“I’m not in the business. I am the business.” (Blade Runner)

Artist's Path, Books, Movies, Philosophy, Quote, Self, Writing

There’s that great line in Blade Runner when Deckard and Rachael are talking about getting the shakes and Deckard tells her it’s part of the business, and Rachael—as a replicant—says, “I’m not in the business. I am the business.” I love that line and that scene for many reasons that I am not planning to discuss here.

But, thinking about that line this morning while editing, and while generally thinking about art and artists, a meaning or application of that line, strikes me, that I have never thought about before.

Joe Byron of the LA Film school says that if you watch enough movies you don’t have to go to film school. And I know that to be true, in general. But even as going to film school, watching movies, and working on films all teach you distinct sets of lessons, the more general playground is just your life. And that’s the playground artists really need to be paying attention to. Watching enough movies may be a substitute for having to listen to film school teachers break it down for you, but watching your life is the basic school for all art, all science, all business, all love. Movies made by people who mainly pay attention to other people’s movies—instead of their own life, or even other people’s lives—those movies suck. I always said, at film school, that cinematographers and sound people and production designers, yes, they should go to film school. But directors and writers, when they show up, the school should give them their tuition back and send them on a road trip. People who make the best movies are making them about their lives, or something they know about from life…not things they know from school, or even from other movies. We should, as artists, not be in the business…we should be the business.

Of course, with Deckard as an example, maybe it’s possible to do both.

When a stimulus escalates to the point of encouraging a response…


…and you don’t want to engage it, be patient.  Chances are, the stimulus hasn’t been overdesigned.  It has been designed, most likely, to escalate to the point of implying your response.  So at the level at which it seems to require one, if you’re patient a tiny bit longer, the stimulus will probably stop.  It wasn’t designed to get a response at all costs…it was designed to escalate to the level at which you will respond.  There would be little point in designing an impetus that far outclassed the one from whom a reaction is desired.

Talk over lunch about presence and visualization

Philosophy, Self

The idea that we’re not necessarily into positive visualization stuff, but that, to the degree one is visualizing anyway, thinking about oneself in the future, you might as well imagine yourself having the perfect response in the situation you’re imagining.  And connecting that Dr. Phil idea about {it’s not that you’re afraid he’ll cheat on you, it’s that you’re afraid you won’t be able to handle it} to my way of stating something similar from a slightly different angle: that every fear, is a fear of what you will do…people live in rule-saturated environments because it saves them the trouble (life) of having to know themselves…know themselves to the degree that they can be present (by which I mean able to partake or not partake in whatever emotion, sin, pathology, that presents itself).  With the rule that in our [sub-]society there is no gay marriage, we don’t have to fear that we might be gay; with the rule that in our [sub-]society there is no alcohol, we don’t have to fear that we might drink.  But can’t I let you be gay, can’t I let you drink, and not fear myself, not fear who I might be?  All regulation is made to protect against, not what you might do, but what I fear I might become.

You can’t separate yourself from the earth, from the plants, from the animals.

Philosophy, Self

You can’t separate yourself from the animals by not eating them.  And, as well, by eating them, you are not placing yourself at odds with the animals.  Both paths are types of {being connected to the animals}.  They are distinct ways of being connected.  There is no choice to be disconnected with the earth.  There is only {how you will be connected with the earth}.  This holds true for all kinds of embrace, all kinds of abstinence.  By using [whatever], you are connected to it; by not using [whatever], you are connected to it, you are in relationship with it.  There is no goodbye.  There are only types of hello.

The fullness of an individual person

Philosophy, Psychology, Self

can be measured by the distance between the two most disparate elements that reside within them.  That is not to say that a person without much diversity of thought, is not valuable, is not lovable, is not worthwhile.  But, as a measure of the fullness of one of these individuatable beings we call people, when one of them contains little diversty of mind, little diversity of embodiment, little diversity of action, little diversity of locale, little diversity of posession, that is not a reflection of fullness within that individuatable thing.  This is not to say that fullness of the individual container, should be the goal of each container.  Not saying that.  But, certainly, it is those containers which hold the greatest diversity of goods within the same house, that are the fullest in themselves.