John Carpenter is an icon of American filmmaking. Most commonly associated with a run of glorious cult horror and sci-fi releases in the 70s and 80s, he developed a very distinct visual and storytelling style quite early on in his career which only blossomed as time went on. The soundtracks to his movies — often composed by Carpenter himself — are joys to listen to. Synth-washed atmospherics abound, perfectly complementing the pictures they accompany.
Put simply: with titles like Assault On Precinct 13, The Thing, and Escape From New York under his belt, John Carpenter doesn’t need to prove shit to anyone. At 68 years old he should just be left alone in peace to do exactly what he wants to be doing at the moment: touring his music like a boss.
Apparently, that’s too much of a fucking ask.
Instead, you know what John Carpenter has to expend energy on these days?
These days, John motherfucking Carpenter has to use up some of his precious Old Man Joules debunking Neo-Nazi theories about his movies being coded manifestos against the Jewish-Controlled-World-Government.
THEY LIVE is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism. It has nothing to do with Jewish control of the world, which is slander and a lie.— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) January 4, 2017
Yep, that’s happening.
Because it’s been just a bit too long since the last big upswell of Jewish-based conspiracy theories.
I had the briefest of forays into the Twitter depths where these Neo-Nazi ‘They Live’ claims are floating about, and — yo, I am not linking to or embedding that shit. Dive into the turd depths yourselves, if you wish.
But look here, let’s break this shit down just in case someone needs it:
They Live is a great movie. It has its flaws, but it’s a damn fun bit of work with some iconic imagery and, most importantly, a pertinent message. That message is: yes, there are forces at work in the world that endeavor to maintain a number of divides. A divide in wealth, a divide in education, a divide in status. And yes, it is very easy to sleepwalk through this life without questioning why things are the way they are, and whether or not they are that way due to divine providence, or whether they can be changed, shifted, realigned — perhaps even by ordinary people.
Unfortunately, the answer — as is usually the case in matters this big — isn’t quite so simple as, ‘Because the Jews.’ Sorry, Jewish people aren’t the culprit. The culprit — if you permit me to lapse into my natural, socialist hippie vernacular — is The Man, man. And you know who The Man is, dude? Capitalism, man. And you know what’s funny about capitalism? What drives its success? Its stunning capability of co-opting anything, and anyone. That’s the sweet shit right there! It casts no judgement! As long as profit is what matters to ya, you can hop onboard! Obviously not too many of you now — kinda need that whole societal and wealth stratification thing going on otherwise it doesn’t really work, tee-hee. But as long as there ain’t too many of you, it don’t give a shit who you are! Jewish, Muslim, Christian, brown, white, cis, trans, straight, gay, able-bodied, disabled — do you care about profit and the bottom line above all else? Poifect, get on up here you little scamp!
Capitalism. That great vampire squid wrapped around the world has had its more temperate periods, and it has had some absolutely raging flare-ups. When was They Live released? 1988. One year before Reagan left office. Now, I wonder whether that was a temperate period, or an unrestrained, raging flare-up, hmm…
Listen, here: I love conspiracy theories as much as the next guy. More, probably! But I like ‘em when they go a bit like this:
‘The mainstream corporate media, funded as it is by big business and sustained by advertising revenue has an inbuilt, self-correcting agenda that fundamentally works to reinforce the status quo. It can allow a spectrum of opinion within a narrowly defined band, but no more than that. As long as the illusion of debate is maintained, that’s all peachy. Just let’s not go too crazy when it comes to any challenging ideas that might shake the very foundations of this whole system.’
Stuff like that.
But the thing is: nobody meets in secret to enforce that. It’s a colossal system made up of individuals and agendas and profit margins, and all of that together swirls around and around and towards the place that it must: a market-based maintenance of What Is — that which keeps it going. That is understood, and internalised. It doesn’t need to be posted above the kettle in the tea room. That’s what makes it so efficient.
Conspiracy theories and their popular conception — shadowy cabals meeting in darkened rooms — is a cartoon. You don’t need to give it that much drama, that shit is actually really banal.
Oh, okay, sometimes they do meet in dark rooms! Libor fixing and Operation Northwoods kinda conformed to that template — as did a few other things that happened due to the actions of a relatively small number of individuals in positions of power…
But those instances certainly didn’t involve any one particular type or group of peopl-…
There IS a shadowy cabal!
It’s White Dudes!
They Live — sharp, funny satire of unfettered Reaganomics — is a coded warning against a certain type of people running the world!
And they look like me!