Blade Runner is one of my favourite films ever. It’s dark, atmospheric, filled with uncertainty and ambivalence. It asks fundamental questions about existence, about the nature of sentience and about the right of intelligent beings to exist.
But more than all that, it’s a cracking great yarn. The place it inhabits is hot, rainy, sweaty, oppressive, dirty and yet vaguely familiar, as if someone took one strand out of our life’s fabric and rewove it a little bit off-skew, but only a little.
In that world, there are replicants — synthetic humans created to do dangerous work on the off-world colonies. They’re stronger, smarter and better than us. We call them skin jobs.
Skin jobs are not allowed to stay on Earth, and if they do, they get “retired” by a .44 magnum bullet between the eyes. The real danger is self-awareness. Society can’t contemplate the idea that the intelligent beings it created might begin to demand rights.
I love that movie. I love Harrison Ford’s demented portrayal of Deckard, the blade runner whose job it is to retire the skin jobs while remaining obsessed with the big question. Was he himself also a skin job, and if so, what the hell was he doing killing his own kind?
I can’t help wondering if there was a Deckard among the team sent in to retire Osama bin Laden, who was only one among many skin jobs created by the CIA to carry out dangerous work on America’s off-world colonies before he turned rogue. And I can’t help wondering if the same Deckard took out the other well-known skin job, Saddam Hussein, or Noriega, codenamed pineapple. I wonder what blade runner has been detailed to whack Muammar Gadaffy, another CIA creation?
Who can tell? It’s all insane. It’s all theatre, and I wonder why we continue to swallow the nonsense put out by the media about the evilness of people like Bin Laden.
Does it matter? Does it make any sense?
The motivation is obvious. Obama was in danger of being a one-term president, which is always embarrassing, and on this weekend of all weekends, he couldn’t stand idly by while the British Royals took over the airwaves.
Get those sexy drunken Sloans off my television, Obama growled at his Chief of Staff, and by Jesus the armed forces came across. There ya go, Boss. Dead evil mastermind!
Let me ask you a question. When is it all right for people to dance in the streets when someone has been killed?
We all witnessed those evil Islamists firing guns in the air and dancing after the World Trade Centre atrocity and we were all horrified, even though it later turned out that the footage was of dubious origin. Damn. Nobody could really say who these dancing people were or where they were celebratring, but at least they looked foreign and unshaven, so that’s all right.
Today, we were treated to more pictures of people dancing in the streets after someone had been killed, but that was fine, because the dancers weren’t Arabs but white Christians. It’s one thing for Arabs to celebrate violence. That’s just not on, but we all know Jesus was a great believer in celebrating the violent deaths of his enemies.
Kill everyone was the message of Jesus. Right?
President Obama said that the world is a better place because of the death of bin Laden. President Obama, as everyone knows, IS Jesus, in a suit, holding a basketball, so that’s all right, but what he didn’t say was more revealing. He didn’t reveal, for instance, how they finally got the World’s Most Wanted Man, and that’s because he couldn’t. The reality is that it could not have happened before now. Call of Duty : Black Ops is only out since last year and it was going to take time before a sixteen-year-old emerged who was capable of whacking the Boss at the first shot. Big gamble.
Sadly for the Pakistani authorities, they don’t seem to have noticed the fact that Bin Laden was building a huge castle right in the middle of the neighbourhood where all the retired generals live. When you consider that the Pakistani military control everything in the country, including the manufacture of cornflakes, that does seem odd. Perhaps a retired colonel might have mentioned something to a retired Major-General.
I say, old chap, who’s building that giant fortress in the middle of our peaceful neighbourhood?
Damned if I know, old boy.
Walls twenty feet thick, and no-one noticed? I don’t believe it. The ISI is one of the most efficient intelligence operations in the world. Nothing moves in Pakistan without their knowledge. Few things outside Pakistan happen without the ISI opening a file. This is a serious organisation of spooks, and I have no doubt whatever that they knew precisely what was going on in Abbottabad. If they didn’t, they would have to be thoroughly incompetent, but whatever else they are, incompetence is one thing you can’t accuse them of.
Therefore, it would be very hard to conclude that Pakistan was not protecting Osama bin Laden, as if anyone was surprised. The shock is that America waited this long, and from what we’re told, in the end the operation was carried out with the support of Pakistani military. After all , how did three foreign helicopters fly from India, a hostile foreign nation, through Pakistan’s airspace, without being shot down by the extremely well-equipped and trained Pakistani airforce? It defies credibility.
I think Osama bin Laden has done some very evil things, including organising the attacks on the World Trade Centre. Therefore, I have no sympathy for him. But those attacks were used by Bush and Cheney to justify the invasion of Iraq — a country that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks.
Cheney was always going to make money through Halliburton, who got the contracts for everything that happened in Iraq, but so was Bush, whose Daddy was on the board of Carlton — the world’s biggest arms dealer. Every cruise missile fired was another few million in Dubya’s pocket. Sweet.
Today, I heard Tony Blair saying that people responsible for thousands of civilian deaths could expect retribution, and I wondered if he included himself in that statement, since he took a decision to kill thousands of civilians in a country that had never attacked him.
See, it’s all right to kill thousands of civilians in a country that never attacked you, provided you have the power of the western media behind you. There’s no danger of an attack force led by Clint Eastwood storming Tony Blair’s house or George Bush’s ranch, even though they killed far more innocent civilians in Iraq than Bin Laden ever did in New York.
How the hell do I know? I’m just looking forward to Deckard retiring the leader of North Korea, another American skin-job, but in the case of Osama bin Laden, I can’t see the operation happening without the support of the Pakistani government. You don’t fly over a town inhabited almost exclusively by retired senior army officers without prior approval.
Elsewhere: Who benefits?