There is a web site (the addy is somewhere in the last 10 pages of the Avatars Center) where you can create a cartoon avatar based on what you look. I'll try to find the addy for you if you want to give it a shot mate
++ [ originally posted by Paolo_Montero ] ++
OK I may have missed something here but what is with all these ridiculous avatars everyone seems to have these days, all look like the same guy drew them, you know what I mean?
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, directed by Don Siegel, came out in 1956, in the mist of the “Age of Conformity”. This science fiction/alien film was originally based on a story written by Jack Finney that appeared in Colliers Magazine in 1954. This story was then turned into a novel, “The Body Snatchers”, and eventually produced into a black and white B movie of the late 50’s. Although this film is considered in most part a horror film, there is no actual monsters, violence, or deaths. The actual theme of the film is subject of debate, and according to Dirks, “The theme of the politicized film was open to varying interpretations, including paranoia toward a harmful ideology such as Communism or the sweeping mass hysteria of McCarthyism in the 1950’s and blacklisting of Hollywood, the spread of an unknown malignancy or virulent germ, or the numbing of our emotional psyches through conformity”.
The actual main theme of the film however, was the mass hysteria with the take over of a small community by aliens replacing human beings with the “pod people”. The films main character, Dr. Miles Bennell, played by Kevin McCarthy, narrates the viewer through the extravaganza he experiences throughout the “alien invasion”. Belton argues, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers exploited the association of communism with ‘brainwashing’ which had developed in the aftermath of the Korean War when American prisoners of war were said to have been indoctrinated with communist ideology” (246). The characters of the film, as they are “taken over” start to lack individuality, feeling, and emotion, eventually becoming communist dupes. The townspeople “conform” to each other, making an individual easy to spot among the crowd. As Dr. Bennell tries to escape and reach help with Becky (Dana Wynter), more and more townspeople are taken over by the pod people, replacing their minds with that of a communist. They blindly follow the group, and act on command. By refusing to “conform” to the group, Dr. Bennell separates himself from the majority, in sense, becoming an individual. According to Samuels, “Conformity is based on the idea that there is a clear-cut division between them and us” (209).
The pods represented a feeling of detachment from society. Conforming to the group provided the “individual” with a sense of normality in a so-called chaotic world. The desire for conformity stemmed from a need to escape the reality of fear, worries, and confusion, all adding to a sense of insecurity among one another. Samuels explains, “Excessive conformity, as in the 1950’s, was a slave to smooth over obvious conflict and turmoil” (208). Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a perfect example of a science fiction film that displayed the hysterical concerns of the era. The cause of those concerns stemming from the concepts discussed previously in “The Age of Conformity”. Dr. Bennell, in turn, represents the “individual”, and the pod people represent the “communists”. The whole town is taken over by the lifeless pod people as they attempt to spread “their kind” to adjacent towns, day by day increasing their population throughout the world.
America’s fear of becoming this “conformed” nation was portrayed quite obviously in the film. Before Becky falls asleep and is turned into a pod person, she cries in Dr. Bennell’s arms and says, “I want to love and be loved. I want your children. I don’t want a world without love or grief or beauty. I’d rather die”. The constant fear of becoming one of “them” pushes Becky and Dr. Bennell onward despite the lack of hope. In a previous scene with Becky and Dr. Bennell, the Dr. describes the invasion, “In my practice, I’ve seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn’t seem to mind…All of us – a little bit – we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear”.
Although the main theme of this film seems to be the alien invasion, the real meaning of the film originates from the characteristics of feeling like an alien, someone not in the crowd, an individualist, and a loner. This "conformed" sense of reality is warped into a fear of losing that sense of individuality. When one doesn't conform, they are set apart from society. They are cast from their reality into an altered state of fear and paranoia.