Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Mole People

The Mole People

The Mole People (2001)

Coming to you from deep under the ground -- or from a secret undisclosed location...

From can't tell shit from shineola Wikipedia:

The Mole People is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Virgil W. Vogel. This film was parodied on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

In this movie, archaeologists stumble upon a race of Sumerian albinos living under the Earth. They are afraid of light of any kind, and keep mutant humanoid mole men as their slaves. The Sumerian albinos' descendants moved into the subterranea after the cataclysmic floods in ancient Mesopotamia. Elinor the High Priest is the leader of the Sumerians in the movie.

Think The Time Machine's Morlocks only more dim-witted -- but better at digging.

Tell Tim Burton I'm available...

Dr. Roger Bentley sez: "Do you think anybody's ever tried to smoke dried mushrooms?"

Or...from a realm darker than Cheney's Batcave...

From we make it up as we go along Wikipedia:

"Mole People" is a term used to refer to the indefinite number of homeless people who live under New York City in abandoned subway tunnels. Estimates of the number of individuals living in this way are hard to obtain, but a 1989 survey suggested they numbered around 5,000. While it is generally accepted that some homeless people in large cities do indeed make use of accessible, abandoned underground structures for shelter, urban legends persist that make stronger assertions. These include claims that "mole people" have formed small, ordered societies similar to tribes, numbering up to hundreds of people. It has also been suggested that these have developed their own cultural traits and even have electricity by illegal hook-up.

Joseph Brennan isn't buying that subterranean hooey in his essay "Fantasy and The Mole People":

I didn't read Jennifer Toth's book The Mole People when it came out in 1993. Despite my interest in subway tunnels, the focus of her book, the homeless people who live in them, was not a topic I was eager to read more about.

[...]

But several people who have read my Abandoned Subway Stations web page have asked me by email about tunnels other than stations, sometimes specifically about ones that do not exist. Finally, one correspondent, in quoting a really astonishing description from The Mole People of an imaginary underground line, pointed me to the source where the misinformation was coming from. So I read it.

Here's the problem in a nutshell: every fact in this book that I can verify independently is wrong [emphasis his]. I'm referring to her descriptions of the tunnels.

Of course, other astute observers of popular culture feel that Toth did not go far enough...like the rationalists at the World Weekly News. Could this actually be the secret hidey-hole of Dick Cheney?

Evil Mole People Found in Wyoming

University of Wyoming geologists claim to have found a race of super-intelligent "mole people" living in caves, holes, lairs and tunnels under the Bighorn Mountains. But unlike their finger-sized animal cousins, the mutant creatures stand 6 feet tall, walk upright on two legs and seem to be at least part human.

Not only that, say the experts, they're extremely dangerous, too.

Because not only do they speak and read English with surprising fluency, but their lairs are littered with books and manuals on waging biological warfare and making crude nuclear weapons -- and they hate Americans.

"The war on terror just got tougher," says a senior source at the Office of Homeland Security in Washington.

That's right. They hate us for our sunlight.

4 comments:

Tim said...

Whoa, the Mole people are so cool. The Planet of the Apes Mutants are here ahead of schedule.

I guess there's something intriguing about people living in a world beneath the earth. Just like Flying Saucers and Atlantis, the legends are so tantalizing it's not important if they're true.

It would make a great "In Search Of" episode.

Anonymous said...

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cruelanimal said...

Tim: I agree. The concept is fascinating. It's a sci-fi staple of dystopias where folly with nukes has ruined the Earth's surface and forced inhabitants to burrow underground.

One of my fave sci-fi stories is E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops." In it, the surface is not so much ruined as ignored. Dependence on creature comforts provided by "the machine" has the inhabitants living underground and literally worshipping the mechanism that provides them with artificial light, air, food, etc. Everyone reads profusely, but the world itself provokes no interest or thought.

My favorite passage occurs when one of the main characters is travelling by airship to see her son. None of the passengers on the airship can recall what the white material capping mountains is called. The end of the section is as follows:

~/~

At midday she took a second glance at the earth. The air-ship was crossing another range of mountains, but she could see little, owing to clouds. Masses of black rock hovered below her, and merged indistinctly into grey. Their shapes were fantastic; one of them resembled a prostrate man.

"No ideas here," murmured Vashti, and hid the Caucasus behind a metal blind.

In the evening she looked again. They were crossing a golden sea, in which lay many small islands and one peninsula. She repeated, "No ideas here," and hid Greece behind a metal blind.

Neil Shakespeare said...

Aha! That explains it!

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