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How The Middle East Became Another Planet
From Flash Gordon's Ming the Merciless with his harem and his war rocket Ajax, to Frank Herbert's prophecy-obsessed desert tribes in Dune battling over a valuable resource, the Middle East has always been another planet to western science fiction creators. In his box office hit Argo, Ben Affleck played the CIA agent who in real life rescued 6 Americans from revolutionary Iran via the cover of a science fiction film location trip. But the film's real power, lay in how it was itself (apparently without any irony) filmed as a 70s science fiction apocalypse drama. Relentless hordes of zombie Muslims break down gates, smash windows, emerge from side streets to thump their zombie hands against the hero's minivan, use zombie cunning to reconstruct shredded photos and even chase the departing plane down the tarmac in their relentless hunt for human/American meat. While it is now fashionable to sneer at the supposed racism of it all, those of us old enough to remember those dark times will