In the final scene of the 1982 film Blade Runner the “replicant” says, as he is dying, that his memories are being lost “like tears in rain”. A reference to the fact that he is crying. This betrays the fact that the Harrison Ford character is in fact hunting down real humans with real human emotions. It is him and large parts of the dystopian society that he inhabits that have lost their humanity, and human feeling. Dick was an outspoken critic of psychiatry in the West and what it was doing to us, and still is. Making human emotions and feelings into “diseases”. I just had a good example of this last night on the lower deck of my bus (curiously the upper decks did not suffer from this problem). I’d gone down from the upper deck to the lower one because the upper was all steamed up and I could not see anything. I found a seat at the back. At first I was relieved to be able to see out. Then I realised everyone around me had kind of frozen and were looking away from me. I tried to speak to a young lady with a guitar but she ignored me. The lady to my right started blinking heavily, “is she dealing with something?” I thought. I moved forward a couple of rows of seats and found people showing increasingly distressed body language, ie. sitting in sort of self soothing positions, and also studiously ignoring me. I was starting to get fed up of this but then remembered my Franco Basaglia. I now know for a fact that these poor people were responding this way due to me showing human feeling and emotion, especially some distress, on the surface (this I am aware of and have in hand). Remember “tears in rain” above ? So in Basaglian terms these people have a problem in their own character structure which they find “obscene”, ie. they don’t want to look at it or deal with it, so it gets projected, usually onto someone with the dreaded emotion they don’t want to deal with, ie. me in this case ! I do sympathise. Human emotion can be challenging ! However it needs to be dealt with. The situation on the bus, although transitionary (I did not encounter the situation again once I’d left the bus) was verging into bigotry in its social rejection of me just because I’m dealing with some distress. It reminded my of a story that Franco Basaglia’s wife recalls about people rescued from an asylum in Italy who were found jobs at a local factory. The factory workers talked about how welcoming these people back into the community had actually enriched their life’s, and how they realised that rejecting people in distress impoverishes us all because we are actually rejecting parts of ourselves.
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