Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GOP Seed Pods and Body Snatchers

Anyone who can watch 'The Invasion of the Body Snatchers' and fail to see the GOP is most probably a 'pod person' themselves. This '50s classic has been remade three times because it is the most accurate parable of our times. When the original film was released, many made the analogy to the efforts of Sen. Joseph McCarthy who sought a 'commie' under every sofa and every bed. It was an age of paranoia. For me, though a child, it was clear: the 'pod people' were the McCarthyites. They were the people who had been changed. Especially today --it is the GOP that has sold its soul for war booty, riches, and conquest.

Following is the Wiki entry for the classic Sci-Fi thriller --The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 science fiction film based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (originally serialized in Colliers Magazine in 1954). It stars Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, King Donovan, and Carolyn Jones. The screenplay was adapted from Finney's novel by Daniel Mainwaring, along with an uncredited Richard Collins, and was directed by Don Siegel.


Set in the fictional town of Santa Mira, California (actually shot in Sierra Madre), the plot centers on Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy), a local doctor, who finds a rash of patients accusing their loved ones of being impostors. Another patient is a former sweetheart of his; recent divorcee Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter), who tells him that her cousin, Wilma, has this same strange fear about Uncle Ira.

Assured at first by the town psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kaufman (Larry Gates), that the cases are nothing but "epidemic mass hysteria", Bennell soon discovers, with the help of his friend Jack Belicec (King Donovan), that the townspeople are in fact being replaced by simulations grown from plantlike pods; perfect physical duplicates who kill and dispose of their human victims. The Pod People are indistinguishable from normal people, except for their utter lack of emotion. The pod people work together to secretly spread more pods — which grew from "seeds drifting through space for years" — in order to replace the entire human race.

The film climaxes with Bennell and Driscoll attempting to escape the pod people, intending to warn the rest of humanity. They hide; Driscoll falls asleep and is subverted. With the pod people close behind, a seemingly crazed Bennell runs onto the highway frantically screaming of the alien force which has overrun Santa Mira to the passing motorists and (in a moment that could almost be considered a breaking of the 4th wall) looks into the camera and yells, "They're here already! You're next!"

The GOP is a cult. It's values are subversive, often hostile to 'human' values. Very early in life, I became aware that there were 'sects' within the GOP that were opposed to the teaching of the so-called 'humanities' in high schools and colleges as well as various 'sub-plots' of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, specifically, what they called 'secular' humanism.

As allegory, the 'invasion' aspect is just a device. What made this film so 'scary' is that there are people who look just like you but, in fact, are alien and seditious --as good a description of the modern GOP as I've ever seen.


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