Cooking on another planet
Posted: 19 May 2007 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I came across this expression in one or more of Kinky Friedman’s novels and assumed it was his own coinage, as I’m fairly sure ‘doing a Nixon’ (to describe an unwelcome deposit that a cat might leave in someone’s shoe) is. But an internet search threw up a handful of examples. I suspect it might be a Texas regionalism. Has anyone ever heard it? Kinky uses it, if I remember correctly, as a euphemistic way of referring to being out of it on drugs, generally cocaine, but elsewhere it seems to be used of general lunacy.

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Posted: 20 May 2007 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Back in the early 80’s it was a fairly common expression to say “He’s from another planet” about somebody who was deemed a little nutty or out of touch. The John Sayles movie title, Brother From Another Planet 1984, may have been partially based on it. Before that, and still today, “in his own world”.

Old story: Reporter from the newspaper approaches Jimi Hendrix and says “I’m Jones, I’m from the Sun. Reply: “I’m Jimi Hendrix, I’m from Mars.”

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Posted: 20 May 2007 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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foolscap - 20 May 2007 10:20 AM

Back in the early 80’s it was a fairly common expression to say “He’s from another planet” about somebody who was deemed a little nutty or out of touch. The John Sayles movie title, Brother From Another Planet 1984, may have been partially based on it. Before that, and still today, “in his own world”.

Old story: Reporter from the newspaper approaches Jimi Hendrix and says “I’m Jones, I’m from the Sun. Reply: “I’m Jimi Hendrix, I’m from Mars.”

Lot’s of people are from Mars… or at least went to college there: Otis Sistrunk

“Cooking” was/is common parlance for being on stimulants so it isn’t much of a leap to combine it with “another planet” for someone seriously buzzed.

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Posted: 21 May 2007 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Isn’t heating heroin in a spoon known as cooking it?

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Posted: 21 May 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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venomousbede - 21 May 2007 06:51 AM

Isn’t heating heroin in a spoon known as cooking it?

Indeed it is - in the UK anyhow.

In the same vein as ‘on another planet’ around here is describing someone as a ‘space cadet’

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Posted: 21 May 2007 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Flynn, now you have reminded me of The Only Ones song, Another Girl, Another Planet, from 1977:

I always flirt with death
I could kill, but I don’t care about it
I can face your threats
Stand up tall and scream and shout about it

I think I’m on another world with you
I’m on another planet with you

You always get under my skin
I don’t find it irritating
You always play to win
I don’t need rehabilitating

Another girl, another planet
Another girl, another planet

Space travels in my blood
And there ain’t nothing I can do about it
Long journeys wear me out
Oh God we won’t live without it

Peter Perrett, who wrote the words, had a serious heroin problem at the time. They were British.

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Posted: 21 May 2007 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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"Space cadet”, according to Cassell’s comes from the 70’s. But it also had the meaning of anyone who was a bit wacko, not just a drug user.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Eyehawk - 21 May 2007 10:55 PM

“Space cadet”, according to Cassell’s comes from the 70’s. But it also had the meaning of anyone who was a bit wacko, not just a drug user.

Maybe with that definition.  I’m pretty sure a search of the ‘50s juvenile science-fiction genre will show the term meaning a student of a space academy, graduates of which would become ensigns in th United Space Force.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Heinlein’s book titled Space Cadet was published in 1948. It may be that the sense meaning wacky or out of it dates from the 70s, but the literal meaning in SF literature dates to at least 1948.

I’ve never associated the song Another Girl, Another Planet with drug use and going by the lyrics it’s not at all obvious that this is what is intended (although it’s not an absurd reading of the song, ala Puff the Magic Dragon).

I’m not up on my drug parlance, but I’m not sure cooking is associated with heating heroin prior to injection. Based on its use in cop shows, cooking is production of crystal meth.

[ Edited: 22 May 2007 06:06 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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1950 saw the premiere of “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” on television.  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Corbett,_Space_Cadet I can’t find any mention of it, but I am pretty sure I saw this show on TV sometime in the 70’s or early 80’s - possibly as a serial embedded inside another show.

[ Edited: 22 May 2007 07:13 AM by Myridon ]
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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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"Cooking” certainly used to be associated with heroin.  Even though heroin is not as “fashionable” as it used to be, “cooking heroin” still gets over 2000 Googlehits.

Myridon’s wikipedia link did not work for me; try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Corbett,_Space_Cadet

[ Edited: 22 May 2007 07:47 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 22 May 2007 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’ve never associated the song Another Girl, Another Planet with drug use and going by the lyrics it’s not at all obvious that this is what is intended (although it’s not an absurd reading of the song, ala Puff the Magic Dragon).

If not he’s certainly using a lot of drug imagery. “flirt with death’, “under my skin” (injecting under the skin rather than into a vein is called “popping"), “rehabilitating”, “Space travels in my blood/And there ain’t nothing I can do about it” (injecting air bubbles by mistake? - deadly, apparently; ‘spaced out’? maybe a space cadet reference? addiction generally?): “Oh God we won’t live without it”.

http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/alexispetridis/story/0,,2050446,00.html
This article quotes different words from the version I cut and pasted earlier, viz or i.e. “I always flirt with death, I’ll get killed but I don’t care about it”.

“radio stations refused to play it, fearful of the song’s drug references” writes the journo.

This sure beats trawling The Waste Land for meaning. A lot easier, too.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I got the quote function wrong, sorry. Initial one was from Dave.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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There is nothing particularly drug associated with “flirt with death” or “under my skin.”

And I think it’s “space travel’s in my blood.” Entirely different meaning.

About the only thing in the song that could be taken as a drug reference is “rehabilitating.”

You can read drug use into the song, but its something of a strain to do so. My reading is that its about a guy who’s love is unrequited and therefore goes from one meaningless relationship to another. But in any case, like many pop songs, it’s fairly nonsensical. (I like it though; I’m especially partial to the cover by The Mighty Lemon Drops.)

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Posted: 22 May 2007 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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There was plenty of “space” imagery at the time, to whit, Ground control to Major Tom, I’m a space cowboy, “Cloud Nine”, not to mention the generic and at the time ubiquitous word “spacey” for just about any dazed and confused condition. AND, virtually any lyrics at the time were apt to be interpreted by just about anybody as being about drugs. However, the balance, IMHO, seems to be in Dave’s favor that the lyrics are not overtly about drugs. There was probably some subtle interplay between heroin experiences, love experiences, and the general slang lexicon. Only the artist knows for sure, and then he may not remember. ;-) John Lennon denied that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was “about” LSD, so this sort of thing can never really be settled. 

Coleridge was supposed to have written Kubla Khan, or, a Vision in a Dream, a Fragment after wakening from a laudanum-induced sleep during which he composed an entire ouvre of great merit. The problem was he forgot most of it as he furiously scribbled it down on paper—hence “a fragment”. The author of the lyrics to a popular song in the 40’s (can’t remember but it was on Fresh Air with Terri Gross) was a seriously heavy drinker and only composed under the influence of alcohol, and at that usually in his sleep! He kept a tablet by his bed so he could write down anything that occurred to him, lyrically, during the night. One night he woke up and couldn’t find the tablet so wrote the lyrics on the hotel bedsheet and promptly went to sleep. In the morning he rushed to the studio, tablet in hand and only then remembered where he had written it. He then rushed back to the hotel but the linens had already been taken up and sent to the laundry, so he went there, producer in tow, and retrieved them. The story has all the earmarks of apocrypha, but apocrypha related on numerous occasions to his nieces and nephews, drink in hand, by the author himself. His nephew wrote a book about him.

Poetry and lyrics are designed to be unreliable, however suggestive, and there have been a lot of poets and authors with a habit of one kind or another.

(In support of venemousbede, I have little doubt that in some way, shape, or form, the lyrics are influenced by the author’s heroin use. The problem is that it’s like saying “Box of Rain” refers to acid because the Grateful Dead were known to be major LSD users. It could be true.)

[ Edited: 22 May 2007 05:30 PM by foolscap ]
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