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Why Blade Runner? Your Thoughts and Memories Are Not Your Own
by Roy Batty Sunday, Mar. 11, 2012 at 4:39 AM (email address validated)

While we may not have been directly implanted with Eldon Tyrell's niece's memories, our DNA reeks of Horatio Alger and our own bootstraps.

Deckard: "How can it not know what it is?"

Tyrell: "Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell. More human than human is our motto. Rachel is an experiment, nothing more. We began to recognize in them, a strange obsession. After all they are emotionally inexperienced, with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gift them Past, we create a cushion, a pillow for their emotions and consequently we can control them better."

"By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise." --Adolf Hitler

"The thrust is no longer for “change” or “progress” or “revolution,” but merely to escape, to live on the far perimeter of a world that might have been." --Hunter S. Thompson

Memories, thoughts, dreams, the stuff of which profit is made.

In Blade Runner the replicants cherished their photographs, documents verifying their memories, their very existence. Yet those memories were implanted by the Tyrell Corporation--a control mechanism. It's a delicious metaphor, given recent acknowledgements that consumerism is ecologically unsustainable, but ironic. Blade Runner is widely recognized as a pioneer in film product placement, featuring images from Coca-Cola, Pan Am, Koss, Cuisinart, Atari, Budweiser, and Bulova.

Indeed, marketing people speak in hushed tones about a "Blade Runner Curse." Atari, Bell and Pan Am are among the high-profile companies which have gone out of business or plummeted in market share since 1982.

As a marketing tool and in its theme, Blade Runner recognizes our "strange obsession."

The cushion of consumerism and its negative effects on our environment and our collective psyche has been well documented. “Our primary identity has become that of being consumers – not mothers, teachers, or farmers, but of consumers. We shop and shop and shop.” The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard.

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