Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.


I can never, ever tire of Blade Runner. I can never hold it all in my mind; it's too much.

Is it a story about the future? About a cyborg's fight against death? A man's search for meaning in a vast, glittering, empty abyss of a world? A woman's discovery of her own darkness? About the rise and fall of genius? About something big, something small, something in between? Every single thing in this movie is rife with potentiality. Everything, everyone is pregnant, they have this glow about them of potential energy that cannot find a way to become kinetic. The world is too slippery, there isn't enough friction, the momentum of their lives carries them despite themselves. Even doing nothing is still doing something. And still the life inside them clamors, begging to be released, to be expressed. Every single eyeblink is fierce, every lick of the lips is a silent scream, invisible fists shaking against a cold darkness that spreads into every corner of their insides.

There is nothing good in this movie. There is nothing evil either. There are no extremes at all. Even death itself, supposedly the extremity of life, is transformed into something artistic, a statement about human conscience and consciousness. If a cyborg is "retired," is it still death? Do you have to be a human to be truly alive?

Perhaps the most important question this movie forces you to ask is: What is beauty? Is beauty sexual? Is it sensual? Is it innocent, jaded, drunk, scummy, sparkling clean, classy, horrifying, inspiring? Does beauty exist in the eye of the beholder, or is it merely an attempt, an idea relegated to cyberspace, to the action potentials firing off in neurons?

More than anything else, this movie makes me feel small. Not in an insignificant way...but in an awestruck way. I could be any one of billions, perhaps trillions of people that wander the back alleys, the fancy plazas, the multiple planets and constructs of an unendingly alive universe. Everything dies, everything ends, but to end it must exist at all. Everything IS.

And that is all we can ever truly know. I am, now. Will I be, tomorrow? Was I, yesterday? My memories could be false, my hope for survival unrealistic. But in this moment, this one moment, under rain that blots out the stars, surrounded by lights, glare, traffic of all sort, but utterly alone...I exist. There are pyramids of light surrounded by vast expanses of vacuum and darkness. And the light that I cast, when I spend my potential, and my life becomes kinetic, is insignificant to the point of nothingness when compared to all the lights of all the lives that have ever been. But none of that matters, because I am not them. I can only ever be me.

All we are is a collection of lights, speeding around each other, engaging and disengaging. We swirl around inside ourselves, we whirl amongst each other, we are living stars. And one day all our collective lights will disappear.

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