I received an e mail from Hume’s Ghost of the Daily Doubter about ABC’s remake of V, which I forgot to watch last night–despite the billboards posted all over Brooklyn and my fond memories of the original, which brilliantly hybridized an evening soap on the Falconcrest model with a heavy handed sci fi parable of the sort that Charlton Heston used to star in. In fact the original was said to have been inspired by Sinclaire Lewis’s anti-fascist satire It Can’t Happen Here. Oddly enough, not long after the show aired, the ex-soccer player and sportscaster David Icke began to formulate his Draco-Reptilian conspiracy, a Protocol of the Elders of Zion/Illuminati portmanteau in which the Jews are replaced by shape-shifting lizards from outer space–among them, the British royals, the Bushes, Gorbachev, and Henry Kissinger.
“If you hadn’t already heard the buzz, I thought you might appreciate this,” Hume’s Ghost writes. “Within one day of the premier of ABC’s revamped V plenty of conservatives have concluded (despite the show having more or less the same plot/premise as the 80’s series and the show’s creators denying a political allegory) that the totalitarian, secretly reptile, aliens in the series are supposed to be the Obama administration. It’s a sad commentary on the state of conservatism in America that this is only slightly less deranged than Icke’s having seen the original series and concluded that their really are reptilian aliens out to rule the world.”
Hume’s Ghost collected links to any number of right wing websites, blogs, and magazines–click here to read them.
But it’s not just movement conservatives who are spreading this meme: the show’s Wikipedia entry repeats it, and provides links to reviews and articles in Slate, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune (“V Aims at Obamamania”). Slate’s review, by Troy Patterson, puts it best:
More than a few journalists and bloggers have remarked that it’s possible to read V as an allegory hostile to President Obama and sympathetic with the birthers and other nutcases who believe him to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The charismatic Visitors load up their “bandwagon” by “spreading hope.” In using their sophisticated iguana technology to provide free medical services, they promise “universal health care.” Indeed, if the show is to have the symbolic import that we expect from a science-fiction story, this is the only possible way to read V as a coherent text. The only problem with this analysis lies in its generous presupposition that the text is, in fact, coherent.
The producers have denied that they have any animus towards Obama. That said, I think it’s a safe bet that, pro- or anti-Obama or just opportunistic, they seeded the show with topical references in the hope of stimulating exactly the sort of buzz that it’s gotten.