On Friday, October 29, at 7:30 pm ET (4:30 pm PT), the Daily Poster team explored the political ramifications of the 1984 blockbuster Ghostbusters and discussing the state of the Democrats’ so-called Build Back Better bill. And for both topics, we were joined by a very special guest: celebrated political analyst Thomas Frank.

Subscribers can find a link below to a replay of the event.

As we have noted in our coverage of the battle to pass the Democrats’ economic agenda, the shrinking of the once-ambitious climate change and social safety net legislation reveals the far-reaching influence of corporate interests in the party. So what’s left in the bill, and where do we go from here?

After we discussed the fate of the Build Back Better bill, in honor of Halloween we turned our attention to a very different topic: Ghostbusters. The film is a beloved classic because it deftly intertwined screwball comedy and supernatural horror. But it also illustrated how the era’s conservative economic ideologies were often amplified by seemingly apolitical products like movies and TV shows — a development that still reverberates today.

You can read Sirota and Frank’s writing on Ghostbusters here and here. As they note, the film is all about a wildly incompetent municipal government forced to rely on for-profit corporate mercenaries to protect the city from a ghost invasion, and then those mercenaries must save the city after a heavy-handed EPA official creates a disaster.

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