Chapter 21: Invasion of the Bloggers: A Preliminary Study on the Demography and Content of the Economic Blogosphere
Tiago Mata INVASION In the 1956 horror movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a local doctor returns to his hometown of Santa Mira, after a trip to a medical convention.1 He finds a town gripped by hysteria, where wives no longer recognize their husbands and fearful children flee from their parents. As one character spells out: ‘There’s no emotion. None. Just the pretense of it.’ The distressed allege that ‘body snatchers’ are taking over the minds and bodies of neighbors and loved ones. With a skeptical and analytical mind, the doctor dismisses these anxieties until he sees the ‘giant seed pods’ that are replicating the town folk, including one that will resemble him. The doctor escapes. The Invasion has been interpreted as an artifact of 1950s imagination, reflecting American society’s anxiety and confusion in face of the ‘Red Menace’ and the ‘atomic age’. Stuart Samuels (2010) in a celebrated reading of the movie argues that three themes inform its plot: conformity, paranoia and alienation. The protagonist battles to preserve his individuality, rejecting the drone state of mind of the ‘snatched’. A rebel self opposes the social norm, which ambiguously can be the small town but also modernity. Although the term ‘invasion’ suggests an alien threat, the movie represents an insidious contagion, where the infected cannot be easily triaged from the healthy. And once the ‘snatched’ are victorious, the new world superficially does not differ much from the old, but it has been emotionally debased. Setting up a horror fiction...
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