Music: Land of Confusion

Land Of Confusion was a song from Genesis' 1986 album Invisible Touch, written by Mike Rutherford and dealing with the uncertainties of the Cold War in The Eighties. The videoclip for this song is well remembered, because it was maybe the first animated video featuring puppets. Those puppets were made on Phil Collins' request by the authors of the satirical UK show Spitting Image, and included caricatures of almost every well-known political figure of the 80s and also of Genesis themselves.

The concept of the video: an elderly Ronald Reagan goes to bed with his wife Nancy and a chimpanzee, and suddenly starts having nightmares featuring an army of soldiers stomping through a jungle filled with the heads of many political figures. While Reagan starts sweating profusely (almost drowning in sweat), his other self in the dreams begins to have strange adventures filled with dinosaurs and more political figures. These scenes are interspersed with puppet versions of Genesis trying to organize a huge concert with almost every member of the 80s showbiz (in a parody of "We Are The World"). In the end, Reagan wakes up from his dreams, but accidentally presses the "Nuke" button, instead of the "Nurse" button, next to his bed...

The video can be viewed here. Not to be confused with the music video of Disturbed's cover of this song.

The video features examples of:

  • Belly Mouth: Madonna has another mouth where her belly button should be.
  • Big Red Button: The above mentioned "Nuke" button, identical to the "Nurse" button right under it.
  • The Cameo: Not sure if it can be really considered a cameo, but the real Phil Collins appears for a split second among the crowd of puppets in the end.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Reagan, all the time.
  • Cosplay: Reagan dresses in his dream as Superman, a caveman, and a cowboy, another reference to his actor career.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys: The chimpanzee, an allusion to Ronald Reagan's acting career. See the Shout Outs below.
  • Funny Background Event: During the "concert" scenes in the song's chorus, a puppet version of Phil Collins can be found in front singing, and a second one behind the drums, occasionally standing up from behind to sing the "whoa-ohhh-oh's". The background Phil also is playing drums with the palms of his hands, bongos-style.
  • A Nuclear Error: Played for Laughs. Reagan pushes by mistake a button labeled "Nuke" at the end of the video. "That was one heck of a nurse!"
    • Dope Slap: Nancy awards Ron one as a response.
  • Looks Like Jesus: Mike Rutherford's puppet, which was later reused as Jesus in later seasons.
  • The Pope: John Paul II is briefly seen rocking on a guitar!
  • Music And Sound Effects: The music video for the song originally featured sound effects and other noises during the song that were dubbed in after filming of the video was complete. While they may not be THAT important, they do compliment the video quite nicely, and unfortunately for those who prefer the video that way, they have been removed completely on DVD.
  • Raising the Steaks: At one point, a little bird flies by, explodes in midair and turns into a flying roast chicken. The weird thing is, this is happening during the "reality" portion of the video...
  • Recursive Reality: In his dream, Reagan is watching an episode of Spitting Image.
  • Shout-Out: There are several.
    • Reagan as a caveman throws a bone in the air, spoofing the most famous Match Cut in cinema history, the one from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The bone falls down and turns into a phone used by Phil Collins to call other musicians, actors etc. for a Genesis concert. Subverted when a gigantic bone lands on some celebrities anyway...
    • The concert itself is a blatant parody of "We Are The World", with the celebrities swaying their heads in unison.
    • Reagan shares his bed with a chimpanzee. This is a reference to one of his earlier films, Bedtime for Bonzo, in which he did just that.
    • For some reason there's Popeye among the celebrities in the end.
    • After the verse "My generation will put it right", a Pete Townshend puppet appears, giving the thumbs up.
    • Reagan pressing "Nuke" instead of "Nurse" is a reference to Far Out Space Nuts ("I said lunch not launch!")
  • Superman: Ronald dons the costume as Genesis ponders, "Oh, Superman, where are you now?"
  • We All Live in America: Inverted. Reagan's alarm clock is a 24 hour clock, common in the UK (where Genesis and Spitting Image were based) but almost never seen in America.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Nurse, not Nuke!

Alternative Title(s):

Land Of Confusion