What a “Diff’rence” a Beat Makes.

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Now, the world don’t move! To the beat of just one drum
What might be right for you, may not be right for some….

To folks familiar with cheesy sitcoms from the late ’70s and early ’80s, the theme music to Diff’rent Strokes is so well-known that merely reading its lyrics, above, not to mention hearing its earnest strains, is enough to trigger soppy memories of the show’s early opening visuals. There, each week, good-hearted millionaire Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) would escort his new charges, brothers Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges), above, from a basketball game in the hood, past the wonders of late 20th century New York, to his luxurious apartment building, all in his chaufferred limousine.

Indeed, the gentle innocence and curiosity of children, coupled with the wizened kindness of their doting patron, is what makes UK YouTuber MontyPropps’ “Disturbing Strokes” so unsettling. By switching the spirited soundtrack to a mysterious, mood-laden instrumental, then slightly desaturating the colors in the footage, Propps turns the classic intro into something vaguely hinting at pederasty. By the time Arnold and Willis look up at the towering, phallic structure Drummond calls home, giving only furtive backwards glances as he leads them inside, if nothing else, you’ll believe, as said one poster on Propps’ YouTube channel, that, in film, there is truly no such thing as “incidental music.”



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