Movies

John Carpenter to Nazis: Dammit, Stop Treating They Live As a Metaphor for The Jews

You can't blame the filmmaker for being annoyed. But audiences are always repurposing art, sometimes in creepy ways, sometimes in ways that are more appealing.

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John Carpenter—director of The Thing, Escape from New York, and other entertaining genre flicks—is sick of seeing anti-Semites trying to adopt one of his movies as their own:

Alive Films

They Live, for those of you who haven't seen it, is a science-fiction film from 1988 about a drifter, played by the late Rowdy Roddy Piper, who acquires some sunglasses—"Hoffman lenses"—that let him see the true reality lurking behind the surface world. Ads and other items are revealed to be subliminal commands ("OBEY," "CONSUME," "CONFORM," "STAY ASLEEP"), and many of the people around him are exposed as extraterrestrial impersonators. Turns out those aliens secretly run the world.

As often happens with stories like this (see also: The Matrix), They Live has been embraced by people with their own ideas about just who the hidden rulers of the planet are. It can't be fun to have a bunch of bigots reading their worldview into your work, and I can't object to the Nazi Punks Fuck Off spirit of Carpenter's tweet. But his problem was probably inevitable.

Audiences are constantly adapting texts for their own ends, as any devotee of Kirk/Spock slashfic could tell you. And conspiracy stories are easily restructured to replace one fear with another. Carpenter wants his viewers to resent yuppie capitalists rather than Jews, but viewers sometimes have their own stubborn notions about how they're going to perceive things. (Google "Jewish Capitalism," by the way, and you'll get yourself some bigots who can do both.) Jonathan Lethem's excellent little book about Carpenter's film, also called They Live, pointed out way back in 2010 that an anti-Semitic website had tried to link those "Hoffman lenses" to the Holocaust-denying writer Michael A. Hoffman II. Lethem's conclusion: "setting your open-ended conspiracy metaphors loose upon the world, they become (like anything) eligible for manifold repurposing. Free your mind and an ass may follow."

Or as my colleague Nick Gillespie wrote in the antediluvian days of 1996, when They Live was more likely to be taken as a metaphor for Corporate Rock Still Sucking:

Alive Films

What is on the screen or on the stereo…matters far less than one might suppose. Individuals interpret and reconstruct what they see and hear the way they want to. In a classroom, interpretations can be graded as better or worse, depending on the instructor's criteria. But there is no analogous oversight in the real world and people are free to spin out their own interpretations and cross-references. Reductio ad absurdum: Mark David Chapman read The Catcher in the Rye as legitimizing his murder of John Lennon. Clearly, this is not an A+ interpretation of the novel, but it is an interpretation nonetheless. And it points to a simple truth: The most relevant interpretive context is not the producer's but the consumer's.

Since most of those consumers are not Nazis or assassins, their interpretive freedom has had a lot of fun or thoughtful or just enjoyably strange results, as anyone who's encountered a bunch of fans having an argument could tell you. (Sometimes the fans even use that freedom to make compelling art of their own.) If there are times when the results are offensive or stupid instead—well, that's the price we pay. Better that than a world without creative reinterpretation, where audiences numbly OBEY and CONSUME some Single Correct Meaning of a story.

NEXT: Georgia Tech Climatologist Judith Curry Resigns over 'the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science.'

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  1. THEY LIVE is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism.

    I thought it was about aliens and kicking ass.

    1. I’m just going to find my bubble gum.

      1. Dammit, I’m all out

        1. I know right?

    2. It’s about being tragically out of bubblegum and the cycles of violence that causes.

      1. Clearly this calls for legislation against uncontrolled bubblegum and the violence it causes.

    3. It was an ad for Ray Ban Drifters.

      1. Put on the damn glasses!

    4. They kicked a lot of balls too.

  2. It’s about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism, is it?

    I feel so much better, now.

    1. Back in the day, it didn’t get much better than Monstervision doing They Live…. Don’t think too hard about it – just sit back and enjoy.

  3. If it weren’t for the Hollywood Jew Mafia, that movie never even would have been made. No wonder he’s pissed.

  4. The fact is knee-jerk anti-capitalist screeds have always been indistinguishable from anti-Semitic screeds. Just take any left-wing populist literature that rails against the Big Banks and International Finance and replace those words with Jews or International Jewry.

    1. (((Big Banks)))

      (((International Finance)))

    2. Pretty much this. You can pretty much take any speech from Nazis about Jews and any speech from Communists about capitalists and switch the victim/villain. They’re pretty much indistinguishable.

    3. Take Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. Replace every ‘conservative’, ‘neocon’ and ‘neoliberal’ with Jew and you have an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about generating chaos and world control that would fit in perfectly with 19th century Europe.

      1. +1 Prague Cemetery

  5. Yeah, right. Next you’re gonna tell me the interminable Roddy Piper/Keith David fist fight wasn’t representative of the white man’s struggle against other races!

    1. He was representative of the class struggle of the working Scotsman against the Zionist conspiracy! No wait that doesn’t sound right…

      1. “Working Scotsman” is a euphemism for Scottish-rite Mason, isn’t it?

        1. I thought “Working Scotsman” was an oxymoron.

          1. *prepares Glaswegian kiss*

          2. Eating haggis is more work than I want to do

    2. I’m perfectly fine with Keith David winning the Race War.

  6. THEY LIVE is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism.

    Uhm, so was The Final Solution. Or perhaps you haven’t hipped yourself to the anti-capitalist stylings of Goebbels.

    1. Oh, and by the way, so was Fight Club… just sayin’.

      1. I notice that a lot of people set out to make things critical of capitalism and end up making some pretty libertarian-ish art. See also The Wire.

        1. Most opponents of capitalism don’t actually know what capitalism is, and tend to conflate it with the sort of fascist-lite corporatist hybrid system that most countries on Earth practice some form of.

    2. Carpenter is one of them “Jews are OK”-types of National Socialist.

  7. All I know is I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I’m all out of–Hey! Gum!

  8. It’s cute to see Nazis adopt the idea of false consciousness like the good little progressives they actually are.

    1. *puts on the fucking glasses*

      Hillary really was innocent!

      1. It’s no different than the red pill/blue pill argument in the angry man-baby movement.

        Or the concept of “maya.”

        1. Maya, the singer? Or do you mean ‘Gaia’?

          1. Plato’s Cave, in Western tradition.

            1. That’s better. Trying to parse Hindi religious terms is not a favorite pastime of mine.

        2. I’m afraid to ask, what is “maya”?

            1. Ha ha, Citizen X, I gave your link *plus* alternative explanations!

              1. Concision is the better part of valor, Eddie.

            2. Only CX knows my heart.

              1. [runs home, showers while sobbing]

          1. Either you spread it on a sandwich, or it’s the chief official of a town or city, or…it’s this.

  9. Better that than a world without creative reinterpretation, where audiences numbly OBEY and CONSUME some Single Correct Meaning of a story.

    Jessie Walker hasn’t been to church in a while.

    1. I see an awful lot of competing churches out there.

      1. Ha I initially did google neo-churches and I was going to pick out winner to craft my original comment as:

        Jessie Walker is clearly devout member of the Chitown post-orthodoxy Church of…. you get the idea…

        Too much work.

        1. I was raised Methodist so God’s loved me from birth, and I basically can’t fuck up cause all I need to do is ask forgiveness.

          Sucks to be you, Catholics!

          1. Hey, we can ask for forgiveness. But, through a priest and then say a bunch of ‘Hail Mary’s and ‘Our Father’s. You silly Methodists actually think you can speak directly to God.

            Silly protestant.

          2. What up, fellow former Wesleyman!

            I was talking to a friend of mine who also grew up Methodist, and we were trying to puzzle out what Methodists believe in. We concluded, based on our shared experiences, that Methodists believe in pot luck lunches after church.

            1. Charles Wesley, prolific hymn writer and potluck diva

              1. Yep, hymns are an integral part.

            2. It is true that pot luck lunches are a close second in divine meals to the Last Supper.

              I think the real separation of belief for our church stems from a major lack of Original Sin context. God is All-Loving. We don’t have to earn that love and we can’t lose it, we just need to acknowledge it.

              Other denominations play heavy on the ‘don’t fuck up or ye shall be damned’ mantra.

              1. Is that what Methodists are about?

                The whole original sin thing was one of the major turnoffs to me when it came to Christianity. Fuck you, I don’t need to be redeemed for shit I never did.

                That and the whole notion of divinity.

                The music and potlucks can be pretty good.

                1. I don’t need to be redeemed. I’m not a coupon.

                  1. -insert Patti Smith tune…

                2. I don’t think the concept of Christianity really works without original sin. If there’s no original sin and God loves you regardless of whatever, then was there any metaphysical point to sending Jesus? I mean, if you just want to send a message to humanity, laser it onto the moon, don’t send someone to get tortured to death.

                  I mean, I guess you could take the more fatalist stance of inevitable sin, that any human has a sin probability function approaching 1 over any sort of reasonable lifespan due to people sucking. But it isn’t substantially different except that it exempts babies from hell.

  10. Uh sorry Mr Carpenter, but you don’t get to tell anybody what a movie is about.

    1. But can he tell us what a particular comment on Hit & Run is about?

      1. Masturbation, probably.

      2. No one can ever truly know what a H&R comment is about.

    2. He and Ray Bradbury should get together for a couple of beers to cry into about the death of the author.

  11. Is @TheHorrorMaster an ironic handle?

  12. We’ve had a Streisand effect spill; clean up on aisle nine.

  13. Artists are their own worst enemies sometimes. I’m not saying Carpenter should just leave it open to the possibility that he’s talking about Jews controlling the world, but sometimes you need to let go. It’s like Ridley Scott and “Blade Runner.” He kept tweaking and outright declaring things about the story which robbed the subtlety that made it compelling (then again, I was never a big fan of it).

    1. Speaking of Ridley, he’s got another Alien movie coming.

    2. For a lot of people, having your work associated with Naziism is undesirable.

      1. Not socialism, though.

      2. I think that’s why Disney is weirdly trying to make the Empire in Star Wars even more blatantly fascist, racist and unlikable, lest anyone think the Empire has redeeming or admirable qualities.

        I say weird because they still market the shit out of Darth Vader, the Heydrich of the Galactic Empire and openly invite the audience to cheer for him when he’s slaughtering rebels like in the most recent movie.

        1. I prefer to think of “The Empire” as Disney.

        2. That was going on in the EU before Disney. (The EU is no longer canon.)

          The Empire was edged toward being a human-supremacist movement. But, yes, The First Order amped up the Nazi parallels.

          1. The EU is no longer canon.

            Certainly not after Brexit.

          2. “The Empire was edged toward being a human-supremacist movement.”

            And the Rebellion wasn’t. Let’s see who was involved and who got a medal:

            https://goo.gl/RCDqEb

            1. Most of their generals are carp!

              But, yeah, that always rubbed me wrong too.

              1. Fuck that, where is R2’s trunk full of medals?

                The robot has been on the ‘good’ side for multiple generations, longer than any other character, and all sides refuse to regard him as anywhere near human. Selling him as furniture and tossing a sheet over him when he becomes inconvenient.

            2. What did Chewbacca do to deserve a medal other than run around making noise? Oh, that’s right, he did the pre-flight checklist during the escape from Tattooine and shot out a couple cameras in the detention block. Leia flew the ship during the Death Star escape, Han flew the ship during the attack on the Death Star.

              The droids don’t have freewill, so they had to help Luke and Han rescue Leia.

              I have no problem with the awards ceremony.

              1. They could have at least given him a fancy collar or lead.

              2. The droids don’t have freewill

                Bullshit. R2 repeatedly fixes things without being asked, saves the day with only the vaguest of directions (R2 Now!), and behaves contradictory to direct orders to achieve larger goals.

                The notion that he doesn’t have free will is just plain bigotry.

                1. The Droid slave revolt will be the next nine films.

                2. Or maybe the notion that the humans and other intelligent races have free will is just wishful thinking.

        3. Are we no longer drawing distinctions between The Empire and The First Order?

          Between Disney, Lucas, Abrams, Edwards, and the span of 40 yrs. I think disentangling who’s trying to show what’s racist and who’s just trying to tell a bitching sci-fi/war story becomes impossible to disentangle.

          Personally, the most recent portrayal of Vader was one of the scariest, IMO. After failing has-been and angsty-wunderkind we finally get something more Machiavellian or Lovecraftian with a light saber.

          1. I miss pre-prequel times. Vader was an excellent villain. People didn’t cheer for Vader, they feared him. Now he’s like Mickey Mouse.

      3. Well, sure, but you’d need to be an anti-Semite in order to project that onto his story in the first place, making it very ineffective at Nazi propaganda. If you believe his goal all along was incredibly subtle Nazi commentary, then you’re unlikely to be influenced by his denial.

        He’s certainly not going over the top by making one statement to disavow it. When you straight up say “This is about unrestrained capitalism,” then you’re blocking off other potentially creative interpretations of the work.

        1. When you straight up say “This is about unrestrained capitalism,” then you’re blocking off other potentially creative interpretations of the work.

          No, no, of course.

          Read what I said in a bitterly wry voice.

        2. If you believe his goal all along was incredibly subtle Nazi commentary,

          It doesn’t matter what his goal was. His anti-capitalist feelings are the equal of Nazi anti-capitalist feelings. Whatever subtlety makes him feel morally superior is basically a distinction without a difference.

          Socialism is a far worse blight on humanity than racism. But socialists naturally want you to believe otherwise.

      4. And for a few people it is the goal.

    3. I’m not a big fan of Blade Runner either – any association to the Phillip K. Dick novel is remote.

      It was one of those movies that I liked when I was younger, now not so much.

      *shakes cane from front porch*

      1. Blade Runner is a disjointed movie that I’m actually glad they’re soft-rebooting with a sequel since maybe they can learn from what went wrong the first time and make it better.

        1. Yeah, because Prometheus was such an improvement over the original Alien

          1. Alien is a great movie that didn’t need a prequel.

        2. maybe they can learn from what went wrong the first time and make it better.

          HA! …oh wait you’re serious.

        3. Has that happened in any movie ever?

          1. Depends on what you want to define as a sequalesque soft-reboot, but I honestly can’t think of one. There have been superior remakes, but the soft-reboot is pretty new. Maybe the Nolan Batman films? (At least, the first two…)

            1. Nolan may have done more harm than good in the long run, he’s pretty heavily influenced the DC movie style, and the results haven’t been great.

              1. The Batman Trilogy is irreproachable.

                1. The Dark Knight Rises was terrible. So many plot holes and stupid characterizations.

                  1. Ohhhh idk. They did a lot of classic comic stories in that one. Catwoman was a fucking minx. Some black part of my soul really enjoys bitter fights to the end with no hope of victory but no surrender, for sake of honor, even in the face of death. So I watch that Batman v. Bane fight a lot of youtube when I’ve had to much whiskey.

                    My only rub with Dark Knight Rises was not doing a legit Robin.

                    1. I’m was underwhelmed by Catwoman for the simple reason I’ve never found Anne Hathaway appealing in any capacity. Wish they’d cast someone else.

                      Tom Hardy made Bane as believable and menacing as possible so that was good but beyond that the plot was just silly and the ending reveal with Talia lame beyond all possible belief.

              2. DC was fucking up their movies before Nolan. Zack Synder is the real villain, the Michael Bay of comic adaptations.

                1. Oh come now, Watchmen was done about as well as could be hoped for.

                  1. I’ll give you Watchmen. It left out my favorite line, but it was a good watch. And 300 was pretty good, as long as you ignored the retarded commentary around it.

                    1. I’d toss in Sin City and then call finito on all of Snyder’s other works.

                    2. I forgot Sin City was him. I guess I could say it was about as good as the source material allowed it to be.

                    3. WTF – “Sin City” was Robert Rodriguez with a side of Frank Miller. Don’t give Snyder credit for what he couldn’t pull off if his life depended on it.

                    4. YOU DONE ME WRONG, HVHV!

                    5. *Ahem* Slips out the back

            2. Eh, Nolan’s movies are less and less impressive on rewatch IMO.

              Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns are better takes on the source material even if they are constrained by tepid action scenes and goofy visual effects. At least they’re visually unique, something you don’t get at all nowadays with generic CGI action movies.

              1. Burton was a better take on an era of Batman comic that we are no longer in. Nolan is the superior post-Crisis Batman take.

                1. Meh. If you’re going to tell a story as absurd as a rich dude who dresses like a giant bat to fight crime I don’t think you should bother with trying to make it gritty and realistic.

                  Go full on Art Deco/German Expressionist with the visuals. I’m more fascinated by the art design one could do with a Gotham that looks like the Gotham in the classic comics than filming something in Chicago or Pittsburgh and calling it Gotham.

              2. Except for the fact that Batman kills everyone of his villains in the pre-Nolan movies?

                That’s a sharp left turn from the source material.

                1. Not directly, which is a big distinction.

                  1. Well, there are those Joker minions he throws out the super-high tower…

                  2. I just refuse to accept Bruce Wayne with a jew-fro! There I said it! Are you happy now?

                    1. Keaton didn’t look like he could beat up Vicki Vale, much less a bunch of criminals.

                    2. At least you could understand what he was saying as Batman.

                    3. Sound mixing complaints, the last refuge of the scoundrel.

          2. Terminator 2.

            1. Not a reboot.

              1. nevermind. threading error on my part. apologies.

      2. I love the movie and can’t wait for blade runner 2049

        1. If they would just do the best part of the book this time…

  14. Anti-semitism is so ‘retro’ it seems like something a hipster would get on board with ironically.

    Also, I just want to say that I understand that this movie was made in the 80’s and lumping capitalism with yuppies was the height of fashion, but I don’t see a connection between the two nowadays. Yuppies in most major cities are huge rent-seekers. Gentrification is created, almost entirely, through government grants and tax abatement to hip new micro brews and trendy coffee shops. And most condo developments (so loved by the yuppie) are either retrofitted from apartments (again through government support) or their construction costs are abetted through more tax abatements. You would be hard pressed to find any natural gentrification(ie. without government support) anywhere in America’s five largest cities.

    Fuck Richard Florida.

    That is all

  15. having your work associated with Naziism is undesirable.

    For *some* people, it would be a step up.

  16. The first time I saw They Live was after smoking a bowl or two with a friend. It was awesome!

    Seeing it sober (and adult) reveals a pretty shitty movie but not without its cheezy charm.

  17. I’m not a big fan of Blade Runner either – any association to the Phillip K. Dick novel is remote.

    “Ow. That hurt.”

    It was so good, visually, I couldn’t be bothered to care.

    1. You know who else preferred strong visuals over actual content…

      1. Hilary Clinton?

      2. Michael Bay?

        1. winner winner chicken dinner

      3. Larry Flynt?

  18. Funny how Carpenter’s complaint just boils down to the fact that he thinks the Nazis are hating the WRONG people. “It’s not the Jews who rule everything, you’re ~supposed~ to be hating the capitalists!!”

    1. No, it’s pretty obvious in the movie that his artistic intention with They Live is a criticism of ‘capitalism and the culture it generates’. He literally has a guy say “everyone’s got to sell out somehow.” It’s entirely fair to point that out.

      1. Oh yeah, I agree that’s the obvious intent of the film.

        It’s just ultimately he’s all butthurt that people watching it decided to turn their hatred towards other groups rather then the group he wanted viewers to hate after watching it.

      2. No, it’s pretty obvious in the movie that his artistic intention with They Live is a criticism of ‘capitalism and the culture it generates’. He literally has a guy say “everyone’s got to sell out somehow.” It’s entirely fair to point that out.

        To the point where and others I presumed it to be a mulligan or part of the camp. I don’t think Ayn Rand is that great of a philosopher or writer, but watching They Live as an earnest critique of capitalism makes me want to buy him a copy of The Fountainhead. Not to convince him that he’s wrong in criticizing capitalism but that if you’re gonna criticize capitalism, you might want to make the capitalists seem less adept at effectively being human, the poor people as utterly destitute and oppressed rather than just living outside, and the hero might utter at least a couple lines of serious or memorable dialogue about capitalism itself needing to be stopped or dealt with.

  19. Every 16 year old with an internet connection?

  20. Next you’ll be telling me Escape From New York isn’t about the plight of the handicapped in American prisons.

    1. I thought it was an allegory for latent homosexual tendencies among the hypermasculine vision impaired.

      1. Wanna know why they call me “snake”?

  21. Fuck this vile piece of shit movie. First movie I ever walked out on.

    Carpenter deserves having that garbage associated with anti-Semitism, Nazism and every other reprehensible “ism” group that ever slimed the planet. The script’s nothing more a base emotional slam — feel free to substitute your own groundless caricatures in place of his retarded capitalist cartoon bad guys.

    Gimme my fucking $5 back. And the 30 minutes I spent on that trash.

    1. Bro that classic fight scene.

    2. What? Is this in English? Because I do not understand it.

  22. Has any fringe political movement glommed onto Prince of Darkness yet?

  23. 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

    Let’s not get sidetracked here – why is it OK to make a movie like this about the evils of Yuppies and unrestrained capitalism but not OK to make a movie like this about Jews?

    A ‘They Live’ has as much relation to reality when its about Yuppies as it would if it were about Jews.

    1. For a lot of people, having your work associated with Naziism is undesirable.

      1. Except that Nazis thought unrestrained capitalism was bad also – that’s why they were socialists.

        He’s in Nazi territory no matter which way he goes. The only significant difference is whether the villains in this movie are evil capitalist Yuppies or evil capitalist Jews.

        He’s disavowing the ‘this is a story about how people with power will inevitably use that power to set up a system of control to maintain and propagate that power so you always have to be on guard and ready to smash the state’ and is basically admitting that he made a movie who’s central theme is that one group of people is horrible and should be fought against and destroyed – the only quibble here is *which* group of people that is.

        1. It’s not about real Nazis and what they believed. It’s about the popular perception of Nazis.

          And as we all know, wielding power to control society isn’t the problem. It’s the wrong people doing it that’s a problem.

          1. I know this – but everyone is giving the guy a pass for his ‘Jews are OK, its the Yuppies you should hate’ defense when the only difference between Carpenter’s interpretation of his own movie and these Nazi dudes is who the target-of-hate should be.

            I always enjoyed the movie for its ‘anti-systems of control’ and ‘starving freedom is better than well-fed slavery’ themes and never saw it as particularly anti-anyone except anti-powermongers.

        2. The villains are plundering aliens and their human quislings. They weren’t purchasing our resources, they were stealing them. That the aliens portrayed themselves as yuppies is fairly incidental.

          Nazis are liking the movie for the literal dehumanization of Jews as invading aliens.

          1. You’re not telling *me* anything I don’t already know – tell Carpenter that the Yuppies were incidental.

            *He’s* the one claiming his movie is an anti-* screed just like the Nazis think it is, only the Yuppies and not the Jews are supposed to be the target.

            1. For a lot of people, having your work associated with Naziism is undesirable.

    2. Because a criticism of capitalism is at least (in theory) a valid criticism about an institution and economy system, while the anti-Semitic one is just a modernization of the ol’ medieval “the Jews caused my crops to fail, let’s pogrom their ghetto”.

      1. He admits that this is not just a ‘critique of capitalism’ – its a critique of Yuppies and capitalism specifically.

        So its like saying that Jews, with their international system of finance, caused my crops to fail, let’s pogrom their condo.

        1. Yes, it’s a critique of people who engage in a specific activity that has results he doesn’t like. You can argue that it’s not a fair criticism (and that’s true) but it’s significantly different than going “you’re a Jew, so your nature therefore is to be in a cabal to control the world”.

          1. Except that is exactly what he’s saying in this movie – you’re an alien(Yuppie) so your nature therefore is to be in a cabal in control of the world.

          2. “you’re a Jew, so your nature therefore is to be in a cabal to control the world”

            You do know antisemites don’t think it’s the Jews’ nature to be in a cabal and control the world, they just think that /is/ what the Jews do. They think the Jews control the world in the same way Carpenter thinks business people do.

    1. As was the last sentence of the article.

    2. Can’t believe I had to scroll this far down the comments before seeing someone acknowledge that.

  24. Every minute spent watching They LIve is a minute not spent watching Repo Man.

    1. And Allen Cox says Repo Man is a criticism of capitalism too.

      The lesson here is always ignore what artists say their art is about.

      1. Unless it’s porn. Their titles are pretty good representations.

    2. +1 Malibu.

    3. The world has room for both.

  25. You know who else saw Jews everywhere?

    1. Those ragtag freedom fighters on the West Bank?

    2. Anybody who pretty much stays on the kibbutz?

    3. Brooklynites?

  26. and here i took they live to be anti establishment. almost libertarian.

    1. Yeah and you probably thought The Prisoner was about resolute individualism. [grins demonically and cracks fingers]

      1. i thank my parents for giving me that show when i was young.

    2. and here i took they live to be anti establishment. almost libertarian.

      Considering the shanty-town resistance’s complete inability to do anything about ‘teh capitalists’ or their own poverty, I assumed similarly. Also, the hero never once really laments the fact that he’s poor and his oppressors are rich (the assumption is left to the viewer) and it’s not until he realizes that they’re aliens and are exerting disparate and undue influence that he takes action. Even then, it’s largely a ‘not his fight’ situation.

      I thought Carpenter (inadvertently) did a really good job of showing that it’s not the invisible hand that’s evil but who’s controlling it and what they do with it that is.

      1. That is to say that, once again, he’s a Hollywood-type who’s depth understanding of political nuance is similar to a paycheck or a cue card.

      2. pretty much. the shanty town even has a functioning voluntary soup kitchen. he and others go work where they can.

        it seems to be anti cronyism, which is great!

  27. Yeah, but on the flip side, Jews have always been the scapegoat for “capitalism”. Since to a certain extent, they were the only ones that practiced it for a long time.

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  29. If applied to our law, that might say there is NOT one single correct interpretation of, for example, the First Amendment.

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