Sunday, 13 March 2011

Urban Legends and Popular Rumours.

Researching urban legends and popular rumours to develop inspiration, creating our own ~convincing lies~. Looking for links and patterns in lies- observing whether there is a particular common ground or basis for belief...
Popular urban myths...

1. The story dates back to 1963, when then-President John F. Kennedy traveled to Germany to give a speech. Wanting to express solidarity with the people of Berlin, Kennedy said to them “Ich bin ein Berliner,” which translates to English as “I am a Berliner.” But since a “Berliner” was also a certain kind of popular pastry in Germany at the time, many have surmised that the phrase translated to the crowd as “I am a jelly doughnut,” and over the years a number of stories have surfaced saying Kennedy was nearly laughed off the stage after saying it. It’s hard to say where the story originated, but it has been proven to be a myth, and reports have shown that not only did Kennedy have the phrase translated by a professional interpreter before using it, but that the crowd understood him perfectly.

2. This is another rumor that’s been around for a long time, and it seems that everyone has heard it at some point or another. It says that Walt Disney arranged for his body to frozen upon his death in the hope that future technology would be able to bring him back to life. No one’s exactly sure how this one got started, but records show that Disney was cremated when he died in 1966. It is suspected that the amount of secrecy surrounding his funeral, coupled with his reputation as an inventor, led to the creation of this long-standing myth.

Celebrity urban myths...

1. Internet rumors are flying to the effect that hip-hop/R&B star Ciara was born a man and is either a transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
2. March 2006 Web hoax declares comic actor Will Ferrell dead as a result of a paragliding accident.
3.It must be true - I read it in the tabloids: singer and heartthrob Tom Jones has insured his graying chest hair for a cool $7 million.
4. From the mailbag: "Dear Guide: Is it true that Jennifer Lopez insured her butt?"
5.False reports of the deaths of singers Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake run rampant on the Internet
 1.  Jamie Lee Curtis started out as America’s Scream Queen with movies like Halloween and Terror Train, but her movie roles began to grow up when she grew out going from a small bra to a much, much larger one in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was this change in her measurements that started the rumors, but the buzz that Jamie wasn’t always a girl started making the rounds. The Urban Legend goes that Curtis was actually born a hermaphrodite and has the male trait of two X chromosomes and one Y. Such things do happen from time to time and usually the doctors remove the male sex organs leaving the baby to be raised as a female. A person with such a condition is unable to bear child and might have some masculine features. While Jamie’s kids are adopted, and she does look a little strong for a woman, she’s never addressed these rumors.
2.It might be odd for some in these days when sexuality isn’t a thing discussed only behind closed doors, but the question of what did and didn’t happen between a drunken David Bowie and Mick Jagger is still debated. It was a huge scandalous moment when Bowie’s ex-wife Angela confided in Howard Stern, Joan Rivers and millions of listeners that she had walked in the couple’s bedroom one morning to find David and Mick sharing a naked nap in the marriage bed. David and Mick have continued to deny this tale even after Bowie admitted to being bi-sexual, and Angela has changed her story a number of times, but the legend lives on.

3. Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss became famous for displaying a freakishly long, slim body part. Simmons has a long tongue which he flashes often during his performance and has led to a rumor it’s not all his. According to the Urban Legend he had another person’s tongue grafted on to the end of his own mouth muscle. The problem with this legend is that Kiss and Simmons tongue have all been around since the 1970’s while the medical technology to perform such a surgery has not.

Food urban myths...

1. Asparagus May Cure Cancer.

2. Baby Carrots and Chlorine.

3. Woman finds fried chicken head in box of McDonald's wings.

.4. Cockroach Eggs in Soft Drink Straws.

 5. Emailed photos purport to show an infestation of maggots or insect eggs in the cream filling of an Oreo cookie made in China.

 6. Have you heard about one where McDonald's is allegedly the largest purchaser of cow eyeballs in the world? According to the rumor I've heard, "100% all beef" includes eyeballs. Can you please investigate this and refute or confirm it?

7. Email rumor claims two boys in Brazil died after eating Mentos and drinking Coke (or Diet Coke) at the same time.


From these sourced examples, it seems that there is a particular thread in rumours and folklore- often a good topic of conversation being particularly grim, bad taste, or, in the case of food- likely to kill you. Dramatic statements do work!

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