Thursday, May 19, 2005

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Well, they would if they lived in the EV

The other evening I was channel surfing and came across one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner. In particular I love that scene near the end where Rutger Hauer tells Harrison Ford or rather Roy Batty tells Deckard that "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams ... glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost ... in time, like tears ... in rain. Time ... to die"

That line got me thinking about the EV, how the face and character of it has changed, how the fresh-faced transplants will never see what I've seen there, and ultimately how disappointing and sad that is to me. A cab driver once said to me there are 3 different kinds of people who live in NYC - the ones who live on the Upper East Side and treat the City like a suitcase town; gone every weekend; the ones who live on the Upper West Side who have babies and bigger apartments and then the ones who live in the EV where a bathtub in the kitchen was not unheard of and living in squalor was almost de rigueur. This cabbie said that the people who lived in the EV were the ones who truly loved New York because they would withstand anything, any living condition just to be here. This was 1995. This cabbie also let me smoke in his cab because he said, and I quote "smokers are better tippers". Since 1995, and before, really, the EV has seen the construction of a number of lookalike buildings with large, overpriced apartments housing students with parents who seem to have large pockets and girls who aspire to be Carrie Bradshaw, or at least to have her wardrobe. Everything is starting to look the same just with slightly different menu items.

Leg McNeil once said that Joey Ramone with his wall eye and receding chin, all lanky gawkishness and skinny legs, was able to take everything about himself that made him different and the potential object of ridicule, that on the surface was a deficit and celebrate it. And that was Punk. Take the shittiness and swim in it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. That's what the EV WAS like. Now it just seems to be a strip mall for former suburbanites.

1 comment:

Gern said...

That was my fav part of Blade Runner, too.