Pretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture

Pretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture

Annalee Newitz

In Pretend We’re Dead, Annalee Newitz argues that the slimy zombies and gore-soaked murderers who've stormed via American movie and literature during the last century include the violent contradictions of capitalism. Ravaged by means of overwork, alienated by way of company conformity, and mutilated through the unfettered lust for revenue, fictional monsters act out the issues with an economy that turns out designed to devour humans whole.

Newitz seems at representations of serial killers, mad medical professionals, the undead, cyborgs, and unfortunates mutated through their involvement with the mass media undefined. even if contemplating the serial killer who turns homicide right into a form of hard work through mass generating useless our bodies, or the hack writers and bloodthirsty actresses trapped within Hollywood’s profit-mad storytelling computing device, she unearths that every creature has its personal story to inform approximately how a freewheeling industry economic system turns humans into monstrosities.

Newitz tracks the monsters spawned by way of capitalism via b videos, Hollywood blockbusters, pulp fiction, and American literary classics, their manifestations in works akin to Norman Mailer’s “true existence novel” The Executioner’s Song; the quick tales of Isaac Asimov and H. P. Lovecraft; the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson and Marge Piercy; true-crime books concerning the serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer; and films together with Modern Times (1936), Donovan’s Brain (1953), Night of the dwelling Dead (1968), RoboCop (1987), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001). Newitz indicates that as literature and picture inform it, the tale of yank capitalism because the past due 19th century is a story of body-mangling, soul-crushing horror.

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