Ten Theories on Who Stole the Arcade Fire Bobblehead Mask

Music Features The Arcade Fire
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If you missed this story, a quick recap: One of the giant bobblehead masks from Arcade Fire’s Reflektor shows was stolen. It belonged to Richy Parry, and was nabbed in Bridgeport, Conn., after a live show. The band released the following statement:

“Richy’s bobblehead mask was taken from our show in Bridgeport, CT. This mask is a one of a kind piece that is an essential component to our live show. We have photos of the theft but rather than press charges we would prefer if the person who took it would get in touch with us to return it. Perhaps this is all an innocent mistake and you meant to leave the venue with your own oversized paper mache rendition of Richard Parry’s head?”

The truth is, a crime like this will likely go unsolved forever if we simply ask the thief to repent. Counting on the better angels of our nature is a classic Canadian mistake that just won’t work on the mean streets of Bridgeport. Even traditional law enforcement methods won’t work in the tight-knit community of concert-goers; no common police investigation will overcome the omerta code of silence. No, we need something deeper here. We need a psychological profile examining exactly who would have the greatest incentive to steal the bobblehead.

To get the process started, we’ve pored through the Paste databases and narrowed down our list to 10 suspects. Here they are. Please take us seriously, Arcade Fire.

1. Shia LaBeouf

Motive: The guy is very clearly desperate for attention, and will try to seek it by any means necessary. Now that Nymphomaniac has faded from public view and people no longer care about his penis, he’s basically out of stunts. Only a serious crime caper against one of the world’s most popular bands could get his name back in the public eye. That’s just narcissistic personality disorder personified.

Argument for Innocence: Nobody has stolen an Arcade Fire mask before. If LaBeouf conceived of the crime, it means he had an original idea. Highly unlikely.

2. Jon Heder

Motive: An accidental crime. Heder saw the mask, thought it was a depiction of himself from Napoleon Dynamite (see the resemblance), and took it home.

Argument for Innocence: Heder has not been seen or heard from since 2005. Presumed dead.

3. Winona Ryder

Motive: Am I the only one who finds it really interesting that she spoke with Interview Magazine in this month’s issue about how her 2001 arrest for shoplifting served as a wakeup call that turned her life around? Curious timing, right? Nice try, Winona. It was almost the perfect cover. But life gets a bit dull on the straight and narrow, doesn’t it? We think you’ve got that thieving 13-year itch.

Argument for Innocence: Win Butler specifically bans Ryder and Natalie Portman from Arcade Fire shows because he found Black Swan disturbing.

4. Mitt Romney

Motive: Mitt Romney has never been cool, and he’s always seemed pretty okay with that. But wouldn’t it start to wear on you after a while? Maybe he saw Obama making his NCAA picks, and just decided, enough is enough. He knew he could never be cool in public—that ship has sailed—but in the privacy of his own home, what’s cooler than blasting Arcade Fire, wearing Richy Parry’s mask, and pretending you’re in the band? NOTHING.

Argument for Innocence: Likely has no idea what “Arcade Fire” is.

5. Lena Dunham

Motive: None. But any post that includes the words “Lena Dunham” automatically lights up the Google rankings super-computer, maximizes SEO and guarantees 100,000 hits. So Lena Dunham Lena Dunham Lena Dunham.

Argument for Innocence: Lena Dunham Girls HBO think piece Lena Dunham’s body Lena Dunham feet.

6. Washington Post music critic Chris Richards

Motive: In our backlash report, featuring the top 10 negative reviews of Reflektor, Richards easily secured the top spot with his incredibly vitriolic take. I mean, he started the thing by calling them “gigantic dorks with boring sex lives.” And it gets worse from there. Is this objective criticism, or something more sinister? Could there be a deep resentment at play, something so insidious that it warps his brain and makes him try to sabotage the band? This could be a gateway crime for Richards, and while I’m usually not in favor of presuming guilt, he should probably be locked up for the band’s safety.

Argument for Innocence: Reflektor was pretty meh…

7. Win Butler’s Evil Twin Brother Flynn Butler

Motive: If Win can’t control his own band, it undermines him as a leader, and leads to insecurities that reach into all corners of his life. The first thing to go? His marriage. If he can’t keep a mask safe, Regine Chassagne asks, how can I ever count on him for something more important? So she leaves, but she still loves him, so where does she turn? The closest replacement: Flynn Butler.

Argument for Innocence: A quick Google search for ”’Flynn Butler’ twin Arcade Fire” reveals that his identity has been carefully concealed online. He’s careful, which means he probably had commissioned the robbery through a third party, and that third party has probably already been killed to cover his tracks. Also, he’s probably burned the mask to tie up loose ends. This will be a tough catch.

8. The Photographer

Motive: Think about it—the band claims they have photographs of the thief. If you’re the photographer, and you want to steal Richard Perry’s mask, how do you go about it? Easy. You get a fan to come backstage, you tell them you’ll photograph them with the mask if they just pick up the mask and take it out to the hallway where the lighting’s better. As they’re doing it, you surreptitiously snap photos of the act, and voila, you’ve got the “culprit” red-handed. Then you simply take the mask back, steal it, and show the “evidence” to the band after. The perfect crime.

Argument for Innocence: The whole “photograph” claim is almost definitely false. That’s a tactic that’s been used by elementary school teachers for years. “We know who stole the chalk, so admit it now or you’ll get in more trouble for lying.” There is no photograph. Nobody knows who stole the chalk.

9. Me

Motive: I’d really love that mask, and wouldn’t hesitate to steal it if I ever had the slightest chance. Also, if that happened, wouldn’t this post be the perfect cover? Nobody would ever suspect me. I’m just the guy trying to help!

Argument for Innocence: If I actually stole the mask, I’d never point the finger at myself.

Argument for Guilt: Or would I? Maybe that would be an even better cover-up, because it would prove that I’m an honest investigator out to uncover the truth at all costs, even if it meant accusing myself. Double reverse psychology!

Argument for Innocence: I swear I was in North Carolina when this went down.

Or Was I?

10. Arcade Fire Staged the Theft

Motive: Maybe they were looking for an easy way to transition away from the current Reflektor stage show without having to admit that the masks were creepy. Maybe it’s a con that will culminate in framing St. Vincent, who is currently threatening to steal their place as the mega-darling of the indie world. Maybe there are too many negative PR stories about Win Butler’s behavior on the basketball court, and the publicists are trying to deflect attention. It’s all in play.

Argument for Innocence: None. This is the truth.