The Utopian Paradise of Blade Runner

blade_runner_poster|| Blade Runner, originally released in 1982, was filmed as a Dystopia set in 2019, and will soon have a sequel set, I assume, in 2049. Rolling into 2017 makes us less than two years away from experiencing it for reals. And while we certainly need to get a jump-start on the Offworld Colonies, flying cars, and infinite zoom, (let alone Replicants), we are barreling nonetheless towards creating the Dystopic bits. Trump is in the White House, or Florida as often as not, regurgitating made up facts while dangling on the strings of Putin, Bannon, or Pence. The GOP Legislature isn’t just satisfied with the denial of Global Climate Change, but is trying to lay bare the riches of our lands to corporate depredation as well. They are increasing the burdens on the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, for the easement of the rich, and much, much more.  And they are marketing it to the American people with the kind of galling doublespeak that would make Orwell himself shout, “1984 is not a bloody documentary!”

We have always taken for granted that our SciFi futures, be they Utopian or Dystopic, stay that way. (Or at least I have.) But really they’re just a relative reflection of ourselves, cast in lights that are either brighter or darker. While the worlds we create become static when finished, retconning and reboots notwithstanding, our society never is. So it is more than a little disconcerting to know that while we have the power to make Dystopic visions like Blade Runner ever darker, we are moving instead towards making it lighter by comparison.  The comforting notion that, “nothing like that could ever really happen,” is replaced instead with a nervous chuckle and a few sideways glances as for the first time we really, really wonder about it. Hopefully when 2019 does come around, we will see Blade Runner as the Dystopia it is, and not as lovely diversion of Rachael waltzing Deckard through an enviable paradise.


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