I like to think of myself as expounding at length on deep insights, but I have various things come to mind that don’t fit that, so I’ll just say what I have on my mind.
Ferdinand Bardimu linked to this segment from Blade Runner, in a rather offhand fashion, talking about the end of “Seasons Of Tumult And Discord”-
Everybody knows Blade Runner was inspired by the Philip K. Dick story “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” but few have actually read that story and understand how profoundly different from the movie it is. The movie completely drops the religion of Mercerism; the replicants are all bad, not sympathetic, and not very smart. In the story there is a bounty hunter named Resch who is unusually cold-blooded, and Dekker accuses him of being a replicant himself; Resch willingly submits to the test and passes. In the movie some see Dekker as really being a replicant; in an interview director Ridley Scott says that is the case, but I don’t see it.
I have always thought the story to be much better and morally profound than the film; and yet watching this clip I see it differently. Dekker is the protagonist, but the drama and conflict all come from super replicant Roy Baty, played by Rutger Hauer.
As we see in the clip, in addition to being physically powerful Baty is also highly intelligent. He is tortured by the realization his lifespan is very limited; his point of view is that his experience is unique and thus his life is valuable. And he is willing to do anything to stay alive.
In the end Baty realizes that while his experience is unique, it will also be lost and forgotten forever. This is the ultimate in mortality; people hope to have immortality of the soul, or to have their life continued through their children, or to be remembered somehow. Baty has lost hope of all of this; by deciding not to kill Dekker, he can affirm the precious value of life itself; I don’t think he believes he somehow continues to live through Dekker.
Tyrell encourages Baty to accept the limitations of his life and enjoy it for what it is, but while he can accept and let go, he is still filled with regret at the end.
On some fundamental level most men gauge their value on the kind of woman they can get. However rich or successful you might be, without a hot woman it’s all pretty hollow. For the typical beta guy, he has a typical woman and he can accept that. If you don’t have the kind of woman you want, but you have a woman, it’s not so bad.
If you relationships with women are seriously compromised- if you can’t get a woman at all- you may feel you have an unbearable defect to your life, something you must go to any lengths to repair. Roy Baty went back to his maker and asked for a fix, but was unable to get one. The truth is many people are handicapped in different ways, and some are handicapped in such a way, mentally or physically, through some combination of genetics and life circumstance, that establishing a relationship with a woman is very difficult.
You can’t go back to your maker and get a fix. Any number of “game” products and services are sold in the familiar tradition of American hucksterism promising to cure your problem, if not overnight, at least in a few months. I lack faith in these, but I have always been accused of negative thinking.
There is some balance between accepting your life for what it is and trying to improve it. When I figure out what that is I’ll let you know.