One of the great things about my generation is that we've lived long enough to have the privilege of finally seeing sequels made to our favorite cult films that came out 35 years ago. My favorite cult film from "back in the day" (as in "early 80's") was Ridley Scott's dark vision of the future, Blade Runner, which was based on Philip K. Dick's prescient book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
[My BFF, Sheila, posing above as "Rachel" from the original Blade Runner film. (Circa 1982)]
After missing Blade Runner 2049 's debut in the theaters, I finally got to see it on Pay-Per-View. To be honest, I was a little nervous about seeing it because I assumed the sequel would be much like the original BR film, which was dark and menacing (and not my usual fare because I am wont to have disturbing dreams after viewing dark material).
As a matter of fact, I still vividly remember watching the original Blade Runner with my BFF, Sheila, in a theater in Oklahoma (where the wind is known to come sweeping down the plain). During a relentlessly terrifying scene (where Rutger Hauer's vengeance-seeking replicant was hunting down the injured and woefully over-matched Harrison Ford) I looked over at Sheila, hoping for a momentary escape to the reassurance of reality. Instead I saw Sheila clutching her chest in the dark. I whispered "Are you alright?" to which she replied, "I'm so scared my heart hurts."
(Yes, Rutger was that flippin' scary!)
Nevertheless, in spite of all the scariness, I had been utterly fascinated by Ridley Scott's future-scape (and completely smitten with the CLOTHES that Sean Young's ravishing replicant, "Rachel", wore) in the first film.
In fact, I was so in love with the costuming that I asked my mom (a seamstress phenom) to construct a small Rachel-esque wardrobe consisting of structured dresses, pencil skirts and peplum jackets. (Sheila is modeling one of the jackets in the top photo.) Many of those clothes were lost by a moving company and I can't bear to write any thing more about it because it is too painful . . .
In the hopes that I would see more great fashion and imaginative world-building, I got past my fear of seeing something that might give me bad dreams for a week and rented BR 2049.
While the sequel succeeded in postulating fascinating questions about man's direction and relationship with AI, it just didn't do it for me fashion-wise. (Happily, it also didn't scare the pants off me like the first film did either.)
However, the realization that accompanied the movie DID scare me . . .
I am now absolutely SURE that my BFF is a replicant!
Allow me to explain. For the last few years, I have noticed some strange behavior in my best friend. First of all, she has begun talking like a robot. For real! She even sounds more robot-y than Siri. On many occasions we have been driving in the car and she'll get a text message (that's what she claims is happening) and suddenly she will begin speaking into her iPhone like this:
(and please read the following with a robot-y voice in your head)
"Hello. Lulu. Period.
This. Is. Sheila. Period.
I. Cannot. Communicate. With. You. Right. Now. Period.
I. Will. Contact. You. At. A. More. Appropriate. Time. Period.
Maybe it's just me, but this struck me as odd the first time she abruptly stopped in the middle of a conversation and began staring straight ahead while speaking into her phone with the cadence of Morse Code. It was like she was picking up an interfering wavelength (or a signal from Outer Space) and her immediate reply was imperative, taking precedence over the important topics we were usually talking about (like TV shows, home repairs, or the Rolling Stones).
Naturally, I questioned her about it.
"Sheila? What the crap are you doing?"
"Oh, I can't text. My fingers mess up on the keys. So I speak my texts into my phone and I have to talk like a robot so that my phone gets the message right."
At first I bought into her story, probably due to my personal history with my own dang hands-free in my car (which clearly doesn't understand English). But Sheila has been doing the eerie robot speak for YEARS now. And Sheila paints portraits in exacting detail, so I know for a fact that she is quite dexterous and perfectly capable of typing on a small cell phone keyboard. She can probably type as well as a robot can because I THINK SHE IS ONE!
This explains why Sheila found the original Blade Runner so upsetting; she wasn't scared for Harrison Ford's replicant-dispatching detective -- she was scared for the replicants because she empathized with their kind.
It also explains why Sheila has always been perfect. She was our high school's valedictorian, head cheerleader, and president of all our clubs. Her house is always clean, her make-up is always perfect and she is so photogenic that bad photos of her don't exist. So yeah, she's GOTTA be a robot.
And she is utterly consistent with un-humanlike behaviors, like how she speaks when she calls me on the phone. Even though she knows that I know it's her by (A) the sound of her voice and (B) caller ID, she always introduces herself in a very formal tone. ("Hello Connie. This is Sheila.") I have always thought this little quirk was odd, but now I suspect that it is her default programming and she can't help but give me a formal greeting even though we have known each other since we were SEVEN YEARS OLD.
Unless, of course, those are just memory implants . . . Wait . . . Uh oh.
Now a scarier replicant question has just occurred to me . . .
Does it take a replicant to recognize a replicant???
AND WHY ARE MY EYES GLOWING RED IN THE PHOTO BELOW?
Is it possible that like Rachel I'M a replicant too and just don't know it?
This is why Science Fiction scares me people!
Me above; posing as Sean Young's "Rachel" (Circa 1982)
Note that I chose a disheveled Blade Runner-ish backdrop for the photo.
(Not MY house, by the way.)
Postscript: I tricked Sheila into admitting that she is a replicant.
Here's the proof.
(I should be a Blade Runner.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Upon publishing this post, a 'glitch' occurred and everything written about Sheila was automatically deleted from the post. Everything else remained. I have never seen anything like this happen before and I can only assume that Sheila's AI has infiltrated my computer system and that I am being monitored.
I'm hoping to repost this with all the original content before she