The Blade Runner Year

Winter                                                                Stent Moon

Kate’s face is smoother. She’s smiling. Her weight is stable, though not yet trending up so much as back and forth around 82. She walks no longer with the pained, slightly stooped habitus of a sick person, but, the steady, if slow, gate of a healthy one. 2019. The year things begin to improve. I hope. (and, believe)

Blade-Runner2019. The Blade Runner year. Dystopian time? Match. Authoritarian regime? Match. Police killing those marginalized to society? Match. The cinematography of our era may look different-though Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai-but the underlying premise of a dark future catching up with all of us was prescient, if not exactly surprising.

No flying cars. At least not in mass production. No replicants, though there a clone or two running around, at least one we know of for sure. Video screens wide spread? Match. Too much of a damned match. In fact, I consider one of my achievements for the year turning off TV’s in medical reception areas when nobody’s watching. When Kate went in for her imaging at Porter Adventist, we were the first ones in the waiting room in the bleary part of the morning. I turned off the TV and it was still turned off when we left about three hours later. Score!

Dystopian-WorldDystopian futures, even ours from the perspective of 1982, have this seeming anomaly: Life goes on. Most folks make some accommodation, some compromise, and go on with their daily routines. Short of mass suicide, what other option is there? It is those very accommodations and compromises that are fertile soil for the demagogue and the populist. See Trump, Erdogan, Germany’s alt-right, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Brazil’s Michel Temer. Movies have to convey dystopian troubles cinematically, so we think if the visuals don’t correlate with ours that the movie doesn’t apply. Wrong. It’s the core cultural themes that are important.

So I would say this is the Blade Runner year, with visuals a bit less thrilling.

 

 

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