On May 25, 1986, something happened in the United States that — in this divisive American moment — sounds utterly bonkers.
It was a Sunday, around 3 p.m. on the East Coast, when millions of people held hands with strangers for 15 minutes in a human chain that was meant to stretch from New York to California. It was an effort to raise money for organizations fighting hunger and homelessness, and it was called Hands Across America. A Washington Post headline later suggested that it “might have been the most Eighties thing to happen in the 1980s.”
Hands Across America has largely been stored in the Gen X memory box along with its feel-good, cheese ball music video, which features cameos by Barbra Streisand, Robin Williams and other celebrities. Toto was the backing band.
Memories of the occasion are now resurfacing — through a sinister lens — thanks to “Us,” the new hit horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele.
[Read our interview with Jordan Peele, who is also relaunching a version of “The Twilight Zone,” here.]
In the movie, Lupita Nyong’o plays a mother haunted by a traumatic encounter she had as a girl in 1986. Her life is violently upended when a wicked version of her family shows up to hatch plans that, according to Peele, imagine “the dark side of Hands Across America.” The family first appears standing hand-in-hand like paper dolls, as did Hands Across America’s participants. That formation is a motif in the film’s advertising and a recurring, nefarious force in the story. Peele “draws a line between the Reagan and Trump presidencies, suggesting that we were, and remain, one nation profoundly divisible,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times.
For Katy Shrout, 9 at the time and now a 42-year-old eighth-grade English teacher in Atlanta, Hands Across America was a joyful moment “of epic significance.” With a mixtape booming in her boombox, Shrout joined hands with her parents, sister and her sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid, Iva, along a roadway in St. Louis.
“I was really pumped about it,” said Shrout. “I thought that when we were holding hands, I was holding hands with people in California and New York.” (The line actually had gaps in some areas; states not on the route organized their own similar events.)
[Read the review of “Us,” watch how Jordan Peele builds suspense in the film and find out why Lupita Nyong’o’s voice sounds so creepy.]
In an interview, Peele said that as he was writing “Us” he stumbled across a commercial for the event and “got this really eerie feeling.” A Hands Across America commercial of the director’s own making plays at the beginning of the film. “There’s something cultlike about the imagery that makes me think of the Manson family singing folk songs as they leave the courtroom,” said Peele, who was 7 when the nationwide gathering happened. “There’s like an insistence that as long as we have each other, we can walk blindly past the ugliness and evil that we may be a part of.”
By infusing Hands Across America with malevolent power, Peele is cinematizing one of the main criticisms it faced in 1986: that it was “a superficial gesture that offered no long-term solution to poverty in the United States,” as The Times described homeless advocates’ objections in a front-page article the day after the event. Eventually, the initiative distributed about million to various charities, lower than its target of at least million.
In his “satirical poke” at Hands Across America, Peele said he wasn’t calling into question the “well intentioned, good people” behind it. “I don’t think the notion is an evil one,” he explained.
Yet as he reflected on it these years later, Peele said it struck him as an event “more for the people who are holding hands to cure hunger than for the people who are hungry themselves.”
There is no dark side to Hands Across America for Ken Kragen. A former talent manager whose clients included Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie, Kragen was the event’s main organizer. Now 82 and a business consultant in Los Angeles, he considers it the “biggest accomplishment” of his professional life. That’s in addition to his role as president of U.S.A. for Africa, the organization behind the song “We Are the World,” a 1985 hit featuring Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and other megastars that, according to Rolling Stone, raised over million in humanitarian aid for organizations in Africa and the United States.
(U.S.A. for Africa is still around and hands out money to groups in Africa, in part from royalties from “We Are the World” downloads, according to Kragen, now a board member of the operation.)
Kragen said he wasn’t aware that Hands Across America was featured in “Us.” Not a horror movie fan, he remarked: “My wife’s going to see it.”
He said he was “delighted” that the film might encourage a new generation to learn more about an event that, while it may not have solved the issue of hunger, “made a difference.”
“Putting 5.5 million people across the country was completely impossible, and we did it without the benefit of the internet,” he said. “That’s one of the most amazing things. The more younger people are aware that we pulled this off, the more likely they may create something that will help pull the country back together.”
Could Hands Across America happen again? Would a theme song with the lines “See those people over there/They’re my sister and brother” last a second without being annihilated by Twitter? Not likely, said Abby Aronson, who was 16 when she participated in Hands Across America in New Jersey.
“Today people always have something in their hands,” said Aronson, now 49 and a foreign service officer. “You would break the chain. You’d either have to participate or document. It’s harder today to be in a moment 100 percent.”
For Kragen, there are political roadblocks.
“With this administration, and particularly a leader who wants to divide people, it’s hard to find anything that everybody can agree on,” he said. “With the encouragement of the alt-right and the Nazis and the white supremacists, the chance of the line getting attacked are very real.”
Peele isn’t hopeful either. “Unless Beyoncé is leading the charge,” he said.B:
118直播报码现场【三】【人】【回】【到】“【無】”，【听】【到】【消】【息】【的】【熔】【念】【和】【上】【官】【眠】【急】【忙】【赶】【来】，【却】【都】【被】【拦】【在】【门】【外】。 “【为】【什】【么】【不】【放】【我】【们】【进】？”【熔】【念】【推】【开】【陨】【就】【要】【直】【接】【往】【里】【面】【冲】。 “【诶】【诶】【诶】，【你】【怎】【么】【回】【事】？【几】【十】【天】【不】【见】，【欠】【揍】【了】【还】【是】【怎】【么】【的】，【煊】【留】【在】【谁】【哪】【我】【说】【了】【算】。” 【陨】【倒】【是】【毫】【不】【留】【情】【的】【把】【熔】【念】【踢】【出】【房】【外】，【上】【官】【眠】【急】【忙】【上】【前】【搀】【扶】，【熔】【念】【气】【极】【却】【又】【不】【敢】【表】【露】，
【说】【完】，【阳】【阳】【先】【生】【和】【旭】【儿】【同】【志】【就】【去】【遛】【弯】【了】，【留】【下】【郭】【旭】【阳】【看】【了】【看】【满】【地】【的】【鲜】【花】，【然】【后】【怒】【目】【瞪】【向】【再】【次】【漠】【然】【坐】【向】【沙】【发】【的】【韩】【叙】。 【某】【人】【无】【辜】【至】【极】，“【看】【我】【做】【什】【么】？” “【你】【说】【呢】？” “【难】【道】【你】【不】【喜】【欢】【这】【些】【花】？” 【郭】【旭】【阳】【觉】【得】【自】【己】【被】【打】【败】【了】，“【这】【么】【多】【花】，【你】【说】【我】【该】【放】【哪】【里】？” “【我】【已】【经】【送】【给】【你】【了】，【你】【自】【己】【说】【了】【算】！”
“【小】【姐】【姐】【就】【是】【小】【姐】【姐】！”【说】【着】，【邓】【莽】【转】【头】【看】【了】【看】【那】【姑】【娘】！【见】【到】【那】【姑】【娘】【皱】【着】【眉】【头】，【一】【脸】【严】【肃】【的】【看】【着】【他】，【不】【知】【道】【为】【什】【么】，【顿】【时】【觉】【得】【有】【点】【毛】【骨】【悚】【然】。【突】【然】【响】【起】【这】【小】【姐】【姐】【和】【旁】【边】【这】【些】【壮】【汉】【的】【话】！【他】【顿】【时】【反】【应】【过】【来】。 【于】【是】【乎】【低】【头】【便】【说】【道】： “【什】【么】【有】【事】【没】【事】？【我】【肯】【定】【没】【事】，【要】【是】【有】【事】【我】【会】【叫】【你】【们】【过】【来】【嘛】？！【到】【了】【楼】【下】【之】【后】，【你】
【君】【临】【夺】【过】【华】【离】【手】【中】【的】【酒】，【解】【释】【道】：“【羽】【幻】【即】【使】【不】【是】【霜】【降】，【也】【和】【他】【脱】【不】【开】【关】【系】，【毕】【竟】【奉】【霜】【镜】【如】【今】【认】【他】【为】【主】【了】，【你】【说】【这】【是】【什】【么】【缘】【分】？【至】【于】【性】【情】，【霜】【降】【什】【么】【样】，【我】【都】【喜】【欢】。” 【华】【离】【看】【着】【君】【临】，【突】【然】【觉】【得】【自】【己】【是】【真】【的】【看】【不】【懂】【这】【个】【陪】【伴】【自】【己】【多】【年】【的】【兄】【长】。 【华】【离】【道】：“【那】【羽】【幻】【会】【怎】【么】【想】？【更】【何】【况】，【神】【仙】【只】【有】【魂】【飞】【破】【灭】，【谈】【何】【转】118直播报码现场【前】【天】【作】【者】【就】【遇】【到】【了】【点】【事】，【本】【来】【还】【想】【坚】【持】【一】【下】，【但】【是】【问】【题】【变】【严】【重】【了】，【所】【以】【这】【本】【书】【暂】【停】【更】【新】。 【至】【于】【什】【么】【时】【候】【再】【开】【始】【更】【新】，【大】【概】【两】【个】【月】【左】【右】【后】【我】【再】【发】【几】【章】，【看】【看】【还】【有】【人】【在】【不】。 【不】【过】，【我】【猜】【应】【该】【是】。。。 【还】【有】【真】【的】【很】【感】【谢】【那】【些】【投】【推】【荐】【票】【的】【小】【伙】【伴】【们】。 【江】【湖】【再】【见】！
“【看】【你】【精】【神】【状】【态】【还】【不】【错】。”【言】【木】【槿】【看】【着】【冷】【凤】【生】【虽】【然】【有】【点】【虚】【弱】，【但】【是】【精】【神】【还】【可】【以】，【比】【她】【想】【象】【中】【好】【多】【了】。 “【有】【吃】【有】【喝】【有】【睡】【的】，【有】【什】【么】【不】【好】【的】，【你】【还】【没】【回】【答】【我】，【你】【是】【不】【是】【来】【劫】【狱】？”【冷】【凤】【生】【问】，【当】【然】【他】【相】【信】【答】【案】【是】【肯】【定】【的】。 “【劫】【什】【么】【狱】【啊】，【现】【在】【大】【军】【压】【城】，【都】【顾】【着】【逃】【难】【去】【了】，【谁】【还】【在】【这】【里】【看】【管】【犯】【人】？”【言】【木】【槿】【说】【着】【用】【扇】