a few years back? One where bad things happened to people who watched a crappy old video featuring a black-haired, pale-skinned, spooky-eyed ghoul all the way through?

That's the one.

This doesn't bode well for me.

Seriously, have you ever had a gorgeous, leather-clad rock star materialize in your room to wreak his otherworldly, demonic vengeance and then had to explain to your husband why he's in the bedroom with you? Trust me, "He just crawled out of my laptop, dear--swear to God!" just isn't gonna cut it.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: Into The Coven and Possessed

I've got something special planned for Friday, what with it being Halloween and all, so I'm putting the last two tracks on our "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" together in a joint post.

First up, number eleven out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "Into the Coven" by Mercyful Fate!

Before we start, I'd like to mention that this song is from the Danish heavy metal band's debut album Melissa, which features some of the most staggeringly awesome cover art I've ever seen:

Here's the song:

And now, let me tell you a story about song lyrics.

You know that song "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner? I remember hearing my parents play it on the radio when I was two years old. But I didn't figure out that it was about a guy trying to convince a girl to sneak away from her boyfriend so he could sex her up until I was about sixteen. Want to know how I figured that out? My dad told me. I liked the song and all, but I wasn't going to go out of my way to look up the lyrics. I just didn't care enough about what the words actually said, I just wanted some music playing in the background while I rode along in the car.

Same thing with "Into the Coven." I like King Diamond and all, but I can't understand a word he's saying.* I had to look up the lyrics just to confirm that there was indeed at least one witch and possibly a high priestess involved.

And do you know why I looked up those lyrics?

Because the Washington Wives were pissing and moaning about them.

Same thing with number fourteen on the list, "Possessed" by Venom:

This song is a little more intelligible (and to be perfectly honest, that opening chant is really creepy) but I still can't make out all of it. I had to look up the lyrics, which, again, I wouldn't have done if a bunch of spastic politicians' wives hadn't got all worked up about it.

So yeah, nice going, ladies. It's not like kids are going to get curious and go out of their way to seek out a "dirty"song because you're flipping a big ol' ostentatious shit over it.

*I'm not the only one. Watch this video if you want to laugh so hard you'll feel like you're about to throw up afterwards.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)

On to the next entry on our "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist: number ten out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)" by Def Leppard, vilified for glorifying drug and alcohol use.

I just have a few questions:

1. What drug use? I heard plenty of references to alcohol, but none to any other intoxicating substance. I guess the "drugs" part must have come from the word "high" being repeated over and over again in the chorus. But you know what? The word "dry" is also repeated over and over again in the chorus, and in some contexts "dry" can mean "prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages," so obviously this song is secretly advocating banning alcohol! See, PMRC? I can extrapolate wacky shit from innocuous song lyrics too!

2. This song seems pretty fun and relatively harmless. So why is it only one slot below "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)" on the Filthy Fifteen list? For that matter, why isn't "Animal" way closer to the top, considering how explicit it is? Also, for how scared shitless of Satanism 80's people were, the two "occult" songs on the list somehow only manage to make the 11th and 14th slots. Is there supposed to be any recognizable order to this list at all, or did Tipper and pals just tack a hundred records to the wall and throw darts at them until they had fifteen songs?

3. Seriously, what's so wrong with a song about having a little fun over the weekend that it warrants being put on a list of the most degenerate songs of all time? Is it because the dude's apparently been "drinking all day" despite knowing that he has a date that night, and maybe one or more of the Washington Wives had a bad memory of being puked on by a drunk date? Or because, I don't know, the song is played by British people, and British people are offensive to War of 1812 veterans or something?

And now my head hurts from all the nonsense, so I'm gonna just go and listen to Def Leppard songs until it clears up. And if you're judging me for that, PMRC, just remember that I'm totally judging you, too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Underrated 80's Stuff: Baggy Clothes

It's October, and I live in Michigan.

Our high temperatures have been hovering in the fifties* for the past few weeks. Our mornings and evenings bring us thirty-to-forty degree weather. Also frost. Then there's the rain. It's been raining about every other day, and the rain clouds make everything dark and gloomy.

And it's only going to get colder from here.

Fortunately I work from home, so I have the option of spending rainy, gloomy Fall days lounging around the house.

Do you know what makes lounging around the house on a cold, dreary, rainy day more comfortable?

Clothes that look like pajamas:

Baggy sweaters:

Big pants:

And don't forget something to keep your shins warm!

Why, thank you, 1980's! It's almost like you knew that I would one day 1) exist; 2) live in Michigan; and 3) be a big ol' lazy-ass.

*That's Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Fifty degree Fahrenheit weather might be mildly unpleasant and inconvenient at times, but fifty degree Celsius weather would probably kill me.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: Animal (F**k Like A Beast)

(Content note: I censored the naughty word in the title because I post all my blog posts to Facebook, where all my friends--some of whom have small children or are conservative--can see the titles. Any cuss words in the actual post, however, will remain fully visible as always.)

Moving on to the next track on our "Songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist: Number nine out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) by W.A.S.P.!

So. Two things struck me while I listened through this song.

1. This seems to be the only rock song on the Filthy Fifteen list that's really, truly...well...filthy. Yeah, there are some pop songs on the list that have straight-up sexual content (Prince's "Darling Nikki," for instance). The two other supposedly sexful rock songs on the list, however, don't go any further than innuendo. W.A.S.P. gives us rapey lyrics and actually says the word fuck.

2. Blackie Lawless* was hawt back in the day.



Already...have...husband...must...resist...urge to set time machine for the Sunset Strip circa 1985...

Anyway. What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah. This is basically a song about violent, animalistic sex, and on the surface I can see where the PMRC might have had a point in wanting to keep it out of the hands of impressionable children.



Two points:

1. In their early days, W.A.S.P. were a rather over-the-top band. They threw bits of raw meat at the audience as part of their act. Also, there was much drinking of blood from skulls. I get the feeling that there was more than a little bit of satire going on in their work. I wouldn't count on a bunch of high-strung society wives who see moral corruption around every corner to pick up on satire, though.

2. One of the Washington Wives' major arguments for that annoying sticker was that modern parents were too busy to personally review every single song their kids wanted to listen to, so they needed an easy way to tell whether a new album had objectionable content or not.

Bitches, please.

Do you really need a stupid sticker to tell you that this might not be the best thing to let your thirteen-year-old listen to?

Yep, that's the cover for the "Animal" single. You don't exactly have to be a genius with a million degrees in music history to know that this is not for children. Just look at the thing and use your brain. It's not difficult.

Also, I'm afraid I don't have much patience for this "I don't have time to raise my child, so I want the government to put stickers everywhere to tell me how to do it" bullshit. The government has more important matters to attend to. Parents, meanwhile, made a (hopefully, anyway) voluntary decision to make tiny humans and raise them to adulthood. When you do that, you automatically accept the responsibility that goes along with it. And yes, parents, that includes slogging through hours of godawful pop music on your way to work if you want to restrict your kids' access to certain kinds of music. If you don't want to do that, then let them listen to whatever, deal with any consequences that arise yourself, and leave the rest of us alone.

*I wonder how dear old Tipper would react if you told her back in 1985 that someday in the distant future Blackie would consider himself a born-again Christian and refuse to play this song live again.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

On The Radio Again, Just Can't Wait To Get On The Radio Again...

I have another radio interview scheduled! :D

This one's with KSLX in Phoenix. It'll happen this Monday on October 20, at 9:00 am PST. Mark Mayfield will be my host. Hope you can listen in!

Until then...if you haven't yet, be sure to visit my website. It has comics!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: We're Not Gonna Take It

Remember how I pointed out, in our last entry on the "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist, that the Washington Wives had some laughably misplaced priorities?

I want you to keep that in mind while we examine number seven out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.

The PMRC's objections to this song centered around the "violent" music video, in which a suburban dad--his name seems to be Douglas, but he's such a jerk that we should probably be calling him Daddie Dearest instead-- treats his teenage children like crap until they transform into avenging rock stars and give him a taste of his own medicine.

I think the complaints of violence stem from that one iconic scene where Dee Snider drags Douglas down the stairs by his head:

What I'd like to know, though, is why the PMRC wasn't more concerned about the circumstances that led up to the epic kicking of old Daddie Dearest Douglas's ass. For a group that claimed to be so concerned about children, I never heard of them complaining about how terrible this guy is to his family.

It's made pretty clear from the very beginning of the video that Douglas is a raging asshole. The dude can't even say "Pass the carrots, please" without making it sound like he's going to follow it up with "...or I'll kick your fucking head right off your scrawny shoulders!" Just look at the face his wife makes when one of the kids asks (perfectly politely, I'd like to point out) to be excused from the dinner table:

That, my dears, is the face of a woman who knows that her abusive husband will stomp her senseless if she gives the wrong answer. 

Then the excused-from-the-table son starts playing rock music in his room at a volume that's just barely audible from the dining room, and dad is so offended by this that he bursts into his son's room and starts ranting about having carried an M16 (holy shit, was there a time when the US Army was so desperate for recruits that this hair-trigger maniac would have passed weapons training?) and yelling at the kid to clean his room while throwing stuff around to make the room even less tidy, because that makes perfect sense.

Also, is it just me, or does that kid's room look plenty tidy already?

I'd also like to point out that all the other misfortunes Douglas encounters in this video are, quite frankly, his own stupid fault. 

Most of the violence visited upon him is basically him being blasted out of windows by the sheer power of rock and accidentally swinging into the side of the house on a rope swing. Aside from the scene where he gets dragged down the stairs, when do we ever see a member of Twisted Sister actively lay a hand on him? The closest they come is that one scene where they're all filing out a door one by one, and Douglas is standing on the other side of the door and gets dinged in the face:





Dude, it's basic common sense that you shouldn't stand behind a door. No one expects that there'll be someone hanging out on the other side when they open one (well, except for my husband, who yells "Beep beep!*" before opening doors to rooms he knows I'm in). 

So my verdict is that we can add bad visual comprehension to the PMRC's list of sins. Also, this video gives me hope that if I ever gain superpowers, my power will be the ability to turn into a massively destructive rock star whenever someone makes me angry.**

*Not "Hey, are you in there? I'm coming in." Not "Just so you know, I'm opening the door now!" Just "Beep beep!" As you may already be aware, he's a bit eccentric.  

**This Buzzfeed quiz tells me that I'm secretly Axl Rose, so I'd say I'm off to a good start. My special abilities would include punching cameramen and inciting riots. Also, sexy dancing in tight white shorts.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On This Day In 1984...

...this is what TIME Magazine's cover art looked like:

I love that the stereotypical fedora-wearing mobster on the left looks startled and awkwardly frozen in place, like he just realized that everyone is looking at him and doesn't know what to do about it, while the other one is all, like, "Pssh! Shine your stupid giant flashlights on me all you want--ain't no heavy-handed metaphor for increased scrutiny gonna stop me from pointing my comically tiny gun at no one in particular!"

If you subscribe to TIME, you can read this issue's full cover story here. I don't happen to be a subscriber, but the first few sentences of the article are visible to all, and they make the article look like a pretty gripping read.

They'd also make a good prompt for one of those writing exercises they make you do in creative writing courses:

"It was a moonless night in the Sicilian city of Palermo, a night filled with the sirocco, a torrid, noisy wind that blows in across the Mediterranean from the Sahara, moaning through the city's narrow streets and driving its inhabitants indoors. Few if any residents noticed as squads of armored cars raced through the streets and gun-toting officers cordoned off the city into three sections." 

Actually, a lot of first few sentences of TIME articles would make good writing prompts. Here are a few good ones I found while poking around their archives:

"The tiger hunter of yore was a maharajah or British aristocrat who would take potshots at roaring beasts while perched atop an elephant." -A Shotgun, a Promise of $5 and a Skinned Cat, March 28, 1994

"Signs in the store windows of Brook, Ind. (pop. 888) said simply: "Gone to the Funeral." No one had to ask whose." -Home is the Hoosier, May 29, 1944

"Through the mud of Fox Island in Puget Sound clumps a stubby and sturdy woman wearing a vibrant green baseball cap, a gold and green sweatsuit, and a T shirt emblazoned SAVE OUR FISHING FLEET." -Dixy Rocks the Northwest, Monday, December 12, 1977

"It lasted only 15 minutes, but Isabel and Joseph Garrett will undoubtedly remember it as the best TV program of their lives." -The Family: Electronic Adoption, Friday, May 31, 1968

So now I know what I'll do if I ever get called on to teach a fiction writing class. Pick one of the above, kids. Run with it. I want to see 1,000 words from you, due on Friday. Make it horror, fantasy, thriller, mystery, any genre you want, but don't you dare have it all turn out to be a dream in the end. That is lazy writing, and I will not hesitate to fail your ass.*

*This is why I have not been called on to teach a fiction writing class.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: Let Me Put My Love Into You

Next up on our "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist: Number six out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "Let Me Put My Love Into You" by AC/DC!


The PMRC objected to this one because of its sexual content.



I can see that.

I can't help but wonder, though, why exactly they chose this song specifically. Out of all the songs that existed in AC/DC's already-extensive catalog back in 1985, why was this one specifically held up as an example of the most degenerate music Western culture had to offer?

I mean, AC/DC has plenty of songs that celebrate dirty, sexy debauchery, and some of them are a hell of a lot more explicit than "Let Me Put My Love Into You." Why not "You Shook Me All Night Long," for instance?

Or how about "TNT?" It has all the innuendo of "Let Me Put My Love Into You," plus original AC/DC frontman Bon Scott's super-creepy lip licking.

"The Jack" would probably get the Washington Wives properly riled up too, though if they had had more than half a brain to share among themselves, they would have co-opted this song to warn the youth of America against sleeping around. "Don't trust anyone who claims to be a virgin, kids, or you'll get gonorrhea and rot your junk off just like them Aussie devil-rockers!"

Also, how about "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap?" Why is a song with some mild sexual content so much more morally objectionable than a song about a contract killer?

My personal theory is that the Washington Wives either a) heard part of this song playing on the radio, thought "yeah, that sounds racy enough to fill our one remaining 'evil sex songs' slot," and ran with it, because they couldn't be bothered to do any actual research or b) had horribly, laughably misplaced priorities.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: Bastard

Okay, people, it's time to move on to the next entry on our "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist! Next up: Number five out of the "Filthy Fifteen," "Bastard" by Motley Crue!

First, let's listen to the song:

And now, since I suspect that Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil suffers from some sort of debilitating enunciation deficiency and I couldn't find any "Bastard" lyrics videos on YouTube (that were particularly accurate), here's an excerpt from the lyrics as they appear on the Shout at the Devil liner notes*:

Out go the lights
In goes my knife
Pull out his life
Consider that bastard dead
Get on your knees
Please beg me, please
You're the king of sleaze
Don't you try to rape me

Consider that bastard dead
Won't get screwed again
Whoa! Whoa!
Make it quick, blow off his head

Unsurprisingly, the PMRC didn't like the violence in this song. Yeesh, Washington Wives, you piss and moan about how raping people at gunpoint is bad, and then you turn around and piss and moan about how (apparently) killing rapists in self-defense is bad. Make up your goddamned minds.

I've got to admit, this one is a bit more personal to me than the other entries, and I'll tell you why.

When I was a teenager living at home, I was regularly subjected to the bizarre American coming-of-age ordeal known as "family game night." The object of this weekly tradition was to play board games with one's family and somehow still remain on good terms with them after all the vicious disputes over minor rules and accusations of cheating.

That whole "liking each other afterward" thing was particularly hard, because a certain immediate family member of mine was a horrible loser. If he lost,  he would whine and sulk and call the winner names (and sometimes kick them under the table) while spinning an elaborate web of logic-defying reasons why--in his eyes, anyway--you only won because some bullshit little technicality called "the established, commonly accepted rules of the damn game" held him back from victory and it wasn't fair! My parents instituted a "shake hands and say 'good game'" rule for non-winners after several consecutive family game nights ended in bitterness and recriminations, but it didn't help; he always managed to make his "good game" concession sound even more hostile than some countries' declarations of war.

Letting him win every time didn't work either, because he was an even worse winner. He would gloat and crow and rub his victory in the non-winners' faces. Giving him the "good game" handshake was hell.

You know what got me through these game nights? Those times when I was the winner.

Because when I won, I would watch my obnoxious family member squirming with rage over the injustice of it all, do a little happy dance, and sing the chorus of "Bastard." Only in my head, of course. My mom would've swatted me for calling someone a bastard, even if she sort of agreed with me at the time. But I knew I was singing it. It was my own personal little victory celebration, and the only thing that held me back from pinning my obnoxious family member on the floor and forcing him to eat the game board just to make him be quiet.

I suspect that's how most people view this song, and "violent" songs in general. Sure, there may be one crazy statistical outlier who listens to the song and is inspired to shoot his boss or something, but for 99.99 percent of people, listening to the song lets them unwind and actually makes them less likely to do violence. It's not an incitement to murder; it's a safety valve.

I'd also like to point out that my obnoxious family member eventually shaped up and grew into a fine young man who recently came home from his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. That wouldn't have happened if I'd snapped after a particularly awful family game night and throttled him. Fortunately I was able to keep my temper under control with a little help from Motley Crue...and now I find out that the PMRC basically wanted my parents to freak out and burn all my Motley Crue CDs. Way to support our troops, ladies. I'm sure Stephen Colbert would have some choice words for you.

*Yes, I still buy whole albums on CD sometimes. Get off my lawn.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On This Day In 1985...

...Leon Klinghoffer was murdered by terrorists.

Mr. Klinghoffer was unfortunate enough to be a passenger on an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, which was hijacked by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front off the coast of Egypt. The hijackers had two demands: They wanted 50 prisoners released from various Israeli prisons (including Lebanon's favorite common thug "national hero" Samir Kuntar), and they wanted the captain to sail the ship to Syria.

Unfortunately for the hijackers, their plan went pear-shaped pretty fast. Syrian officials refused to let them dock the ship, and it didn't look like any prisoner releases were forthcoming from Israel either. Angered by their failure, the hijackers searched for some way to vent their anger and eventually settled--pretty much at random, from what I can tell--on punishing Leon Klinghoffer for the unforgivable crime of being Jewish and alive.

They shot him dead and forced two members of the ship's crew to throw him and his wheelchair--that's right; his wheelchair--overboard. Then they fed his wife, who didn't witness the shooting, a line of bullshit about him having been taken to the ship's infirmary to recover from some mystery illness. She didn't find out the truth until she'd gotten off the boat.


Let's talk about terrorists and their obsession with martyrdom.

Extremists--be they politically motivated, religiously motivated, or some unholy combination of the two--just love them some fantasizing about dying gloriously for the cause, preferably after killing lots and lots of those evil, oppressing infidels.

In their zeal and shortsightedness, however, they forget that the "other side" can make martyrs out of their dead too.

Still, you'd think that even the most worthless, mentally stunted dumbfuck of a terrorist (and they do have a hilariously high percentage of worthless, mentally stunted dumbfucks in their ranks) would be just a little smarter about picking a victim. I mean, really. A whole boat full of passengers, and the one guy they singled out for brutal murder was a disabled senior citizen who looked like everyone's sweet old grandpa?

Did they honestly not see the gigantic, public-relations-disaster-shaped flaw in this plan?

Of course they didn't. Hatred does weird things to people. It makes them impulsive and thoughtless. It makes them stupid.

And honestly, if you're the kind of person in the first place who would look at some random ship full of tourists and somehow make the mental leap to "I bet I could use that thing to get my buddies out of prison if I'm a big enough asshat!" then you probably stand even less of a chance against the brain rot.

As for the hijackers themselves, they accepted an offer of safe passage to Tunisia in exchange for leaving the ship. That didn't turn out very well for them. And in 1996, Muhammad Zaidan (AKA Abu Abbas), the mastermind of the Achille Lauro hijacking, tried to kind-of sort-of apologize for the murder. The Klinghoffer family was not impressed. Props to them for not straight-up telling the guy to drop dead. I'm not sure I would have shown such restraint in their place. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Music Video Monday Special: Eat Me Alive

First up on our "songs to creep out Tipper Gore by" playlist: Number three on the "Filthy Fifteen" roster, "Eat Me Alive" by Judas Priest.

The Washington Wives' main complaint about this song was its sexual content. Specifically that it was a song about sex at gunpoint.

How much water does this complaint hold?

Let's examine the lyrics and find out:

It didn't take me long to find the offending line.

So...yeah, that's pretty explicit. Could it be that the PMRC actually had a point where this song was concerned?


Here's the catch: That "gun" is only definitely mentioned once. Sure, there are some more vague references to shooting, lunging, and a something-or-other made of metal being shoved in somewhere:

But these references are vague enough that it isn't really a foregone conclusion that you'd interpret those words as being about holding a gun to someone's head while forcing sex on them. I honestly got way more of a motorcycle-fetishism vibe from this song on first listen-through; the rape-at-gunpoint angle didn't even occur to me until I sat down and read through the lyrics line by line.

Admittedly, I do have a rather strong association between Judas Priest and motorcycles in my mind since Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford* apparently loves motorcycles and there are a bajillion photos floating around the internet of him straddling one:

It would be really, really hard to hold one of these to someone's head while forcing them to have sex with you.
My conclusion? Yes, this song is about sex, but it's nothing for anyone--even a pack of high-strung politicians' wives--to get upset over. There is that ONE line, but I don't think the "force you at gunpoint" reference is meant to be taken seriously. I think it's this wild, newfangled thing called a "metaphor." That's when you describe one thing, but that thing you are describing is actually just a symbol for another thing that you are actually describing! It's all very artsy and metaphysical. And no, PMRC, you don't have to slap a damn sticker on it just because all the cool kids are doing it and you can't quite understand why.

*In 1998, Rob Halford (who is awesome) officially came out as gay. I can't help but wonder how it would have affected the PMRC's perception of this song if his sexuality had been more generally known at the time and the Washington Wives had harbored even a vague suspicion that "Eat Me Alive" might actually be about *gasp!* *faint!* gay sex! Maybe we'd all be better off not knowing. I love you, 1980's, but you had a homophobia problem. Even your comic books were blatantly, inexplicably terrible to gay people.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On This Day In 1987...

...a 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the San Gabriel Valley.

The Whittier Narrows earthquake, as it came to be known, wasn't the biggest earthquake in California history; it doesn't crack the top seven, or even the top fifty. But it still did some pretty dramatic damage:

Since this was an earthquake rather than a hurricane, those who lived through it had to deal with problems like gas and water main breaks on top of the above-ground destruction. Also, it trapped office workers in elevators, crushed people under concrete, and threw them out of windows. At least three of the people who died in the quake were killed by heart attacks. As in, they were literally scared to death. And that was a relatively moderate earthquake.

I'll end this post by noting that Whittier, the town most affected by the quake, was apparently "best known as the boyhood home of Richard M. Nixon" at the time. Take from that what you will.