They Live Like Natives

What’s odd in retrospect about the ghoul at the newsstand is that he wants to read the newspapers. This appears far more than a show of interest on his part; he even takes one home, pausing to scowl at some headline before getting into his car. Similarly, the ghoul at the bar at the end of the film sits watching television as absorbedly as any of the other patrons. How can we account for this? Which do the ghouls’ robotic orbs register as they scan (presumably like a supermarket laser run over a bar-code) the dummy media with which they’ve overpainted our world: exhortations like CONFORM and OBEY, or the illusory articles and photographs, or both? Maybe they’re seeing some third-level media, something we’d have to call “Real Ghoul News,” which is being broadcast on a wavelength perceptible only to their eyes.

— Jonathan Lethem probes the inner depths of the alien baddies from sci-fi cult classic They Live, via io9

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One Comment on “They Live Like Natives”

  1. Nathan Says:

    I don’t see why “Real Ghoul News” couldn’t be a Lethem novel right there.

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