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Hackers, fake news, Vladimir Putin, everyone is obsessed with Russians at the moment. Is it any wonder they keep popping up on our screens?
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Demo Gorgons government conspiracies supernatural monsters telekinetic teenagers aah whoo it's so good unless you're living in an underground bunker waiting for the world to end let's be honest we should all be at this point and you know the second season is stranger things is finally here pod glorious coming-of-age stories hot 80s paranormal sci-fi nostalgia trip the gang is back and the town of Hawkins is facing its latest existential threat from the upside down hashtag justice for barb well know as much as I could spend.
Hours talking up this pitch perfect show all right all right so I spent two days binge watching the new season look at the bags under my eyes look at the notice something interesting wait hold up where's the thing it's 1984 and we.
See the world around Hawkins fleshed out Ghostbusters is in the cinemas VCRs are all the rage everyone's talking about the Russians hmm that last one rings a bell the investigation into alleged links between Donald Trump's election campaign and Russia has taken a dramatic turn Russian interference in the u.s. election Russian hackers Russian military intelligence it's Russia week the thing that's was science fiction or good science fiction is that it uses aliens and monsters to try and reflect what we're really afraid of back in the 80s if you lived in the US it was that Russians we're trying to infiltrate your country and create chaos and confusion and in 2017 it's that wait a minute is. The Cold War still going I says boss let's go.
You are fake listen I'm squarely a 90s kid but I have a lot of time for 80s nostalgia the bold colors the booming synthesizers the double denim the shameless power glam.
But there was a lot going on at that time namely the Cold War was coming to an end and paranoia against the Soviet Union was ripe in America everyone was thought to be a Russian spy and that filtered into the imagination of the public think of ET Close Encounters of the Third Kind aliens Blade Runner predator and of course Ghostbusters the grace from that time all about trying to understand beings from a different world it all.
Started back in the 50s when cold war panic and the threat of nuclear fallout was at its peak the interest in sci-fi just skyrocketed why it was a form of escape a way of channeling people's anxieties back in the first season we find out our kick-ass heroine 11 is part of a secret program to spy on Soviet agents yes we have to listen for months.
You got to do what you do. I mean that of course quickly derails when she encounters something from an entirely different world.
It's creepy you know what's interesting there's a striking similarity between what's happening in the show and what's going on in our world right now I mean just last week the FBI sentenced Donald Trump's former campaign manager and a business associate with conspiring against the u.s. it's huge huge and comes after a five-month investigation into the present is in a circle and it ties to Russia after all it was Russian hackers who tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign last year and put Trump in office now we're on the edge of our seats to see who the FBI goes off the next put it go all the way after Donald Trump was he in on it too could he be impeached dragged it's a hell of a story right the one seemingly stable democracy of the United States has now turned into the political equipment of a Jenga tower to make matters worse cyber. Hacking infinite trolls and fake news have now become the new global norm he's by far an in private interest to do everything from blackmailing people with their private information is sabotaging elections over the last year we saw it fake news was a major factor in how we talked about elections in France the UK with brexit and of course the u.s. so is it any wonder we're turning back to sci-fi for a sensitive scape the strange of things is the perfect pill think about it a group of tech-savvy teens is the town's only hope of fighting off the evils erupting from a strange new world that connects us all internet the adults are powerless to do anything and the kids with their walkie-talkies come on that's an easy one their telekinetic abilities and actual text messages on that weird fairy lights wall after you step up to save the day I am NOT suggesting the strange of things is some conspiracy trying to stoke up anti-russian sentiments or am i but the stories we tell always unleash what lies beneath the surface when we were anxious we like stories that tell us that the good guys are good the bad guys are bad and that even though we don't understand the strange monsters coming from the upside down dude like literally the other side of the world and ultimately goodness and friendship will prevail it's comforting right hold up if Russia is the upside down does that mean that Putin is the shadow monster but this isn't just about one.
Show Russians never really stop playing a part in Hollywood they've all had been a bad guy which and I can say this as a Muslim not cool man Ivan Drago from rocky for xenia onatopp from Goldeneye Ivan caution off from Air Force One and it looks like that fascination ain't dying down anytime soon I mean take the show the Americans which kicked off in 2013 it's about two KGB agents undercover in Washington DC in the 80 you see dude you ever realize that grew from Despicable Me has a super awesome sounding accent you will not cry or whine or laughs what a giggle and what's he trying to do when we first meet him trying to steal the moon he eventually sees the error in his ways with the help of three adorable young American kids and learns to embrace the American Way of life but all of this is more than just a coincidence a really really positive aggressive coincidence I reckon exits horrible Hollywood is America's strongest form of soft power it's the way the country it sports its own image and ideology to the rest of the world in organizations like the CIA never really hit the fact that they were part of the process - 1996 they even made it official opened up shop in LA the entertainment liaison office the marriage between entertainment and politics in America has always existed whether we like it or not we've been force-fed the American dream for decades and during the Cold War a cinema was where US propaganda spread its wings painting an image of America and capitalism that was way more appealing than the communist alternative hey world look at all this neat stuff we got coca-cola California freedom don't you honor peace it is don't all of us make communism look like totally lame come on everybody all aboard the capitalism train destination United States of America really though the US has just been stopped tweeting Russia this whole time and as for the rest of us who don't live in the US or Russia we've been forced to watch the world's longest game of ping pong between two countries that really just need to hug it out seriously guys get a room.
But with Hollywood it doesn't always have to be propaganda not every screenwriter in LA is on some government payroll or part of some conspiracy to brainwash the masses this is their plan people these are demons but when we consume the entertainment coming out of Hollywood we're being told the stories that America wants to tell itself about itself and about its enemy stranger things could be a metaphor about Vladimir Putin stretching his shadowy tentacles into the ordinary lives of Americans that have struck their realities and faith and democracy or not but what's true is that the Russian threat has continued to exist in the back of American imagination and that in Hollywood the Cold War never really ended and now that both countries are added again gonna be even harder to separate the truth from the fake news dad it's very sad but let's not get sucked into the paranoia don't be a mouth-breather Mouse freezer all things considered Cold War or not there is one thing that's absolutely true I can't wait for season 3.
Hey world thanks for watching if you liked it comment subscribe share we'll see you next week guys guys how do I get.
Out of the 80s no seriously I don't know guys I need Netflix I can't just stay here guys hello hello