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Article
Ghostbusters 2.0
American Book Review (2017)
  • Ralph Clare, Boise State University
Abstract
In my book Fictions Inc.: The Corporation in Postmodern Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture (2014), I present a case for the original Ghostbusters (1984) as an allegory of the neoliberal transformation of New York City (and by extension America) in which the Ghostbusters themselves function as a kind of corporate savior. In the film, of course, the group is basically a small business on par with pest control exterminators, as one of the group's television commercials suggests. However, the Ghostbusters's business booms after the city finds itself unable to cope with the growing problem of paranormal activity—the ghosts that commit petty crimes, loitering/haunting, and comprise a troubling "otherness" that can be seen as representative of poor and minority residents of certain NY City neighborhoods that were seen as acting as a drain on the city's already tenuous resources. The Ghostbuster's "clean up the city" by removing undesirable "residents" and "containing" them in their Containment Unit in a process analogous to the "urban renewal" projects meant to cure the city of its blighted areas after the 1970s fiscal crisis through the implementation of public-private partnerships that greatly favored businesses and corporations with massive tax cuts and other concessions.
Publication Date
January, 2017
DOI
10.1353/abr.2017.0006
Citation Information
Ralph Clare. "Ghostbusters 2.0" American Book Review Vol. 38 Iss. 2 (2017) p. 8 - 15
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ralph_clare/25/