Carpenter’s The Thing (feat. Cae & Ryan) : Episode 61

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John Carpenter’s The Thing

What: An alien life form threatens humanity at an antarctic research facility
Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David

Featuring guest co-hosts

Caelum Rale headshot Ryan Bingham headshot
Caelum Rale, artist Ryan Bingham, lawyer

Recommended and Related Media

Lee Hardcastle’s The Thing Claymations
These are all wonderful 🙂

 

The Things by Peter Watts
The story of The Thing from the other side.

I am being Blair. I escape out the back as the world comes in through the front.

I am being Copper. I am rising from the dead.

I am being Childs. I am guarding the main entrance.

The names don’t matter. They are placeholders, nothing more; all biomass is interchangeable. What matters is that these are all that is left of me. The world has burned everything else.

Listen to a reading of the story Clarksworld Podcast

The Politics of Experience & The Divided Self by R.D. Laing
Cae and Ryan read books about things. Here are two that informed their thinking on this episode.
The Politics of Experience Amazon
The Divided Self Amazon

Show Notes

Movie origins

Who Goes There? short story. Previous adaptations: The Thing From Another World (1951) · Horror Express (1972) · The Thing (2011)

Antarctic Exploration

British and Norwegian missions. Cultures and approaches.

Antarctic Research

Conditions. Connectivity. Boredom. Whiskey, cigars, and shoe leather.

Antarctic Doctoring

You need a certain kinda Dr MacGyver badass for this job. Spinal self-diagnosis, etc.

Wilford Brimley diabeetus

John Carpenter cinematography and soundtracks and storytelling

Cae and Ryan understand these things, and explain them to us. We mostly get it.

The Thing

So many questions. Where did it come from? How does it work? The nature of the creature. Is it intelligent?

The nature of consciousness

If you were The Thing, could you know you were The Thing? Would The Thing know it was The Thing? Self interest in all cases. Group interests in all cases.

Infection

If I can’t win, neither can you. The doctor was the only one acting rightly. Best plan: destroy the base and kill everyone, just in case. Sexual tests as alternatives to blood…

Goodbyes

Childs: Well, what do we do?
MacReady: Why don’t we just… wait here for a little while… see what happens?

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