Thursday, February 25, 2021

Believe Care Invest Blockbuster Week Concludes: Ghostbusters

A ghost attacks a librarian in the stacks of New York Public Library. At Columbia’s paranormal lab, Dr. Venkman is studying “the effect of negative reinforcement on ESP ability”. His friend Ray comes and summons him to the library. They meet their friend Egon there and the three confront the ghost, then flee in terror when it attacks them. They return to Columbia to find they’ve been fired. Venkman says they should start a ghost-busting business, so Ray takes out a third mortgage and they rent out a fire station.

Why Venkman might be hard to identify with: He’s electro-shocking a boy every time he gets an ESP guess wrong, then not shocking a cute girl for missing hers. When the boy complains, he says, “You only have 75 more to go.” Then he shocks the boy even though he got one right! “I’m getting a little tired of this!” “You volunteered, didn’t you? We’re paying you, aren’t we?” He’s a tremendous asshole!

  • We see a series of signs showing the setting: Columbia University, Weaver Hall, Department of Psychology, Paranormal Studies Laboratory. Under that someone has painted “Venkman burn in hell” (something that will literally almost happen to him)
  • Jargon: “Took PKE valances, went right off the top of the scale.” “If the ionization rate is constant for all ectoplasmic entities, we can really bust some heads! In a spiritual sense of course.”
  • Economic activity: “You’re never gonna regret this, Ray.” “My parents left me that house! I was born there!” “You’re not gonna lose the house. Everybody has three mortgages nowadays.”
  • Gets a costume and unique equipment. Good fire station headquarters.
  • They have to face a terrifying ghost.
  • Venkman gets gross goop on his hands and can’t get it off.
  • Fired and humiliated: “No, you are being moved off-campus. The board of regents has decided to terminate your grant. You are to vacate these premises immediately.” “This is preposterous. I demand an explanation.” “Fine. This university will no longer continue any funding of any kind for your group’s activities.” “But the kids love us.” “‘Doctor’ Venkman, we believe that the purpose of science is to serve mankind. You, however, seem to regard science as some kind of dodge, or hustle. Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a poor scientist, Dr. Venkman.” “I see.” “You have no place in this department, or in this university.”
  • Good at hitting on girl: “I have to go now Jennifer, but I’d like to work with you some more. Perhaps you could come back this evening, say at…” “…eight o’clock?” “I was just gonna say eight o’clock! You are a legitimate phenomenon!”
  • Takes charge, introduces everybody to head of library.
  • He’s the most skeptical. He asks the librarian: “Have you or any member of your family ever been diagnosed schizophrenic?” “My uncle thought he was Saint Jerome?” “I’d call that a big yes. Are you menstruating right now?” The head of the library asks, “What does that got to do with it?” Venkman barks, “Back off man, I’m a scientist.” Later he’s dubious when Ray sees a stack of books and assumes it was a ghost, “You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.”
  • Accepts it when he sees it. “So what do we do?” Ray: “One of us should actually try to speak to it.” They both look at Venkman. “Hi, I’m Peter, where are you from, originally?”
  • Witty: “Egon, I’m going to take back some of the things I’ve said about you.”
Strength / Flaw: Confident / asshole

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