The actor is mightier than the politician.

I read Philip K Dick’s We Can Remember it for You Wholesale the other day. Well, I say ‘read’; truth is, I had a look. To be honest, confessional blogger that I am, I’m not that big a fan of PKD’s writing. Love his imagination for sure, but not his prose. I was being somewhat disingenuous when I named Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as the second best novel of the twentieth century for an Open University assignment, and I couldn’t even finish The Man in the High Castle.

Anyway, point being: I noticed the character’s name in WCRIFYW was Douglas Quail, not the Doug Quaid played by Arnie in Total Recall. My guess is that the ineptitude of the then Vice-President, the gaffe-prone and greatly derided Dan Quayle, put them off. A 1990 audience could buy into the memory distortion, Martian travel and genetic mutations, but a hero named D. Quail? No thanks! D. Quaid is more like it; the star of Innerspace and Enemy Mine being a much more palatable touchstone for the sci-fi fans.

Obvious,I suppose, that a respected actor will be mightier than a politician seen as a liability, but I chose the snappier version for the heading.


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