Peter Venkman. Raymond Stantz. Egon Spengler. Winston Zeddmore. The good guys of Ghostbusters, right?
It was Walter Peck.
Walter Peck? Really? The guy who made the Ghostbusters turn off the grid? The guy who almost destroyed New York?
Yes, that guy.
He didn’t have the best bedside manner, I’ll give you that, but was he really the bad guy of Ghostbusters?
No. In fact he was the only good guy in the movie, a man everyone shits on for one reason:
He didn’t believe.
Walter Peck was a man of science. He worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, a branch of government dedicated to protecting our planet. Was he really wrong to be skeptical of the Ghostbusters?
Of course not.
The Ghostbusters were operating as unregulated exterminators, using proprietary, probably dangerous methods that hadn’t been vetted by other scientists (or any other respectable agency for that matter). Imagine that. He didn’t trust four venture capitalists with “unlicensed nuclear accelerators” on their backs, chasing down supernatural entities that had never been seen before by ANYONE. He wanted some proof. The balls on that guy, right?
Ultimately, the Ghostbusters were nothing but bloodless entrepreneurs. They were interested in turning a profit more than anything else. They barely cared where the ghosts were coming from, and they certainly didn’t show any regard about the possible consequences of capturing them. They had a business, and that’s all that mattered. Even at the end of the movie they disregard the only rule they had—crossing the streams—having no idea what might happen, and who might get hurt.
So what happens when a respectable person like Walter Peck comes around to question them? You guessed it. He gets ridiculed, called “dickless” by Peter Venkman, and later fired by the Mayor. For real? All Walter Peck wanted was proof. He wanted to know that the Ghostbusters were doing the right thing. As fellow scientists, the Ghostbusters should’ve been more than willing to submit their procedures to the rigors of peer review, right?
Instead, this was their answer: Take us on faith. You have to believe.
You know who else demands total compliance based on faith?
So here’s what Walter Peck wanted from the Ghostbusters, but was completely rebuffed:
- Proof that what they were doing was safe for the city.
- Evidence of the paranormal.
- Some idea of how the containment grid worked.
- Answers about environmental consequence.
Instead, Walter Peck got treated like an asshole.
You’re the real hero, Walter. You had the balls to stand up to pseudo-scientists who only cared about the almighty dollar. If you’re not too busy, mind helping us with Dr. Oz next?