The Garden of Allah (1995)

"Plot" Summary: I have the video of this in such wretched quality it's not worth putting up here. It's so dark I can barely tell what happens. From what I can tell, it seems that the majority of it is Henley standing at an old-fashioned microphone singing. That is interspersed with quick cuts to scenes of various menacing-looking people doing various menacing-looking things.

However, there is one notable element: Kirk Douglas appears as the devil and lip-syncs to Henley's quasi-raps, the "talking" parts where Don uses his "sinister" voice. At one point, he even uses a voice distorter so he can be extra-scary-sounding in his "devil" persona. I would say he is successful at making the song an unpleasant listening experience overall.

Henley has explained that the song is about how moral relativism desensitizes people to true evil. It's a valid argument; people begin to believe that anything that advances their interests is right, even if it hurts someone else. Man's innate tendency towards selfiishness ensures that when he starts to define his own morality according to what gives him pleasure instead of what is best for everyone, things start to get brutal.

I can't fault that logic and it's obvious Henley was trying very hard lyrically; I'll give him that. I just don't think the video adds much to the song, Spartacus or no.

Perhaps I would change my mind if I had a better quality version of it. I doubt it, though.


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