In Pretend We’re Dead
, Annalee Newitz argues that the slimy zombies and gore-soaked murderers who've stormed via American movie and literature over the last century embrace the violent contradictions of capitalism. Ravaged by way of overwork, alienated through company conformity, and mutilated by way of the unfettered lust for revenue, fictional monsters act out the issues with an economy that turns out designed to devour humans whole.
Newitz appears to be like at representations of serial killers, mad medical professionals, the undead, cyborgs, and unfortunates mutated by way of their involvement with the mass media undefined. no matter if contemplating the serial killer who turns homicide right into a form of exertions via mass generating lifeless our bodies, or the hack writers and bloodthirsty actresses trapped within Hollywood’s profit-mad storytelling desktop, she unearths that every creature has its personal story to inform approximately how a freewheeling marketplace financial system turns humans into monstrosities.
Newitz tracks the monsters spawned through capitalism via b videos, Hollywood blockbusters, pulp fiction, and American literary classics, taking a look at their manifestations in works similar to Norman Mailer’s “true lifestyles novel” The Executioner’s Song; the fast tales of Isaac Asimov and H. P. Lovecraft; the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson and Marge Piercy; true-crime books in regards to the serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer; and flicks together with Modern Times (1936), Donovan’s Brain (1953), Night of the residing Dead (1968), RoboCop (1987), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001). Newitz exhibits that as literature and movie inform it, the tale of yankee capitalism because the overdue 19th century is a story of body-mangling, soul-crushing horror.