Saturday, February 28, 2015

28 Day Bubblegum Crisis Challenge, Day 28: Relevance to Today's World?

When 80s fashion came back in style near the end of my college experience, I was mortified. Hadn't we spent the last decade trying to rid the world of neon colors, big hair, and piano key ties*? I mean, yes, the 90s had Zubaz**, bucket hats, and crushed velvet, but I don't even think those are in the same category of awful.
Via Yahoo! Sports
On a positive note, though, a lot of younger people were watching the movies from that time period and recognizing what I, of course, already knew: that they were awesome. I'm not talking about John Hughes films, although those have a special place in my heart. Nope, I'm talking about the cyberpunk and sci-fi films from the 1980s: Blade Runner, Heavy Metal, Robocop, Akira, Scanners, Dune***, Max Headroom, Videodrome, Brazil, The Running Man, Escape from New York, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, etc. I could dedicate an entire day to talking only about these, but this is a Bubblegum Crisis challenge, and I swear, there is a point to all of this. Just go with me.

Bubblegum Crisis was heavily inspired - obviously - by so many of the movies I listed above, in particular Blade Runner, so a lot of the themes were carried over into the series. The fear of foreign companies coming into Japan, like McLaren from "Double Vision," was very similar to the decay of future-LA in Blade Runner, where nearly all the affluent (and white) members of society had fled the city that had become a melting pot of Japanese and Hispanic (heavily implied to be Mexican) companies and residents. Ronald Reagan had introduced Friedmanite economics (seriously, guy, fuck you, and also RIP?), and there was a huge backlash to the corporatization of the United States, especially in the film industry. Just look at Verhoeven's Robocop, which came out in the same year as our intrepid heroines; like the villain in Bubblegum Crisis, the Big Bad in Robocop is Omni Consumer Products, or OCP, and it bears a striking resemblance to BGC's Genom, and the police in both franchises are inadequately equipped to actually handle the types (and amount) of crime that riddles their precious cities which are, sadly, run by the "evil corporations" that have no morality or government keeping them in check.
Via Anime Zone
Now, I bring all this up because, hahahaha, seriously? Have you paid attention to the news lately? I mean, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, for fuck's sake, and I never fail to laugh at the paranoia the white population displays when minorities express that they are sick of their privileged bullshit. I could place the blame on the above kinda-mentioned Milton Friedman, and I'm going to. I'm not saying the world would be perfect had we never decided to go with the immediate-satisfaction appeal of this kind of economic strategy, because this universe can be a pretty terrible place to exist, but the idea of "greed is good" just cannot result in anything but negative consequences. Like Sylia expressed to Lisa in "Scoop Chase," companies like Genom need checks and balances, and if the government won't or can't provide them, it's up to private citizens to act in its place. It's not necessary to build your own advanced hardsuit to be what amounts to a corporate terrorist, but you could inspire others to take them to task, to demand they give back to the community instead of constantly taking for their billion-dollar revenues that will only sit in a bank and not improve this world in any way. As far as white people go, look. The world is changing. You don't like that it's changing to where your status as the default is no longer seen as true or good or the best EVAR. I get that****. But get over it. Your fear won't stop it from happening, and really, the only thing you're doing is stressing yourself out. Try to see things from a big picture standpoint: everybody benefits in the long run, but yes, there will be a certain amount of loss in the leveling out of things. It happens. It's called life.

Anyway, after that diatribe, I encourage everyone to watch Bubblegum Crisis and look for contemporary parallels in it. It may actually surprise you with how modern, at least thematically, it is. I guess it just goes to show that, no matter how much things change, the more they stay the same.

And that's the finale of my Bubblegum Crisis challenge! It feels like February just sped right past us, doesn't it? Oh, well! The next challenge will be coming up in May, and if you haven't already checked out my Challenges page, I'll just go ahead and let you know: it's Star Waaaaarssss!


BACK TO CHALLENGE

* That came out in the 80s, right? While I was born in 1983, my really solid memories come from the 90s and on. 
** Not to be confused with MC Hammer pants, which comes as a surprise to me, because I totally thought they were the same thing. You live, you learn, I guess.
*** Shut up, I love this movie.
**** In an alternate universe, where I was born in 1973 instead of 1983, I am a successful journalist who has a billion followers on her blog that was started because I figured out early that the internet was going to be A Thing. Instead, I hope for the small number of views I get each day and struggle with the nagging idea that maybe I'm not as creative or interesting or whatever as I think I am. But I live in a world where literally anything could happen. Somebody important could read my ebook that I released last year+ and suddenly I'm a superstar. The likelihood that this will occur is slim, but who cares? I'm doing what I love to do.
+I'm currently rewriting The Legion: A Million More to Go, so if you, famous person with clout within the publishing community, could wait for me to update it, that would be great.
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