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PANDEMIC PLAY LIST: John Carpenter’s “They Live” (1988)

they live poster

This Movie Will Make You Think Twice About Our Consumer Based Lifestyle

Here is an easy way to fall in love with staying home, not buying stuff, and decreasing your carbon footprint. Put 1988’s, They Live, by John Carpenter on your CORVID-19 play list. This movie was on at 3 AM the other night and now I have a copy of this highly underrated cult classic on my DVR that will probably out last our world wide pandemic isolating.

they live watch tv anchors

Our leader is a monster who has failed us in our real life coronavirus pandemic, just like the aliens disguised as our leaders, in this highly entertaining film.

they live liquor store lady wristwatch id's roddy piper

They Live, The Matrix and Awakening From the Material World

This review will not be a plot spoiler, I am interested in the hero’s journey into awareness. The reason I am inspired to write this review is because of the thematic similarities I have only just now noticed to 1999’s, The Matrix. The common theme between both movies is that human beings are asleep. In They Live, you need special sunglasses or contact lenses to see what is really happening, and in The Matrix you have to swallow the red pill to learn the truth.

roddy piper in they live
Wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as John Nada, a man who can see

The only time the main character’s name is mentioned is in the end credits where we see that the character paid by professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is named John Nada.

secret images in they live

I swallowed the red pill and put the sunglasses on when I was very young

When I was a kid, my friend Kenny Reddick and I found a box of sunglasses laying in the street in North Hollywood, kind of like John Nada did in They Live.

We used to ride our bikes from Tujunga down to the freeway on ramps in NoHo to sell flowers. Selling flowers on freeway exits was excellent cash for enterprising San Fernando Valley teenagers. We learned a lot about bookstores and we found those x-ray sunglasses.

putting on the glasses in they live
money is your god in they live
New Pair of Sunglases

Soon we moved on to bigger and better things like selling the Los Angeles Times on the telephone in a boiler room on Foothill Boulevard. Soon we had enough connections and money to take the red pill at a big outdoor rock festival festival called Cal Jam. We quickly graduated to adult consumer status and I bought a used VW Beetle.

The Red Pill Wears Off

Selling newspaper subscriptions was a tougher sell than flowers. But we were paying taxes and on our way to the corporate world and sleepwalking. The red pills wore off and we lost the sunglasses. Kenny and I would both become good consumers and husbands, but only Ken would breed. Eventually yoga and mediation would wake me up from my obedient slumber so that I could create this blog for all of you.


By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.