Trump and the locusts from Mars - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15059132
Donald Trump speaks for a frustrated and angry electorate that has been drawn into brawls in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere that are reminiscent of the street fights between Nazis and Communists in the early 1930s.

The spectacle of fascist and leftist mobs was given an extraterrestrial twist in the 1967 British film Quartermass and the Pit (US title: Five Million Years to Earth), in which scientists investigate a mysterious object and nearby hominids buried in an extension of the London Underground. They originally believe the probe might be one of Hitler’s rockets but ultimately discover in the object the remains of horned locust-like creatures: Martians who came to Earth five million years ago and shaped human evolution.

The spacecraft has a mind of its own and begins to possess Londoners with ancient memories of a race war in which the Martians cleanse the hives of weaker members of the race to make Mars great again. The possessed Brits riot and attack those who do not share their racial memory. The Martian psyche takes the form of a towering specter, which is ultimately “grounded” and destroyed by the iron in a construction crane.

As allegory, the film suggests that humans have an ancient instinct to attack “the other” that comes to the surface when a human locust raises its ugly head. Only a leader with an iron will can defeat the towering Trump.

Today, the human locusts are winning, devouring the grains of democracy across the globe. In Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, major democracies are now backsliding toward authoritarianism. — The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Western liberal democracy is not yet dead but it is far closer to collapse than we may wish to believe. — Edward Luce, The Financial Times.

Perhaps our best hope is that the locust metaphor will hold true: The feasting fascists will eventually die out and their dormant progeny will remain buried for many years or many generations.
#15059137
Robert Urbanek wrote:
The spectacle of fascist and leftist mobs was given an extraterrestrial twist in the 1967 British film Quartermass and the Pit



While I appreciate the sentiment, the analogy is utterly bizarre.
#15059142
late wrote:While I appreciate the sentiment, the analogy is utterly bizarre.


Drawing a parallel between right-wing anti-immigrant fervor (common among today’s Trump supporters) and the mob violence in Quatermass and the Pit was clearly intended by the makers of the story:

In August and September 1958, race riots occurred in Notting Hill, London and the Saint Ann’s Well Road inner-city area of Nottingham that shattered any notions of British tolerance and increased public pressure on the government to restrict immigration. A contemporary account of the Notting Hill riots said “mobs of angry whites roamed the streets, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. They chased down and beat any vulnerable blacks they could find, broke the windows of shops which sold to blacks, and fought with the police who were trying to restore order.” The resultant 1962 Immigrants Act controlled immigration along racial lines; discrimination and intolerance continued culminating in Enoch Powell’s infamous “rivers of blood” speech in 1968. The racial conflict during the summer of 1958 is reflected in the climax of Quatermass and the Pit although the violence is by whites against whites who are “different.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20090908004133/http://webspace.webring.com/people/gj/jlinwood/quaterma.htm

In the TV version of the story, Quartermass was more explicit: "Every war crisis, witch-hunt, race riot and purge…is a reminder and warning. We are the Martians. If we cannot control the inheritance within us…this will be their second dead planet!”
#15059143
It's still bad half century old Brit scifi.

I'd be amazed if anyone here besides me had seen it, and my memory of it is tenuous at best, I only really remember not liking it.
#15059155
late wrote:It's still bad half century old Brit scifi.

I'd be amazed if anyone here besides me had seen it, and my memory of it is tenuous at best, I only really remember not liking it.

I watched it as a kid back in the 1970s. I thought it was awesome. It's hokum, but it's enjoyable hokum. :)
#15059182
Robert Urbanek wrote:locust-like creatures

MAGA

Much like the English, Americans are more frog than locust. Slowly being boiled as everything around them turns to shit.


:lol:
#15059189
Potemkin wrote:
I watched it as a kid back in the 1970s. I thought it was awesome. It's hokum, but it's enjoyable hokum. :)



OK.

I, on the other hand, was a quite snobbish East coast intellectual in the 70s.

Yeah, not much has changed 8)
#15059190
late wrote:OK.

I, on the other hand, was a quite snobbish East coast intellectual in the 70s.

Yeah, not much has changed 8)

I've always been open-minded when it comes to popular culture. A lot of 'high culture' is incompetent rubbish, and a lot of 'popular culture' is brilliantly done. Except modern pop music though. It's almost entirely egregious crap aimed at obnoxious teens. Give me Bruckner or Stockhausen any day.
#15059195
Potemkin wrote:
I've always been open-minded when it comes to popular culture. A lot of 'high culture' is incompetent rubbish, and a lot of 'popular culture' is brilliantly done.



Some popular culture is brilliant, a lot is not. But, other than that, I agree.

There's lots of things one can get snobbish over. There should be a law barring English Profs from writing fiction. My take on opera is classical yowling, etc.
#15059197
late wrote:Some popular culture is brilliant, a lot is not. But, other than that, I agree.

Indeed. Each work should be evaluated on its own merits, according to its own criteria for 'success'.

There's lots of things one can get snobbish over. There should be a law barring English Profs from writing fiction.

I'm with you on that one. All that literary theory seems to addle their brains. :roll:

My take on opera is classical yowling, etc.

I disagree. Once you accept the basic idea of opera singing - purity of tone and abstraction away from speech-patterns - then it has its own beauty. For example....

#15059203
late wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

That song was actually a brilliant example of the cross-fertilisation of 'high' and 'popular' culture. Freddy Mercury was a huge fan of opera, and it inflected all of his performances.
#15059207
Potemkin wrote:
That song was actually a brilliant example of the cross-fertilisation of 'high' and 'popular' culture. Freddy Mercury was a huge fan of opera, and it inflected all of his performances.



Indeed, but it's also my limit.
#15059212
late wrote:Indeed, but it's also my limit.

As a fan of the operas of Karlheinz Stockhausen, I have no limits. Lol. ;)
#15059213
late wrote:It's still bad half century old Brit scifi.

I'd be amazed if anyone here besides me had seen it, and my memory of it is tenuous at best, I only really remember not liking it.

Potemkin wrote:I watched it as a kid back in the 1970s. I thought it was awesome. It's hokum, but it's enjoyable hokum. :)

I too watched it, probably in the 80s; and the scene with the crane made enough of an impression that, this very day, I noticed a crane and thought of it - although I had not seen this thread then.
#15059215
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:I too watched it, probably in the 80s; and the scene with the crane made enough of an impression that, this very day, I noticed a crane and thought of it - although I had not seen this thread then.

Yep, it's my favourite scene of the movie. Sci-fi hokum at its finest! :up: :D
#15059274
Potemkin wrote:Indeed. Each work should be evaluated on its own merits, according to its own criteria for 'success'.

I heard a good case made for what marks a truly tragically and terrible film is that it aspired for great things and falls so short of its goal. As opposed to a shitty action movie that didn’t aim for much.
#15059275
Wellsy wrote:I heard a good case made for what marks a truly tragically and terrible film is that it aspired for great things and falls so short of its goal. As opposed to a shitty action movie that didn’t aim for much.

Precisely. There is nothing worse than a work of art with pretentions to profundity which totally misses the mark. It's of no use to anyone.
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