We have long been taught that 1950s science fiction movies with all their red-colored Blob taking over and consuming little towns were really just a stand in for the dreaded red Russian commies taking over.
But this does those wonderfully slimy monsters a big disservice.
They do symbolize real fears but those fears are much deeper and far more profound than jus fearingt some opposing political party.
The values of the Modern Age (now called (big M) Modernity) were an unconscious (Id-induced) reaction to the events of late Victorian (small m) modernization (now more usually called globalization) that was both consciously welcomed and unconsciously feared.
Modernization brought not just an overwhelming plenitude of new physical goods and experiences but a plenitude of new and bewildering mental experiences as late Victorian era academics greatly and quickly expanded our sense of the vast size, age and complexity of our universe and this planet within it.
Things and ideas no longer seemed to remain in their traditional stable corners but intermingled in many destabilizing ways.
But Progress and Modernness was good , was it not ? - so how to release all those fears about all its unintended consequences without seeming as hopelessly old-fashioned as grandma ?
Slime creatures are the visually physical embodiment of these mental notions of instability - always living in the littoral regions between solid earth and fluid water, their very bodies were halfway between wet and dry, between solid and jelly-like.
When - much to almost everyone in science's total surprise - synthetic penicillin failed and natural penicillin triumphed, all scientists had to make the best of a scary situation - at least in public.
Deep tank penicillin with all its reassuring huge stainless steel tanks run by stern faced men in white coats behind mountains of dials and knobs was one way, the best way, to deny that the pee and poop of tiny slime molds was soon going to surge into the temple of the human body.
Once again, the iconography tells the tale the Id can't publicly speak about : no more shots of women (never ever men) tending their tiny poop and pee charges inside the transparently walled flasks of penicillium mold .
Poop and pee is still there but concealed behind the stainless steel wall so men (and it is always and only men now) can now safely stand close to the little unruly darlings.
You'd almost confuse it with a synthetic penicillin fctory - and that is the whole intent.....