Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ghostbusters as Reaganite Propaganda

This is an inspirational article about Ghostbusters being a "Reaganite carnival of ideological triumph." One excerpt:

Shaky lending from banks that were increasingly lightly regulated under Reagan sent US household debt levels soaring after he took office. Economic growth in the 1980s was fueled in part by a burst of consumer debt and bad banking practices—culminating in the savings and loan collapse—that looks pretty familiar. That’s exactly how the Ghostbusters got the financing they need to open. One can’t help but wonder about the underwriting standards at Manhattan City Bank that enabled the Ghostbusters to get a loan.

"But at 19%! You didn't even bargain with the guy!"

You really have to read the argument for its specifics, but I can think about how the movie plays out to reflect a larger sentiment about the transition from the '70s into the '80s. Louis, the investment banker, the magazines, the fading of venerable religious institutions into a pluralism united alongside the major non-religions of that time in the punk, the secular, and stiff.

I think the movie is definitely in tune with the zeitgeist of the decade, being one of the major events that shaped how the decade understood itself. So, more than just Reaganomics, I'd also suggest seeing the movie as a statement about the importance in rethinking one's theology. Afterall, the most enduring dialogue people my age will tell you about that movie is

"Ray, if someone asks you if you are a god, you say Yes!"
 And, of course, the power of belief beyond our own control that conjures up the form of the destructor. Fear of terrorists, fear of paramilitary police, fear of environmental devastation, fear of asteroid impact—when you clear your mind, you have nothing to fear, and none of your fears materialize. But the real enemy is something lurking inside you, an idea you cannot control. A phrase you can't resist. A tune you tap or hum.

A brand.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Shit. I hear You.

    I hear You later loud and clear.

    "If there's something weird, and it don't look good, who you gonna call?"

    And then there it goes. Inside you. The Thought Trains.

    ReplyDelete

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