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“flattening of affect”

[flowplayer src=’http://www.bootrundle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/blade-runner.m4v’ splash=’http://www.bootrundle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Screen-Shot-2012-08-01-at-5.37.57-PM.png’]

 


“Life is a trifle;
Honor is all;
Shoulder the rifle;
Answer the call.

A nation of traders
We’ll show what we are
Freedom’s crusaders
Who war against war…

Sons of the granite
Strong be our stroke
Making this planet
Safe for all folk.”

“The New Crusade,” US battle song, by Katharine Lee Bates, WWI

 

film clip is from Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott.
film adapted from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick From Philip K. Dick, Four Novels of the 1960s, published by the Library of America c. 2007.


Because the androids don’t have empathy for animals. And the animals are all but extinct. There are plenty of electric animals around, but the real, organic, living breathing kind are sacred and rare. If you are human, and you aren’t taking care of an animal, you are despised and labeled a “special.” Special meaning damaged, crazy, unloved. And the specials can’t leave the planet. Neither can the police.

Because the dominant religion emphasizes fusion with all things. All is one. And it is sometimes hard to distinguish the androids, which have no empathy, from the specials, who have little empathy. But even the specials have empathy for the animals. (Look at the cute puppy. Touch the real frog.)

You have to be extremely wealthy to afford a real horse. A pregnant horse is a miracle.

Behold, there is a hero in the littered streets. And the hero is also a contract killer. The love interest, a female android, is built like a cro-magnon. That’s what the book says, cro-magnon. A little hunched, a hunter.

The androids give up when they are about to die. They face and accept. They’re programmed that way. This unnatural peace makes the killer angry, grateful.

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