Daily Archives: March 21, 2012

Blinky…


Date: March 21, 2012

…What is the message behind Blinky?…

…What is the message behind Blinky?…

…Blinky…

When I was nine or so, I really wanted an Omnibot 2000…A handful of years later, I’d get it’s little cousin, the Verbot…

Really, they were just remote controlled vehicles with something gimmicky about them, that were built to look like robots [though, the Omnibot 2000 did have one working arm…in addition to the dead one, that just let you position it by hand]…You could also program a sequence of movements, and set them to a clock schedule…and it had a tape deck, as I recall…

The Verbot could recognise and follow, very short vocal commands…and I quickly learned just how dorky it felt, micro-managing every “task” for this thing, by barking out quick commands, every so many seconds…

It was cute…and neat…but, I had no qualms about flipping the “off” switch…and it spent most of it’s life, back in it’s box…until about a year ago, when I found him again…and set him up on my computer desk…

Though I’m sure he’d work [and voraciously gobble up batteries] just as well today, as he did back then…I’m really not inclined to feel like a dork, again…

…Still…it would make me feel like a complete jerk, to take a hammer to him…or in any way damage him…Not just because it would be damaging an old, unique toy…but, because this is my cute, little robot [as meager as he may be]…and I still recall with some fondness, how his eyes would flash, and he’d click and clack [like some sort of strange laughter] whenever you told him to “smile”…

It cannot think…It cannot feel…yet, it is like it’s own character…One I like having around…One I am fond of.

Of course…It is just human attachment, and what I assign to it through my own mind…but, I cannot help feeling really awful for Blinky…Standing there, with those cute eyes, and cute smile on his face [almost like a Volkswagen Bug]…as the bag rips…and he doesn’t really know what to do…and as the boy starts to turn on him, he just walks away in abandonment…as Blinky just stands there, with that same look on his face…He cannot even comprehend, that he is being treated so badly…

It’s not like Blinky is an animal, capable of feeling pain, or suffering; one that cannot fend for itself, or escape the abuse…Yet, it’s still a rotten thing to do…At their fundamentals, those actions [the abuses] are still cruel…It’s just that the target cannot comprehend, what’s happening to it.

Does this make those actions better or worse?…I don’t know…but, I do still feel bad for the robot…and I do still see those acts as cruelty…Call it “cruelty masturbation”, if you will.

That scene I mentioned, kind of reminds me of a late scene in “My Dog Skip”, where the boy [young man] leaves for college…and the dog just sort of stands there, watching him leave…Not really so much understanding what was happening, or that this was the end, with him and his boy…but, he was being left, by the one person who was there nearly all of his life…Probably the saddest scene in that movie.

Anyway…I am meandering…Though, I do agree…there are some interesting social parallels, that might be recognised in that short film you linked too.

Thank you for sharing this…I want to say I enjoyed it…and I did, for certain elements…but it also struck a cord with me…I hate seeing things and beings getting abused…even more so, when their intelligence and ability are so limited.

And, of course…the abuser knows better, than to do that…The target is thought so little of…It’s just ugly hate, towards something predisposed [or in the case of a robot, designed] to be what it is.

Poor Blinky…He’s destined to lose, no matter what he does, or how hard he tries…


One further observation…

I do have to agree with BLanarchist…in that, I think the robot [in this case, “Blinky”], does represent a good analogy to disenfranchised, scapegoated groups.

These types of groups are socially hobbled, and lead a “lesser” kind of political and social existence. Their ability to change things, better themselves [their kind] and lift themselves out of oppression, is vastly limited…They don’t have the same social standing, as other groups [represented by the boy, and his parents…and possibly, even the more advanced robot (another minority, that’s made advancement?), who passes and looks down upon Blinky].

These types of groups also do not tend to understand what is happening to them…Whether by lack of sound information [which can be very hard to find, recognise and put together in a meaningful way]…or just by virtue that they have collectively been psychologically broken [conditioned], and they lack all sense of vision for their own betterment…

Why don’t most oppressed minorities fight back, and pull themselves out of their situation?…

…Because, most people in those minorities do not even understand the dynamics affecting their situation.

Just like the robot “Blinky”…these minorities are deprived of what they need, in order to adequately organise and fight back.