Built Like A Dick Wheelhouse


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My friend Corn Mo tweeted something that inspired this comic. Philip K. Dick is certainly a prolific sci-fi author, but he does dance around four or five core concepts in most of his work. It’s not surprising that the issues he wrote about (paranoia, the definition of reality, the machinations of the supposed puppet masters behind the curtain, what it means to be human, the threat of war, etc) were the very things that plagued his addled mind. He also had a penchant for overly verbose titles. Had Radiohead’s OK Computer actually been inspired by Dick, I assume it would have been titled Alright, Computer. Let’s Do This Thing. Let’s Get This Show On The Road.

I’ve said before that the concept of a Blade Runner sequel doesn’t offend me. That’s a rich world and I’m sure there are more stories to be told. The idea that Deckard (Harrison Ford) would be in the sequel, however, makes me want to [ZOOM/ENHANCE] SHIT MY LUNGS OUT OF MY FACE. What a great way to completely invalidate one of the most important ambiguous movie endings in all of geek culture. Of course we all KNOW Deckard was a replicant, but the slight nagging voice in the back of our collective minds that says, “Was he? Was he really?” is part of the film’s appeal. I don’t want to see 70 year old Deckard in the sequel hooked up to 100 car batteries with a USB mod-chip plugged into his ear. Doesn’t he realize he’s going to get his IP permanently banned from Repli-net Live?

Of course, Blade Runner is one of those movies with so many OFFICIAL DEFINITIVE FINAL DIRECTOR’S cuts that you can’t even really discuss it in mixed company without first checking Wikipedia and synchronizing your memory watches. Did your version even HAVE a unicorn? No? Then we should probably talk about something else. So how’s about that local news item with the murder and whatever?

COMMENTERS: Is there a Dick story that you would love to see adapted rather than a a sequel to Blade Runner, or did The Matrix Trilogy cover (lift) essentially every original idea that Dick ever proposed (it did). Will you support a Blade Runner sequel WITH Harrison Ford?

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Holy crap in a sack of butts, I had totally forgotten how terrible Johnny Mnemonic was. I mean, I remembered that it was bad, but having not seen it since I was 14, I did not specifically remember that nearly every line was was both written and delivered with equal parts inappropriate intensity and laughable incoherence . And William Gibson actually wrote the screenplay! Aren’t we supposed to like him? I actually find it quite fitting that the first time I saw Johnny… just Johnny, it was on laser disc. A movie about a future that looks like a past that never was on a format of future past that never caught on and totally sucked balls. To be fair, I’m pretty sure I loved it when I was 14 (loved the concept of laser disc too), but after years of reflection and re-evaluation I realized what a colossal cyber-turd it was.

The one thing I appreciate of Keanu Colonic is how accurately it portrayed what 90’s youth expected the future to be like, and just how inaccurate that prediction was. It’s a sort of beautiful symmetry of wrongness. We don’t use clunky V.R. goggles to surf a 3D cyberscape, and we aren’t so addicted to technology that it… [sorry, had to check Twitter] that it… something something. I also appreciate that Ice-T’s character’s name was J-Bone. I like to think that he had a clause in his contracts back then which stated he would only go by “hard sounding” single syllable word + letter of the alphabet combinations. He might have portrayed a car jacker named D-Rock, a crooked undercover cop named Cuff-P or a cellist pimp named F-Hole.

“So get your VCRs ready, ’cause we got what you need.”

COMMENTERS: Feel free to share your memories of Johhny Mnemonic or any other “Future that never was” type of 80’s or 90’s movie. What were you hoping WOULD come to pass from these movies and what are you glad NEVER caught on? Alternately, give me a premise and character name for another Ice-T role using the “word-letter” rules.