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Feb
27

Philip K. Dick: The art of the uncomfortable.

By Claudette

Sheep, electric?

It’s raining and storming in SoCal… again.

I’m stuck High & Dry with a garage full of fantastic dive gear, an eager and talented buddy,  1,460 cubic feet of portable breathing gas…

….and nowhere local to go.

Can’t dive?  Book Time!

Top of the stack: The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

PKD was the master of normalized societal dread.  He could take the tiniest unpleasant element of society and spin it into a global angst and loss of humanity within post-apocalyptic horrors… and give us “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

A kernal of imagination so rich it could sprout with guidance into the amazing film, “Bladerunner“.  Brilliant in its ordinary horrors, Philip K. Dick’s vision was merciless and beautifully executed.

As the rain came down, the stories spun out in my land-locked mind:

  • Automated factories fighting against humans to survive,
  • Totalitarianism maintained by an installed home appliance,
  • a tough old lady sucking profit from the desperate – across time,
  • and a 10-year  corporate-controlled TV-project to build malleable citizens who would support future wars of acquisition.

Echoes of today’s worries reflected darkly through the lens of Philip Dick.

Dark stuff.

I had to shake myself.  Each day got darker.  Stories stomped around in my head all week long.

I saw a motorist stopped by police…  and thought about how easy it is to frighten people into obedience.

I heard experts discussing healthcare and wondered how many of my opinions are based on manipulative  influence from the 13 remaining corporate news agencies.

Clicking into Google, I wondered about the dossier this amazingly convenient appliance now has on my little life.

I caught a head cold.
The first one in a year.

I took a deep congested breath… and I bolted.

I put down the Philip K. Dick and picked up Terry Pratchett.
I shook myself into West Wing for smart, exciting, brilliant, optimistic dialogue.
I listened to the most fun and silly RockStar music I could find.
Time for a new sensation!
I laughed with my family and dreamed about future diving.

I’m shaking it off.
Philip K. Dick’s dark word pictures didn’t used to rattle me.
Hmmm… I was younger.

Maybe the uncomfortable used to feel less scary.
It certainly used to feel less real.

I still appreciate this mighty voice of warning and icy extrapolation.
But I like it in smaller doses now, as I’m hip deep in the daily wonder of living with love and optimism and purposeful hard work.

Philip K. Dick.
Wow.
Life is way too much fun to feel that bad.

~~~
Claudette

Categories : Uncategorized

3 Comments

1

I would recommend Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. No, it won’t help calm your fears, but it’s a wonderful film.

Giorgio Moroder’s version with a soundtrack by Cycle V, Adam Ant, Lover Boy, Freddie Mercury and others, is pretty cool too.

“Bladerunner” was the first Blu-Ray movie I bought. The set has 3 different versions of the movie in it.

2

8-) I completely forgot about Moroder’s version of Metropolis!! Thanks for the nudge.. I haven’t seen it since it was first released way back in the early 80’s. Wow. Nice connection. No Blu-ray here yet. I think the coming Minority Report BR version will likely push me over the techological edge. (P.S. Just searched for the infamous 80’s Metropolis. Didn’t realize what a multi-decade-long catfight Moroder’s version set off! I remember seeing it in some arthouse movie theater in L.A. Ha! Maybe I’ll find a DVD copy accessible somewhere. Hints?)

3

I’ve looked high and low for the Moroder version. No joy. :( The closest I’ve come is the soundtrack CD. Should you find a Moroder copy, PLEASE BUY TWO!! :)

Talk about a film that burns bright! IMHO for innovation alone, Lang ranks with Eisenstein, Griffith and maybe even Kurosawa.

You will really enjoy BR. The color depth and overall image quality are noticeably improved according to my eyes.

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