( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Science fiction has been frequently utilized in embellishing the capitalist system. Suffice it to mention movies like Superman and Exterminator, which, under a seemingly innocent story, cover a barely hidden apology of its dominant values. In the history of the seventh art there exist, however, opposing examples where the symbolism of the imaginary is used for aims of social criticism. One of the most outstanding is undoubtedly offered by John’s Carpenter’s They Live. Although it appeared about 20 years ago, in 1988, the movie remains timely and relevant as one of the most devastating and sharp criticisms of American imperialism ever made. And it also reads as prophesy of what later crystallized to be the embodiment of its most brutal features, the corrupt and cynical Bush administration, now leaving the scene.
When I went to see the movie when it first came out, it was because Roddy Piper was in it. When I finally found it on DVD and watched it again, it was still a pretty good movie (good story, not so bad acting, plus Roddy Piper). I wonder what effect, if any, this movie had on David Icke?
The symbolic dimension is indeed central in science fiction. Moreover, its symbolism does not draw from the past, as in the case of myth, but turns to the future, which it attempts to predict and foreshadow. Yet, while in apologetic movies symbolism is realized in an irrational way, covering or distorting social contradictions in order to foist biased and fallacious conclusions on the spectator, in progressive creations it fulfills a realistic function of revealing and emphasizing contradictions, which elevates to a sense of the totality and awakens consciousness.
We’re in an era of not really questioning what’s going on in the world. I think many of the bloggers on the left side understand that. I think the centrists/progressives and right don’t. Now, I think there’s a fair amount of looking at the government of the US by us here in the states, but I think it’s a very shallow look. The cheering over the passing of the stimulus bill underlines this for me. It’s less than $800 billion (about 40% tax cuts). It’s a big stimulus bill, of course. But it pales in comparison to the nearly $9 trillion which has been thrown into the maw of the banksters. The ~$800 billion is to keep us complacent.
Following this second road, Carpenter, a talented, independent director who has given us a number of significant films, is able in “They live” to represent in exemplary fashion the process of neo-conservative barbarization in American society as well as the dynamic of its revolutionary overthrow. And while he possesses an element of conscious approach – he himself has compared his strange aliens to republicans – his sharp intuition results in lending the movie a much deeper problematic than his conscious intentions.
Read the rest of Kefalis’ article. Better yet, go out and find a copy of They Live and see for yourself. The waking up to the actions of the government (whether they are dominated by aliens or bankster frauds, or both) can’t come soon enough. Globalization has been an attempt to internationalize the actions of the now failed capitalists. It will take an internationalization of opposition to undo the deeds which have taken place in it’s name.