Aesthetics Media

Day 748 and Molly Millions

I’ve been rewatching the excellent Amazon adaption of William Gibson’s The Peripheral. I’ve said if before but no single artist has had a bigger impact on my aesthetics than him. As the father of cyberpunk, his impact looms large over the computing industry.

Molly Millions is a cyborg in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy which includes the famous Neuromancer. A dark brunette, she has mirror shade eyes and razors under her nails. Molly is first introduced in the shorty story Johnny Mnemonic which became a Hollywood thriller with the same title. In the movie, Molly is renamed as Jane but is fundamentally the same character.

The cover of William Gibson’s Neuromancer with Molly Millions.

In Johnny Mnemonic we have an entirely new aesthetic for Molly Millions as Jane. The brooding inaccessible brunette is replaced with a curly haired blonde played by Dina Mayer.

Dina Mayer as Jane in cyberpunk style.
On the far left, a strong jawed and sharp featured Jane in a cyberpunk bar
Dina Mayer as Jane

I personally loved Dina Mayer’s energy in Johnny Mnemonic. She brought a kind of girl next door folksiness that brought a lot of humanity to the problems of being a cyborg. She was light where technology dictate a darker aesthetic. Cyberpunk needed a Betty. I assume some of this is related to the creative direction of photographer (of Men in Suits fame) Robert Longo but it could have easily been Dina Mayer’s rising star in Hollywood. I hadn’t thought much beyond it until I watched the Peripheral.

But now all I can see in the Peripheral is how much Flynn Fisher (as played by Chloe Grace Moretz) looks like Dina Mayer’s Jane. In my fantasy, it’s like I’m seeing the first woman Willian Gibson ever loved. It almost makes a romantic of me imagining a world where a curly haired blonde mattered to him. But the essence shared by Moretz and Mayer is hard to deny.

Chloe Grace Moretz as Flynn Fisher

Chloe Grace Moretz as Flynn Fisher

Chloe Grace Moretz as Flynn Fisher

I see a lot of little similarities between the two actresses but it’s ultimately the affect. The bold lip and the harsh pulled back hair is contrasted in softer moments with wild curly halos and warm inviting features. Flynn is a southern girl. I’ve got no idea if Jane had a heritage. But now I’ll always wonder why the dark mirror shaded women of Neuromancer became a blonde.

Aesthetics Chronic Disease Chronicle

Day 122 and Soul Delay

There is a line in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition that has stuck with me for years. The context isn’t all that crucial except to know the hero has just taken a long flight.

She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.

Sadly I am not jet lagged, as that would imply international travel which is a context I doubt I’ll have for at least a few more months. But I’m finding soul delay can happen even without jet lag. The separation between one’s body and one’s soul is a rich emotional issue. For the past week or two I feel like I’ve been reeling from a gap between my soul and my body. It came on suddenly, despite all the disparate causes been easy to see coming and not remotely surprising.

The dawning realization that I may not be stuck forever with a chronic illness hasn’t been the unmitigated joy I anticipated. In fact, it’s been fairly miserable realizing that the convenient excuse to keep me from workaholism won’t be an available crutch forever. I’m assessing all the things I take for granted in my life and their myriad benefits and it’s not pretty. It turns out even the most joyful possible goal attainments come with a host of introspection.

And that generally means you can’t lie to yourself. It actually feels a little bit like attaining wealth overnight. All those excuses you used to have about how you’d just pursue the life of your dreams if not for financial limitations? Some of them turn out to be lies you’ve been telling yourself for years. And then how do you feel? It turns out much of your circumstances were self imposed.

Which isn’t to say that I’m finding out I need to make drastic life changes and that I’ve been living a lie. That would actually be easy! It’s more that the sum of dozens of self limiting beliefs need to be assessed, turned over for utility, and discarded or repurposed. Why was I a founder? Why am I married? Why do I pursue attention? All of these are little bits of honesty that are giving me soul delay. Because finding out what I actually want, without the benefit of a circumstance preventing me from achieving my desires, is going to require reconciliation between my soul and my reality.

So right now I feel a kind of emotional jet lag. After intensive work and a significant amount of willpower I am getting what I wanted. I’m getting my health back. But I’m still reeling in my soul from the journey. The cortisol spiked adrenaline of the effort is wearing off. I need to recover from my recovery. My soul needs to reel itself in. But I don’t know when it’s arriving at baggage claim. And I’m so very tired from the effort. So even if I have arrived it doesn’t feel like I thought it would. I hope I can be patient with myself while I wait. It’s been two years so I figure what is another few months?