Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Movie Monsters and Political Parties: A Spotters Guide to America's Psyche

A good friend and colleague of mine recently sent me a link to the Cracked.com article "6 Mind-Blowing Ways Zombies and Vampires Explain America."  Basically, the article looks at the bizarre fact that Zombie movies are more likely to be made under Republican Presidents and Vampire movies are more likely to be made under Democratic Presidents, and argues rather persuasively it's that each monster represents the cultures fears of the Party in power.  She then challenged me to figure out what monsters represented other political parties.  So this is for the Duracell Bunny:

The Republican Party = Zombies
The Cracked.com articles argument for why Zombies embody the country's worst fears of Republicans is pretty simple.  They're mindless killing machines (see President George W. Bush).  They have a rabid pack mentality leading them to consume (see anyone who seems to believe "The Free Market" and "God" are synonyms).  And they're bent on destroying minorities (the living).  Now of course I have absolutely no idea where any of those ideas about Republicans came from, and am frankly shocked that anyone might think those things about our Conservative Opponents.

The Democratic Party = Vampires
Cracked.com's argument for why Vampires pique conservatives fears of Democrats is even simpler.  Vampires are murderous immigrants from foreign sounding places like Transylvania (or Mexico).  Once they arrive, vampires start seducing everyone pretty much indiscriminately as symbols of carnal lust (you think they tried to impeach Clinton over an affair? Nope, Vampire).  And of course, more than anything, Vampires are leeches.  Sure Dracula is after your blood and Democrats are after your tax dollars but in the Howard Jarvis Republican Party, I'm pretty sure taxes are scarier than bleeding out.

The Green Party = Werewolves
Forever the red-headed stepchild of the undead set, like the Green Party, Werewolves have never been as popular in pop culture as Zombies or Vampires.    The tragedy of the werewolf is that they are innocent nature lovers infected with a disease that periodically turns them into a monster capable of causing massive amounts of damage.  The tragedy of the Green Party is that they are innocent nature lovers infected by a stubborn streak that periodically causes them to split the progressive vote and get Republicans elected (and the Presidency of George W. Bush was as big a disaster to the country as any Werewolf attack would be on a small woodland village).

The American Independent/Constitution Party = Pod People
Fun Political Trivia Fact: In 49 states, the Constitution Party calls itself the Constitution Party, but in California they call themselves the American Independent Party.  85% of the Constitution Party's registered voters live in California, where people mistakenly confuse the American Independent Party with registering to vote as an Independent (to do that you have to select Decline to State).  Which means that if you live in California, all around you there are people who look like your sane friends, family, and neighbors but are secretly advancing the cause of an extremist fringe political movement by helping them qualify as a political party.  The aliens in Invasion of the Body Snatchers wished they were so devious.

Lyndon LaRouche Supporters = The Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Creature from the Black Lagoon at first appears to be some type of eldritch horror risen from the depths and unable to communicate with it's victims and giving the viewer a sense of visceral dread.....until you spot the zipper on the back of the rubber suit.  In the same way followers of political and cult leader Lyndon LaRouche seem terrifying and incomprehensible with their pamphlets explaining how Al Gore is Hitler and how Dick Cheney is conspiring with Satan...until you see them singing.  Then, much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, you can't help but laugh at them.

Libertarians = Mummies
Cousin to the Zombie, the old Universal Mummy movies taught us that no matter how matter how much you thought you'd destroyed them, Mummies always come back and always want to be buried with all their worldly treasures.  In the same way, no matter how many times their economic theories and social policies are shown to not work or lead to a Mad Max-style Somali wasteland, Libertarians, the gold loving cousins to the Republican Party, keep coming back.

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