“Jeremy spoke in class today.” ~ Pearl Jam, “Jeremy”
Explicit subject matter. Discretion is advised.
I heard Pearl Jam’s hit song “Jeremy” for the first time today in probably over a decade.
The next thing I knew, it was stuck in my head and I was looking to watch the music video on YouTube.
But there are different versions of the music video, including an “uncensored” version based on the content and lyrics of the song.
So then where did Pearl Jam come up with the idea of making such a controversial music video?
Come to find out that it is based on the story about a 16-year-old boy named Jeremy Wade Delle from Richardson, Texas just outside of Dallas.
Delle had literally shot himself by putting a gun into his mouth during his English class in high school. Eddie Vedder read about this story in the newspaper and instantly wrote a song about it.
Delle actually showed up late for his English class and his teacher told him to go to the head office to get a pass to be able to enter into the classroom. Instead he left, got a .357 Magnum, came back into the classroom. He then put the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. Most likely ventilating the back of his head before any of the students or the teacher could react.
This is also included in the uncensored version of the music video by Pearl Jam. But its not widely circulated. At least not in the United States of America. There’s a different censored version of the boy killing himself that was instead played on MTV. (Back when MTV was actually MTV.)
I was going through the comments of the music video, the uncensored version, and I saw some interesting comments that really took me by surprise.
First of all, someone had noticed the “Nazi salute” by a class full of students.
Well, not really. Kinda but no.
The “salute” in which you are seeing was in fact used by Nazi Germany in the 1940’s. However to many people’s surprise, this salute was also used in the United States of America when giving the Pledge of Allegiance.
Americans had been using the salute as far back as more than 100 years ago, back in the late 19th Century.
The initial civilian salute was replaced with a hand-on-heart gesture, followed by the extension of the arm as described by Francis Bellamy. Inventor of the salute in America. The same of which he authored The Pledge of Allegiance.
In the 1920’s, Italian fascists adopted the Roman salute to symbolize their claim to have revitalized Italy on the model of ancient Rome. This was quickly copied by the German Nazis, creating the Nazi salute. The similarity to the Bellamy salute led to confusion, especially during World War II. From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, detractors of Americans who argued against intervention in World War II produced propaganda using the salute to lessen those Americans’ reputations.
Among the anti-interventionist Americans was aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh. Supporters of Lindbergh’s views would claim that Lindbergh did not support Adolf Hitler, and that pictures of him appearing to do the Nazi salute were actually pictures of him using the Bellamy salute. In his Pulitzer prize winning biography “Lindbergh” author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other isolationists using this salute from an angle that left out the American flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.
In order to prevent further confusion or controversy, United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. This was done when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.
There was initially some resistance to dropping the Bellamy salute, for example from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but this opposition died down quickly following Nazi Germany’s declaration of war against the United States on December 11, 1941.
During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the “flag salute”. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had the same form, resulting in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942. Now instead we use the hand-over-heart salute to avoid any collision with history.
So in essence, it is but it is NOT the “Nazi Salute” as this person had remarked in the comment section of YouTube.
Pearl Jam was actually pretty smart to have put that in their video. To paraphrase LISAFAYECHARDONNAY, Pearl Jam just “put American history and culture up your ass” with that scene.
And what got me going was the fact that people were actually LOOKING for the uncensored version. I just happened to have selected the correct YouTube video where it shows the boy putting the gun into his mouth and then suddenly clenching his eyes shut.
There’s nothing really blood or disgusting about it. But it was offensive enough just to see the actor in the music video put the gun into his own mouth.
I had read several comments about how the United States of America was lame for censoring it. That there wasn’t anything really offensive about it in general, and that the people who censored the video are nothing but scared pussies.
And I thought “There ARE OTHER versions of this music video, not just this one.”
Based on the amount of typos and the very poor English skills, I was left to believe that the people complaining about the United States of America and its censorship laws, that they were NOT from the USA.
But I still wrote the following comment:
I am guessing that you have never personally been an eyewitness to someone in the process of attempting to commit suicide. I am also going to guess that you have never seen someone who was attempting it, be successful at it too.
We may see violence of this nature all the time on television and films and we KNOW its fake. We also know that here it is fake as well. But the story that the song is telling us is about a boy who committed suicide in Texas, and that was NOT fake.
Having to see someone take their own life is not glamorous at all. Watching someone suddenly make the decision that they no longer wish to live on this Earth and then do something about it to end it is not a cake walk. And again, I am guessing that you and I have had totally different experiences on this subject as I contend that you have not seen it and I have.
IT IS VERY offensive to watch someone do something like that, whether or not they go through with it or they get stopped somehow. In this case, nobody had time to react. And the whole classroom had to watch him take his own life. How many of them now are still in therapy do you think?? How many of them do you think are totally messed up in the head because they were forced to be a witness to such horror??
My gut feeling is that you’ve not even seen a cat get hit by a vehicle with your own eyes, much less a teenager come into a classroom and shoot himself in the head. So before you go running around and bashing the United States of America and their “stupid laws” on censorship… think about those who have to deal with these kinds of things. Think of those people with PTSD because they have had experiences similar to this and how it was unfair for them to witness it because it was forced upon them. Come back to me when you’ve seen some really messed up shit in your life, then I will tell you all about the messed up shit that ‘I’ have seen…
I probably did not need to go into it with that person. I could have left it all alone, but it struck something within me and I responded and reacted in kind. And I did only moments later find that MY comment was flagged and deleted. Oh well.
So now you have your little dark secret history of America and the Bellamy salute, and then of course your background story about a famous song from the 1990’s by the band Pearl Jam.