Chasing Androids

Hello readers.  I just want to say that I have many science fiction and historical obsessions.  I love everything from gladiators to pirates to cowboys to vampires, ghosts, and werewolves living in the same house pretending to be normal people (I love, love, love the American version of Being Human) to hover boards to the idea of colonizing Mars.  Still, there four things I have always been incredibly obsessed with: the legend of Robin Hood, mythology, comic books, and…(if you could not tell by the title of my last post: I want to be an android lounge singer is a robot cat, a hoverboard, and a cool phone watch by 2055)…androids.  I have always been fascinated by androids and with the new show Almost Human coming out…I am going ballistic with multiple nerdgasms.  I know nothing of the details of the show other than it has Karl Urban as a human working with Michael Ealy as an android.

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Let me guess…the one on the left is a distrusting and egocentric human while the one on the right is the eager and willing android. In the end it’s going to be like White Collar with androids and the android is not a haunted art thief…just a socially marginalized robot being.

What the hell has taken so long for the public to become fascinated by androids as well?  They are always relegated to cult films or secondary characters.  Slowly androids have been creeping into the role of the main character with a great deal of thanks to the most (in my opinion) brilliant director that our generation has ever been blessed with…aka Ridley Scott.  Ridley Scott directed the original Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Prometheus (all of these films are in my “top ten kickass movies” list).  The man has a thing for history and for androids.  I am pretty sure we may be living (vastly different) parallel lives.  Joking.

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I will blow your mind. Or not.

Anyway, after Prometheus and the main character being the “goddamn robot” David, my passion for androids had reignited and I had been itching for more android main characters.  And what about that recent movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis where people remained beautiful in android bodies controlled by their stagnant human bodies so that dead was impossible?  I was enamored by the glittering distopian future of Blade Runner and scared shitless by Alien, but the goddamn robot people were not catching on.  Until now.

Androids are awesome.  Androids look, speak, smell, and react just like a human, but they lack one integral thing…human emotions.  The human condition has been something that human have been absolutely fascinated by for centuries.  I will not get into the gory details, but human beings have been writing, experimenting, and studying our own behaviors since the dawn of time.  Why are humans the only sentient creatures that we currently know of upon the planet?  Even with seven BILLION of us on the planet, is it not a bit lonely to have the same exact DNA coursing through everyone’s veins?  Isn’t it so mundane to think we’re all that we have?  People coming from a family of one child often express to me (one of five children) how they wish they could have had a sibling.  Those with siblings often express the want for being an only child, the want to be left alone, and the desire to be the only one receiving their parents undivided attention.  We always want what we cannot have, which is something we have in common with the androids of contemporary myth.  I say myth loosely, because we’re coming up to a point that we will create something “in our own image” that is just different enough to say “haha!  We’re not the only ones who can make mistakes now!  These robot people can, too!”

My favorite part of the entire android idea is the juxtaposition between androids and humans.  Androids and humans are virtually impossible to discern from a living, breathing human (of course they’re played by humans, but bear with me) in the science fiction world.  In fact, androids often strive to keep a low profile, but androids also yearn for their “makers” approval, love, and trust.  Androids also yearn for what every human wants to rid themselves of: emotions.  You want to erase that painful memory of a break-up?  You want that pang of guilt gone removed when you lie to your parents, friends, family, or significant others and get away with it?  You want to find out whether it really was better to have “loved and lost” or to have “never loved at all”?  Androids have absolutely no sense of that.  Androids crave that.

Androids are also terrifying due to their lack of emotions.  In The Animatrix and movies like The Terminator, we are shown that androids are pretty damn vengeful whether intentional or not.  In one of the shorts in The Animatrix we see that The Matrix kind of came about, because humans brutalized and marginalized androids.  So what did those androids do?  They overtook and condemned their makers to a virtual prison.  I mean, just look what David did in Prometheus.  David pretty much gave that snotty archaeologist guy (and seriously…why do they have to have the token racist white guy in every movie?…never mind, everyone playing a part is an over-dramatic stereotype…disregard that musing) the kiss of death, because the guy was a complete asshole.  David did not go after the ruthless captain, because she had power over him and she was his and his “father’s” ticket home.  The archaeologist guy was just shooting off of his mouth and was no more powerful than the rest of the hired hands.  What do androids do with a douchebag archaeologist?  Make them into a damn sacrifice.  Androids pretty much rid the world of useless people and that’s quite frightening, too.  Except androids do horrible acts without a blink.  Program them to be a certain way or do something and they will execute their mission thoroughly and dangerously, but also in a very manipulative way.  Androids are mirrors of the dictators and monsters that human beings so fear, but androids have the excuse of being inhuman and being programmed.  People like Hitler, Stalin, or Ted Bundy do not and that’s why androids are scary.

Yes, I understand there are a host of other things that I could dwell on and be obsessed with…but seriously, who the hell doesn’t want a best friend they designed and know will never betray them or have “hurt feelings”?  Who does not want something human enough to relate to, but robot enough to disregard like the thousands of dead goldfish that get flushed down the toilet each day?  I cried over my Japanese algae eater Saburo, but that’s only because I’m a bumbling sucker and I thoroughly embrace that aspect.  Even my sister Skaggs is obsessed with getting a robot BFF.  She pretty much has her robot BFF planned out so that when it does come up that she can have that android friend she will be thoroughly prepared.  I hope this trend does not die soon, but I also hope that it does not go down the (now tired out) path of vampires, werewolves, and zombies.  I am so done with that genre of humanizing horror that I just cannot handle it right meow.  Okay, maybe I should hope that androids remain in a cave with a cult following?

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Admit it. Androids are the scariest thing ever. David was both the good guy and the bad guy. Who else would willingly experiment on a human and blow their enemy into little black bits for the sake of science with such a creepy-calm and emotionless demeanor while comforting said guy blown into black chunks girlfriend? For being emotionless, androids really know how to hate on you…

Anyway, androids are awesome.  Even if they do end up going all apeshit on us in the long run.

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Sonny: Hey, uh, what are you doing with that shotgun, Tubbs-buddy?
Rico: Getting ready for some damn androids, Crockett! I don’t like the idea of the world being taken over by those chumps!

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One thought on “Chasing Androids

  1. “Take my head…Elizabeth,” David slowly said as he coughed. Elizabeth grabbed his head and they were bound for freedom and adventure…True Story. And yes, I am still waiting for an android friend…probably won’t happen until I die. 😦

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