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Another "Murals With Metaphors" Thread: "John Carpenter's They Live"

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posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 11:51 AM
Here's the mural shown in the opening credits to John Carpenter's excellent film "They Live". While most of you who are clicking on this thread may know of the significance of this film, I don't think anyone here has brought up the mural shown at the beginning of the film. Here is a capture and an enlargement (use scroller at the bottom of the larger image).

The first thing that popped out at me was the spiral. Collaberation begins..... NOW>

edit on 12/11/2010 by this_is_who_we_are because: typo

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 12:00 PM
Hmmm... I see noise coming from the man/kid? in the picture, I see a cross ruling the cities, I see a spiral (norway?), and I see a vaccine/needle dripping.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 12:25 PM
Even larger:

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:03 PM
Awesome, great thread and amazing movie.

But could you tell me what it is that you see?

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:29 PM
Doh - that was on last night but I just caught the last 10 mins of it as I was flipping channels.

It has literally been years since I've seen it - wasn't there some kind of church or preacher that played a part. I'm wondering if that could be the cross on the building in the right. Maybe the swirl to represent the glasses?

Anyway - I still love the line. "I'm here to chew bubblegum and kick *ss...... and I'm all outta bubblegum." - Roddy Piper in the "They Live"

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:55 PM

Originally posted by Frogs
Doh - that was on last night but I just caught the last 10 mins of it as I was flipping channels.

It has literally been years since I've seen it - wasn't there some kind of church or preacher that played a part. I'm wondering if that could be the cross on the building in the right. Maybe the swirl to represent the glasses?

Anyway - I still love the line. "I'm here to chew bubblegum and kick *ss...... and I'm all outta bubblegum." - Roddy Piper in the "They Live"

Yes. The Preacher was featured in the first few minutes speaking in a public square. Until the police showed up. Later in the film we are shown the Preacher being shuttled off to safety by other members of the resistance when the homeless encampment is bulldozed. His speech at the beginning of the movie is key...

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:56 PM

Originally posted by ThinkingCap
Awesome, great thread and amazing movie.

But could you tell me what it is that you see?

I am at the beginning of my analysis. Will report back.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 02:09 PM
The needle is getto smack
the spiral is the hypnosis mind control symbol
also the kiss of death aka the nutrisweet, aspartame logo.
the kid has a can of spray paint - ghetto art
all this on top of the love heart

grass roots is where the hope is
we are the heros we are waiting for
tv is evil

love will keep us together.
love fellow man
love of life
love of truth beauty and justice
love of expressing this
whether an underground artist like the graffitist
or the above ground artist like the film maker
who makes art under the art and on the art

Love and the expressions of love are the light against evil
and repression, and art is the communicator of this concept.

Even the un ending fight scene between piper and his co actor the black dude...
Rodney took the punishment because of love for his fellow man
he really is like a messiah in this role...
an odinary savior type guy

PS the guy is standing on an octopus
that needs no explaination

edit on 11-12-2010 by Danbones because: spelling content

edit on 11-12-2010 by Danbones because: PS

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 02:38 PM
Underneath the spiral is something that looks kind of like an eye- and it looks like some kind of gray stream going from the spiral into the eye.So if the spiral represents hypnotism/mind-control, this would make sense, as in the film TV is used to hypnotize the population, and you use your eyes to watch TV......

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 03:01 PM
This is in the upper right hand corner:

I've been on an anagram kick lately. I'll run these words through an online anagram finder and see what if anything pops up.

The words are:

in anger
by entoni
edit on 12/11/2010 by this_is_who_we_are because: changed joke to joe

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 03:07 PM
It looks like it says "Joe", not "joke', but maybe it's just me......

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 03:10 PM

Originally posted by Skippy1138
It looks like it says "Joe", not "joke', but maybe it's just me......

Your're right. Thanks.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 05:47 PM
This movie needs to be remade.

Updated with social commentary for modern times it would be fantastic.

Though I would make the "aliens" like the shapeshifting things from Species, biomechanical.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 07:30 PM
reply to post by MikeboydUS

I agree - this movie would be great re-made.

There is something written in the heart near the guy with the spray paint. Is that 1st word "Fopgim" in the heart?

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 08:11 PM

Originally posted by Frogs
reply to post by MikeboydUS

I agree - this movie would be great re-made.

There is something written in the heart near the guy with the spray paint. Is that 1st word "Fopgim" in the heart?

At first I thought it said "forgive me", but I'm not sure anymore. I wish I had a Blue-Ray player and high def to get a decent capture. Can't find the mural image online anywhere either. I'll keep plugging away.


I gave up trying to find anagrams for the series of words in the upper right hand corner I can't find an online anagram program that takes more than 33 characters. I've tried descrambling the individual words, but it wouldn't really make any sense since there is no anagram for the word "Joe", however the last word "mean" has an interesting anagram: "amen". So... off I go again.
edit on 12/11/2010 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos

posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 12:35 AM
reply to post by this_is_who_we_are

Excellent thread! Me likes so muches.

Oo-oo-oooo I found some things in the mural that could be metaphors figuratively speaking or just literal metaphors. ha ha Now that's deep.
. This kind of stuff is so much fun isn't it?!!! Yip it is. Okay I'm goin' out on a limb (wish me luck). And PLease keep in mind that your zilch nada-nuttin might inspire a meaningful doodle to suddenly jump out of the page for someone else.
Thanks lots.

Here's a summary of my far-out findings thus fareth ...

A head and shoulder shot of a reptile or Reptilian or in some stage in between?

An alien-human hybrid? Possibly some sort of insectivorous creature inside the graffiti guy's head?

A ghostly face? It's tough to say because I see lots of faces in this particular mural. And I think the artist is using the faces for different reasons. Some might not be faces at all, just made to look like faces in order to distract or attract the viewer.

A portion of a Reptilian head?

A tortured human(?) face (I over-exposed this one to show the fine detail of eye lashes).

A cigar-shaped craft?

I have to say that because there is a bottle nipple at the end of this synge and the implicating needle is not defined but blurred as a part of the background that this image says inner-city addict all over it. I agree with that someone that mentioned smack (will return to edit and credit the author after I post this).

A few more impressions: 1) The city is on a hill, 2) "They" in "They Live" with the 'e' after the 'y' spells 'eye'. The homophone says 'I' therefore 'they live', 'I live', 3) the houses nearest the "spiral" are the worst-for-wear, 4) the graffiti guy looks like he's hosing the road below him, 5) fog, smog, clouds or smoke is covering the front of the hill city, 6) the little man with the blue coat and black hat at the bottom of the mural interests me (I will look up "the blue coats" maybe), 7) I will finish editing the 'centaur' or whatever he is and post it asap (he's a real tricky one - elusive for sure but I captured him once and I'll do it again, he got away from me. lol ).

I've seen the movie "They Live" a long time ago (kool movie) but I don't remember seeing the mural. This one's got conspiracy splattered all over it.

Obey. Stay asleep. Consume.

edit on 12-12-2010 by Antoniastar because: I'm grinning too much.

edit on 12-12-2010 by Antoniastar because: I want to credit Danbones for "ghetto smack".

edit on 12-12-2010 by Antoniastar because: I am whipping my post into the consistency of peanut butter. Not.

posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:01 AM
reply to post by Antoniastar

Thank you so much for your excellent input. I agree with all of your findings. I did notice that the buildings nearest the spiral were the one's that were the worst for wear. Many other things you pointed out I hadn't noticed. Although I've been working on other things since my last post to this thread.

Here's a fun thing I found on another site:

"They" =
The Hierarchy (that) Enslaves You

edit on 12/14/2010 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos

posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 01:34 AM
reply to post by this_is_who_we_are

You're welcome! Glad to shed some light.

I concur, the hierarchy equals 'they'. And I think the food chain is a part of the hierarchy.

Here's an interesting excerpt from another thread...

What I also find disturbing is these sightings / visions coming at approximately the same time as the New World Orders' AGENDA 21 for sustainable development and protection of the Ecosystem, by removing the greatest nuisance to the sacred planetary biosphere, human lives. The plan is to leave only 500 million survivors parked in concentrated centers near railway tracks, now doesn't this sound strangely like the way industrial farming raises chicken?

Agenda 21 - Human Depopulation Culling and Herding

Those involved in this plot against Humanity are possibly not human themselves, but perhaps stealth Aliens masquerading as humans in "skin suits"? We remember the movie They Live based upon a book whichexposed that Reptilians used beamed technology to conceal their infiltration and maintain their disguise without being detected. Here is an outtake from that movie.

They Live


But how high do they go? I wonder if they're food?

edit on 15-12-2010 by Antoniastar because: I spaced the thread link.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 12:10 AM
reply to post by Antoniastar

How about all those references to our being "harvested" during the "end time" tribulation?
Puts a new spin on things. Although iIve seen this theory elaborated on elsewhere, so I guess it's not all that new.

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 11:40 AM
Eight O'Clock in the Morning

At the end of the show the hypnotist told his subjects, "Awake."

Something unusual happened.

One of the subjects awoke all the way. This had never happened before. His name was George Nada and he blinked out at the sea of faces in the theatre, at first unaware of anything out of the ordinary. Then he noticed, spotted here and there in the crowd, the non-human faces, the faces of the Fascinators. They had been there all along, of course, but only George was really awake, so only George recognized them for what they were. He understood everything in a flash, including the fact that if he were to give any outward sign, the Fascinators would instantly command him to return to his former state, and he would obey.

He left the theatre, pushing out into the neon night, carefully avoiding any indication that he saw the green, reptilian flesh or the multiple yellow eyes of the rulers of the earth. One of them asked him, "Got a light buddy?" George gave him a light, then moved on.

At intervals along the street George saw the posters hanging with photographs of the Fascinators' multiple eyes and various commands printed under them, such as, "Work eight hours, play eight hours, sleep eight hours," and "Marry and Reproduce." A TV set in the window of a store caught George's eye, but he looked away in the nick of time. When he didn't look at the Fascinator in the screen, he could resist the command, "Stay tuned to this station."

George lived alone in a little sleeping room, and as soon as he got home, the first thing he did was to disconnect the TV set. In other rooms he could hear the TV sets of his neighbors, though. Most of the time the voices were human, but now and then he heard the arrogant, strangely bird-like croaks of the aliens. "Obey the government," said one croak. "We are the government," said another. "We are your friends, you'd do anything for a friend, wouldn't you?"



Suddenly the phone rang.

George picked it up. It was one of the Fascinators.

"Hello," it squawked. "This is your control, Chief of Police Robinson. You are an old man, George Nada. Tomorrow morning at eight o'clock, your heart will stop. Please repeat."

"I am an old man," said George. "Tomorrow morning at eight o'clock, my heart will stop."

The control hung up.

"No, it wont," whispered George. He wondered why they wanted him dead. Did they suspect that he was awake? Probably. Someone might have spotted him, noticed that he didn't respond the way the others did. If George were alive at one minute after eight tomorrow morning, then they would be sure.

"No use waiting here for the end," he thought.

He went out again. The posters, the TV, the occasional commands from passing aliens did not seem to have absolute power over him, though he still felt strongly tempted to obey, to see things the way his master wanted him to see them. He passed an alley and stopped. One of the aliens was alone there, leaning against the wall. George walked up to him.

"Move on," grunted the thing, focusing his deadly eyes on George.

George felt his grasp on awareness waver. For a moment the reptilian head dissolved into the face of a lovable old drunk. Of course the drunk would be lovable. George picked up a brick and smashed it down on the old drunk's head with all his strength. For a moment the image blurred, then the blue-green blood oozed out of the face and the lizard fell, twitching and writhing. After a moment it was dead.

George dragged the body into the shadows and searched it. There was a tiny radio in its pocket and a curiously shaped knife and fork in another. The tiny radio said something in an incomprehensible language. George put it down beside the body, but kept the eating utensils.

"I can't possibly escape," thought George. "Why fight them?"

But maybe he could.

What if he could awaken others? That might be worth a try.

He walked twelve blocks to the apartment of his girl friend, Lil, and knocked on her door. She came to the door in her bathrobe.

"I want you to wake up," he said

"I'm awake," she said. "Come on in."

He went in. The TV was playing. He turned it off.

"No," he said. "I mean really wake up." She looked at him without comprehension, so he snapped his fingers and shouted, "Wake up! The masters command that you wake up!"

"Are you off your rocker, George?" she asked suspiciously. "You sure are acting funny." He slapped her face. "Cut that out!" she cried, "What the hell are you up to anyway?"

"Nothing," said George, defeated. "I was just kidding around."

"Slapping my face wasn't just kidding around!" she cried.

There was a knock at the door.

George opened it.

It was one of the aliens.

"Can't you keep the noise down to a dull roar?" it said.

The eyes and reptilian flesh faded a little and George saw the flickering image of a fat middle-aged man in shirtsleeves. It was still a man when George slashed its throat with the eating knife, but it was an alien before it hit the floor. He dragged it into the apartment and kicked the door shut. "What do you see there?" he asked Lil, pointing to the many-eyed snake thing on the floor.

"Mister...Mister Coney," she whispered, her eyes wide with horror. "You...just killed him, like it was nothing at all."

"Don't scream," warned George, advancing on her.

"I won't George. I swear I won't, only please, for the love of God, put down that knife." She backed away until she had her shoulder blades pressed to the wall.

George saw that it was no use.

"I'm going to tie you up," said George. "First tell me which room Mister Coney lived in."

"The first door on your left as you go toward the stairs," she said. "Georgie...Georgie. Don't torture me. If you're going to kill me, do it clean. Please, Georgie, please."

He tied her up with bed sheets and gagged her, then searched the body of the Fascinator. There was another one of the little radios that talked a foreign language, another set of eating utensils, and nothing else.

George went next door.

When he knocked, one of the snake-things answered, "Who is it?"

"Friend of Mister Coney. I wanna see him," said George.

"He went out for a second, but he'll be right back." The door opened a crack, and four yellow eyes peeped out. "You wanna come in and wait?"

"Okay," said George, not looking at the eyes.

"You alone here?" he asked as it closed the door, its back to George.

"Yeah, why?"

He slit its throat from behind, then searched the apartment.

He found human bones and skulls, a half-eaten hand.

He found tanks with huge fat slugs floating in them.

"The children," he thought, and killed them all.

There were guns too, of a sort he had never seen before. He discharged one by accident, but fortunately it was noiseless. It seemed to fire little poisoned darts.

He pocketed the gun and as many boxes of darts he could and went back to Lil's place. When she saw him she writhed in helpless terror.

"Relax, honey" he said, opening her purse, "I just want to borrow your car keys.

"He took the keys and went downstairs to the street.

Her car was still parked in the same general area in which she always parked it. He recognized it by the dent in the right fender. He got in, started it, and began driving aimlessly. He drove for hours, thinking--desperately searching for some way out. He turned on the car radio to see if he could get some music, but there was nothing but news and it was all about him, George Nada, the homicidal maniac. The announcer was one of the masters, but he sounded a little scared. Why should he be? What could one man do?

George wasn't surprised when he saw the road block, and he turned off on a side street before he reached it. No little trip to the country for you, Georgie boy, he thought to himself.

They had just discovered what he had done back at Lil's place, so they would probably be looking for Lil's car. He parked it in an alley and took the subway. There were no aliens on the subway, for some reason. Maybe they were too good for such things, or maybe it was just because it was so late at night.

When one finally did get on, George got off.

He went up to the street and went into a bar. One of the Fascinators was on the TV, saying over and over again, "We are your friends. We are your friends. We are your friends." The stupid lizard sounded scared. Why? What could one man do against all of them?

George ordered a beer, then it suddenly struck him that the Fascinator on the TV no longer seemed to have any power over him. He looked at it again and thought, "It has to believe it can master me to do it. The slightest hint of fear on its part and the power to hypnotize is lost." They flashed George's picture on the TV screen and George retreated to the phone booth. He called his control, the Chief of Police.

"Hello, Robinson?" he asked.


"This is George Nada. I've figured out how to wake people up."

"What? George, hang on. Where are you?" Robinson sounded almost hysterical.

He hung up and paid and left the bar. They would probably trace his call.

He caught another subway and went downtown.

It was dawn when he entered the building housing the biggest of the city's TV studios. He consulted the building director and then went up in the elevator. The cop in front of the studio recognized him. "Why, you're Nada!" he gasped.

George didn't like to shoot him with the poison dart gun, but he had to.

He had to kill several more before he got into the studio itself, including all the engineers on duty. There were a lot of police sirens outside, excited shouts, and running footsteps on the stairs. The alien was sitting before the TV camera saying, "We are your friends. We are your friends," and didn't see George come in. When George shot him with the needle gun he simply stopped in mid-sentence and sat there, dead. George stood near him and said, imitating the alien croak, "Wake up. Wake up. See us as we are and kill us!"

It was George's voice the city heard that morning, but it was the Fascinator's image, and the city did awake for the very first time and the war began.

George did not live to see the victory that finally came. He died of a heart attack at exactly eight o'clock.

--- Ray Nelson, short story written in 1963

Thought I'd add the short, if anyone hasn't read it.
Brilliant story.

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