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Cyberpunk: Examples of the Genre

If we take a close look at particularities of scientific progress for the last thirty years, it will appear that, during the course of this time, not a single breakthrough of universal magnitude (with exception of invention of Internet) has been achieved; whereas, in time of Industrial Revolution and during the course of both World Wars, such breakthroughs were being accomplished on almost annual basis. There is only one explanation to this – during the course of these last thirty years, the number of people capable of pushing forward scientific progress has been drastically reduced.

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Whereas, in 1930, Whites accounted for 35% of the world’s population, today they only account for 5%. Moreover, as practice shows, today’s Whites are being increasingly deprived of two essential psychological qualities, which allowed their ancestors to build and to maintain Western civilization – physical strength and will power, while only retaining their unsurpassed intellectual powers. However, the possession of these powers, on their part, often causes them more harm than good, because it prompts them to indulge in social escapism, as their existential mode. Therefore, without denying the importance of Internet as supreme informational technology, we also want to point at it as the intellectual tool of social escapism, which in its turn explains why 70% of Internet traffic is related to promotion of pornography and also the fact why literary genre of cyberpunk simply cannot be imagined, without informational technologies playing a crucial role, within cyberpunk’s aesthetics.

Such our interlude was meant to provide readers with the insight on why the genre of cyberpunk, which explores different aspects of people’s growing alienation from scientific technology, has become especially popular among “sophisticate” Whites, who can spend hours talking about “world’s injustices”, while drinking organic coffee at Starbucks, without being able to recognize the full scope of possible consequences, associated with the process of people like themselves being turned into racial minority in their own countries. In her article “The Self Regained”: Cyberpunk’s Retreat to the Imperium”, Sharon Stockton makes a good point, while suggesting that one of the main features of cyberpunk, as literary genre, is the fact that it tends to portray main acting characters as being emotionally detached from surrounding “feminized” reality: “Cyberpunk hero is the antithesis of corporate organization; he is removed entirely from problems of influence and given the status of prime mover, of pure subject in a world of pure object… Cyberpunk genre retains its status, for the most part, as mouthpiece for postmodernism” (Stockton 600).

The validity of this thesis is best illustrated by the analysis of what is now commonly referred to as classics of cyberpunk: Ridley Scott’s movie “Blade Runner” and William Gibson’s novel “Neuromancer”. While formerly belonging to the overall genre of sci-fi, both: novel and movie promote the idea that is diametrically opposite to the metaphysical essence of classical sci-fi, as genre that glorified the euro-centric concept of rationale as only appropriate foundation, upon which continuous scientific and cultural progress can be based. This idea can be defined as follows: in the future, people’s possession of ever-increased amounts of empirical knowledge, will not encourage them to adjust their behavior to the notions of “progressive” morality, as it should have been the case, according to classical sci-fi literary and cinematographic masterpieces. This is the reason why futuristic societies of “Blade Runner” and “Neuromacer” can be best described in terms of dystopia.

For example, despite the fact that in Gibson’s novel, the future is being portrayed as “high-tech” (people can save their personality on microchips, advanced informational technologies allowed the creation of parallel “cyber reality”, space flights have become a commonplace occurrence), readers recognize the existential essence of this society as being basically neo-feudal (the virtual absence of central political authority in countries where action takes place, the omnipotent presence of powerful drug-lords, terrorist groups offering their services to both: government and drug-lords, transnational corporations having governmental officials on payroll, etc). However, the most important characteristic of Gibson’s futuristic society is the fact that it being described as fully multicultural, which actually explains the novel’s dystopian motifs. Novel’s main character Case buys microchips, computer software, and genetically engineered medicinal products on a “black market”, which also offer buyers a variety of “non-scientific” products, such as drugs and exotic “ethnic” food. In other words, Gibson describes scientific progress as such that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual realities of “multicultural” living in his futuristic world.

Scott’s movie “Blade Runner” promotes essentially the same idea. The 2019 L.A. is being shown to us as having been completely turned into one huge Chinatown, where Asians’ preoccupation with “celebration of their ethnic uniqueness”, which serves as the background for movie’s plot, appears to be absolutely unrelated to what movie is all about. In his article “Oriental Cities, Postmodern Futures: Naked Lunch, Blade Runner, and Neuromancer”, Timothy Yu emphasizes the “oriental” motifs in cyberpunk as being clearly associated with the concept of dystopia, although author is being careful not to make such idea’s politically incorrect implications too obvious for the readers : “In works of science fiction such as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner or William Gibson’s Neuromancer, cities of the postmodern future are placed in Asia or in an orientalized America, characterized by freewheeling commercial and cultural exchange and interracial contact” (Yu 50). What are the Asians famous for?

They are famous for their “existential stagnation” – their inability to advance culturally and scientifically, for as long as they are being deprived of close social contacts with White people. They are the supreme masters of copying but they cannot create on their own (Chinese journalists are now being officially forbidden to attend couture fashion shows in Paris, to prevent them from taking photographs of latest fashionable dresses, for the purpose of having these dresses copied in China on industrial scale). Therefore, it is not simply a coincidence that both: “Neuromancer” and “Blade Runner” refer to the concept of “multicultural paradise”, as being counter-productive, in scientific context of this word, even though that it is very doubtful whether Scott and Gibson have deliberately instilled their works with politically incorrect motifs. As we have mentioned earlier, while being deprived of their ancestors’ spiritual qualities, today’s “sophisticated” Whites never cease to subconsciously strive towards the former glory of White race, as such that, until comparatively recent times, remained on the cutting edge of biological evolution. Such their longing sublimates itself into philosophy of social-escapism, under disguise of sci-fi genre of cyberpunk.

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In the article, from which we have already quoted, Sharon Stockton says: “Popular representations of computer technology are very clear about the interconnections of masculinity and euro-centrism… Clearly, this is an imperialist identity, and the gesture has more to do with the mythos of early capitalism than it does with postmodern notions of schizophrenia. Like the hacker cowboys and sundogs of cyberpunk, this PC user is in one way or another a pirate-adventurer” (Stockton 610). Just as today’s Whites who “spew hate” on Internet, while being afraid to step out on the street in the own towns, after it gets dark (not to mention venturing in “ghetto”), cyberpunk hero is only capable of acting like a man, for as long as he is not interacting with the objective reality. This is exactly the reason why the concept of “cyberspace”, as the place where they can realize their true destiny, remains so popular among overwhelmingly White decadent fans of cyberpunk genre.

Bibliography

Blade Runner. 1982. The Internet Movie Database. Web.

Gibson, William “Neuromancer”. 1984. The Cyberpunk Project. Web.

Stockton, Sharon. The Self-Regained: Cyberpunk’s Retreat to the Imperium. Contemporary Literature, (36) 5, (1995): 588-612.

Yu, Timothy. Oriental Cities, Postmodern Futures: ‘Naked Lunch,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ and ‘Neuromancer’. MELUS. (33) 4, (2008): 45-71.

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