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While one can’t help but frown at the use of nuclear power, there’s a lot to like about Ghostbusters, the tale of how strict scientists (“Every ancient religion has its own myth about the end of the world.”) take it upon themselves to save the world after losing their jobs to stodgy, rigid-in-their-beliefs, administrators. The non-discriminating team pursues a humane agenda of trapping and incarcerating pesky spirits, instead of vaporizing them, and when confronted with the extra-powerful being Gozer, the boys in gray attempt to open up a dialogue before having to resort to the non-capital punishment of trapping Gozer in its own dimension, saving the day. And hey, when you think about it, four 1000 year nuclear power sources are better than thousands of industrial batteries year after year, right? -Russell Jones

    30 Comments

  1. HA! Right on. I’m incredibly liberal and I think we all know I love Ghostbusters.

    It blows my mind how people can’t separate. Nice form!

  2. Oh, for the love of God. Ghostbusters is one of the most conservative movies ever made. It’s one of the reasons I love the film, since I’m a conservative. Let’s see, three guys start a small business busting ghosts. The liberal media immediately begins to show it’s bias against them (Larry King, etc). An EPA agent who could be Keith Olbermanns even more evil twin arrives to shut them down and nearly causes the end of the world. Until the nuclear powered ‘busters (three agnostic scientists and one working class Christian) prepare to sacrifice their lives to send the evil pagan transsexual Gozer back to where it belongs by blowing everything to kingdom come.
    Ted Nugent would be proud.

  3. Technology trumping the supernatural = liberal movie

  4. Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb and say i like the shiny lights…..
    (I Can’t Help it, It’s My Weakness)

  5. Why must everything be symbolic of something? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And where was it established that Peter, Ray, and Egon were agnostic? I thought it was said that Peter was Catholic. Just enjoy the movie for what it is: Best Damn Piece of Cinema Ever!

  6. wow; so it’s a libertarian (sp?) movie; it’s a conservative movie; and it’s a liberal movie. I don’t think any of those 3 categories describe this film accurately, b/c the main thing that separates liberals from conservatives and so on and so forth is A LOT of people feel obligated to put their ideology first and then skim over the basic facts of life. Art/film does not have that luxury. Liberals, for instance, go to EXTREME lengths to promote non-violent behavior, putting the ideology of peace before the safety of potential victims by doing all but flat out illegilizing guns, and talk about rationalizing with blood-thirsty monsters like Osama Bin Laden, while conservatives talk about freedom and opportunity, but only if it doesn’t offend Christians…I don’t think I’m the only one who has this kind of straight up, un-delluted common sense, but the people who write for magazines like the one that wrote this crazy article give names like “liberal” and “conservative” a bad name. Whenever a politician does the slightest thing to show “bi-partisanship” it’s so shocking to people…

  7. For the love of God, let’s not put a political spin on this. I love this film, don’t ruin it by calling it a liberal movie.

    (Liberals love spending hard-earned taxpayer money and creating mega-beuracracies while at the same time destroying freedom the world over).

  8. What if the world wasn’t Black and White… *GASP* Shades of Grey you say?! Preposterous!!

  9. My comment was for the sake of argument. I just think it’s a great movie, period. Shades of grey like the man said.

  10. Amusing, but a less convincing analysis than Ghostbusters is conservative/libertarian IMO.

  11. Yeah, this is a weaker argument. If you want to put a political slant on GB (and again, there is way more to love than a political undertone) it is libertarian… get the government out of the way and let the small business owners provide actual results. GB is, after all, a going into business movie.

    This movie is not about scientist proving there is no god, in fact the supernatural suggests life after death.

    On a side note, I find it interesting that in the new game, the GB’s are paid by the government and have an overseer (Peck) to keep them in-line. It will be interesting to see how the game handles that relationship. It’s also funny that the new mayor got elected from running a pro-GB campaign. Politics plays such a big role in these stories and I like that!

  12. I just think it’s amazing that Gb can be looked at as all three, conservative, liberal or libertarian depending on the eye of the beholder. It’s more proof of the one thing that we can all agree on: Ghostbusters is the best film ever.

  13. I agree with others, the argument for Ghostbusters being liberal is incredibly weaker, as shown by this write-up that takes all its evidence out of context. For instance:

    ”Every ancient religion has its own myth about the end of the world.” Yes, this is an indictment against religious belief if this were the end of the discussion, but it ends with Winston’s statement: “Myth? Ray, has it ever occurred to you lately that the reason we’ve been so busy lately is because the dead have been rising from the grave? So the message is far more ambiguous than suggested.

    And a non-discriminating, “humane” approach to incarcerating ghosts? It’s true that they don’t discriminate between blue and green ghosts because they round them up all and hold them indefinitely without due process with no regard to ecto-color. The cover of The Atlantic in the montage scene sums up the point: “Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?” The film actually raises this LIBERAL criticism of the Ghostbusters and casually dismisses it.

  14. Further, the writer suggests that the finale reflects some sort of “liberal value” of dialogue over action, saying “the boys in gray attempt to open up a dialogue before having to resort to the non-capital punishment.” I guess this is true…they did SAY something before they blasted her….they told her to get out of New York City! “As a duly designated representative of the city, county and state of new york. I hereby ORDER you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin, or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.” George Bush told the same thing to Saddam Hussein, I don’t think “get out” represents diplomacy.

  15. I like how they glossed over that Walter Peck, from the EPA, set in motion the destruction of the world in the name of helping the environment.

    Also, I was wondering where the post article comment is. Do liberals walk funny? Do they have a hammer and sickle up their collective ass?

  16. Great points Nate and Matt. This is a fun discussion. :)

  17. Ghostbusters is neither a Republican or Democratic or Independent film. What it is is an amazing piece of cinema that brings ALL people together!

  18. Yeah, how come there was no smart butt remark about liberals like there was conservative? I guess this is a liberal site! I was hoping it was unbiased!

  19. Well, you’ve all had your say, and thank you one and all for making my point;

    Running movies through a political filter, while a valid exercise in an academic setting, is a completely and utter killjoy the rest of the time, doubly so on the Internet.

    The libertarian review was amusing. The conservative review was essentially making the exact same argument, but I posted that too (nobody seems inclined to give credit for that I notice), with joke commentary from me.

    Then I explained the joke comment when people thought I was personally attacking them – saying “…then you have a stick up your ass.” isn’t funny. Breaking it up over a handful of sentances, that’s funny – which was awesome, because it turned my joke point into a real point – some people do in deed have sticks up their asses as it turns out, and take a certain amount of pride in it, apparently.

    But it didn’t end there – insulted conservative readers had their knives out and this being the internet, everybody else wanted in on the discussion and/or fight, logic, reason, research, or a leg to stand on be damned.

    So, mere hours later, I post a liberal review, and the “injured parties” are quick to point out that;

    a) The arguments are weak.
    b) Hey, I didn’t make snarky comments about liberals in the post.

    You’re clever enough for that, but nobody thought it was weird that a Liberal carbon-copy of the previous post appeared within hours? And nobody, obviously, followed the link I gave… which if you had, literally in the URL, would have told you…

    …I made it up.

    Yes, they’re weak arguments, because they’re not real arguments. They’re less than a 100 words, same as the other review – neither of them make a case, they just cherry pick scenes. I rattled it off in ten minutes before I got back to real work.

    And yes, I didn’t poke fun of Liberals, because – I wasn’t poking fun of Conservatives in the first post, I was poking fun at anyone who takes politics so serious, they bring it to the movies. If that first review had been a Liberal writer to a Liberal magazine, I would have made the same point and similar joke. Because at the end of the day, I don’t need my favorite movie spoiled like that.

    Not that I would have had to, as Liberals tend not to go around calling dibs on films.

    I do one thing here and I do it for free and I’ve been doing it for 15 years now. I take Ghostbusters related news, decide if it’s interesting, and comment on it if I so choose – which I can, because it’s my site. I have open comments for you all to use, freely, with two rules; If you get out of line (and it takes a lot for me to consider out of line) I’ll remove the post, or if the spam filter gets it, not approve it. And if you’re going to take potshots at me on my own site, I get to punch back.

    If you honestly are that offended, don’t visit. I’m fine with that. If you’re not so offended to leave, but offended to argue, knock it off windbag – you’re abusing my good nature. And if you’re not offended, perhaps then we can do what should have happened 24 hours ago. The matter is dropped.

    As you were.

  20. “And nobody, obviously, followed the link I gave… which if you had, literally in the URL, would have told you… …I made it up.”

    Well, that does explain why I got a 404 error! LOL.

  21. For the sake of bipartianship can we just call Ghostbusters a great movie and leave it at that.

  22. Yeah, I’ll be honest…your intent is lost on me.

    Is it to show any movie can be put through a any political filter? Then you’re wrong, since the film fits the conservative/libertarian theme accurately as shown by the fact that the National Review article had valid points and your post did not.

    If your point is that it’s no fun to look at movies from various viewpoints politically, you’re wrong again since the discussion DID interest some people.

    If your point was to make stupid, partisan arguments about conservatives versus liberals, then you succeeded.

    Liberals don’t make list of liberal movies?

    Wrong: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/13/104927/953/126/696537

    I’m not an “injured party” — I’m just someone who thought you were being obnoxious by your ORIGINAL comments (not your subsequent elaboration) and when I saw this post, I decided I’d take the time to contribute to your site in a sense of friendly discussion.

    And “insulted conservative readers had their knives out”? Really? You act as though the only ones who responded were conservatives with political pot-shots. But plenty of liberals made snide remarks. You’re just basing these comments on baseless stereotypes.

  23. I did not read most of the above comments because I’m tired of fruitless arguing. But I do find it funny that although they used the word, “myth,” and the movie does contain “Technology trumping the Supernatural,” the fact of the matter is that one of those ancient civilization’s end of the world myths turned out to NOT be a myth and that the Supernatural turned out to be REAL. How’s that for irony? :-)

    And let’s face it, you can’t be an athiest if you see ghosts on a daily basis, so it’s most likely that the boys were probably agnostic if not religious in some way (I was talking with someone who’s house was haunted recently about this). And the film’s supposed anti-capital punishment moral? Maybe that’s because you can’t vaporize ghosts? This isn’t politics, it’s a scientific theory I hold that since it’s a scientific fact that matter can never truly be destroyed, then you can’t truly vaporize a ghost either. In theory. If you think of it that way it might even come to reason that the Ecto-Containment Unit is like a man-made version of Hell – except without all the fire and stuff, anyway. A prison for spirits.

    So, did Aykroyd, Ramis, or Reitman ever confirm whether this film had a hidden conservative or liberal message? Because chances are it’s just a movie about funny guys busting ghosts.

  24. If you’re tired of fruitless arguments, you might have wanted to read at least one of the above comments.

  25. Yet another attempt to politicize something unnecesarily. Great movie….lets just leave politics out it for once

  26. I just finished reading all of the posts…I have to side with Nate in that whatever point was trying to be made was lost on me. At any rate, most people posting who disagreed with this made up argument presented well articulated discussions. I actually thought it was pretty civil and interesting until the author went on his rant.

  27. Considering the basic plot line is a small business overcoming government regulation and saving the world, I’m not sure how it could be classified as a liberal movie.

  28. Castewar, I love your site a hell of a lot, I’m always checking it out. And you seem like a cool dude, but you can be pretty darn rough around the edges sometimes.

    Please don’t get so upset by folks who post here, we all love Ghostbusters and enjoy friendly discussion. The readers aren’t the ones making this ugly, in my opinion.

    Setting a trap to expose people you think have a “stick up their ass” isn’t a very kind thing to do to your readers.

  29. Mark, I appreciate that you dig the site, and I appreciate that you’ve taken issue (incorrectly, I feel) with this, but this matter is closed. It has to be closed, because it will just keep going.

    A couple of vocal readers take an offhand comment personal. I try and explain it wasn’t targeting anyone in particular, but they pick up the torch anyhow. I mock it (which is well deserved at this point). People take it personal. It’ll just keep going.

    You’re right, mostly the readers aren’t making this ugly, but as you’re all commenting in the same space, I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I name names, then it totally is a personal fight, and that’s how trolls are born. If I don’t name names, and trust everyone will understand, someone will always think I’m talking directly at them, or assuming that by not naming names, I’m talking to everyone. Worse still, not everyone is reading everything, so some are commenting without having read my initial position, or my explanation that I’m actively mocking some of the discussion!

    I had my say, and people are more than welcome to keep debating the merits of the posts. But the debate with me is done.

    I’m one guy running this site having to deal with dozens of individuals, each with a different tone and response. It was never going to be solved by my saying anything, but by the same token, I don’t take kindly to eating crap. So, I’ve got three options; Eat it (no), start deleting comments or the post (no), or have my say and walk away (trying.)

    Proton Charging = free. I pay for it out of pocket and have done for over a decade. All I ask is that people take it or leave it. It’s not worth my time to have to defend it for anyone, though sometimes I have to – in this case, I explained it was a non-issue, and some kept pushing. And pushed, I’ll push back. That’s fair.

    Now…

    …old news. Walking away.

  30. I appreciate the response Castewar, I am dropping the issue as well. I have actually enjoyed the debate and think it was somewhat interesting. It’s hard to debate such topics without people getting rubbed the wrong way unintentionally (myself included).

    Anyhow, all is well and no harmed done. I still love the site and you are doing a great job running it. I just don’t want to see you getting bummed out by your readers because I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say your doing a great job. I know it’s a lot of work an you can’t please everyone.

    Keep up the good work, and keep the GB goodness going. It’s a great time to be a GB fan, that is for sure!

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