Ceci est une pipe (4)

By: Joshua Glenn
June 4, 2010

One in an irregular, ongoing, and self-explanatory series of posts.

In W.D. Richter’s cult New Wave SF satire The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984), we learn that in October 1938, a thousand Red Lectroids (who’d staged an unsuccessful coup on Planet 10) invaded our planet — and infiltrated the population. As Pakistan is to Al Qaeda, the Earth became the Red Lectroids’ hideout and HQ.

When the lectroido-fascist aliens (pictured at top) landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, in ’38, only one brave, independent-minded soul dared spread the news. It was the brilliant, anti-fascist director, producer, and actor Orson Welles — who, as we can see in the image above, was smoking a pipe at the time. Coincidence?

According to Buckaroo Banzai, after Welles’ broadcast, the alien lizard-men hypnotized him into publicly claiming that his heroics had been a stunt. In real life, soon after the “War of the Worlds” incident, Welles abandoned radio and theater for Hollywood — which chewed him up and spit him out. Around this time Welles gave up his pipe for cigars. Coincidence?

Buckaroo's Argonaut Folly saves the day.

Categories

Codebreaking, Semiotics

What do you think?

  1. The very thought of Buckaroo Banzai still fills me with an emotion that I feel for no other cultural object. The sense that here, yes here, is the universe I want to live in.

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