Renegade Robot

I’ve been a bad, bad girl.

No, that’s not meant to be sensationalist; but I’m currently in the process of committing the modern sin of “serious procrastination,” for my 2-4 page paper on Susan Okin’s essay “Philosopher Queens and Private Wives” is, sadly, still in the process of being written and/or started, and despite it being 10 p.m. where I am, I still can’t muster the effort to really, really write out any part of this essay.

Granted, it’s 2-4 pages, which means that I should be able to bang it out in a couple of hours, but as I just iterated, that just isn’t happening.

Maybe it’s because I’m tired, as I have been all weekend, or rather all week. I suppose I could brew some coffee or gulp down the ridiculously large serving cup of Mountain Dew currently resting on the living room table, but I woke up at 2 p.m. today after staying up until 4 a.m. watching “Parks and Recreation” with my roommates, and I haven’t spent the rest of the weekend doing anything productive, unless you count live tweeting the Super Bowl productive, which is debatable, depending on your major/profession.


I’ve been dreaming strange dreams all weekend.

And while I wrote the one from Saturday morning down, all I remember from this morning’s dream theatre is the sight of BMO from “Adventure Time”–

whom I’ve previously referred to as my “crack spirit guide,” which is a “Girls” ref for those of you not in the loop

–walking out into a rain not unlike the one at the climactic moment of “Blade Runner,” and when I woke up, all I could think of was the sentence, “Why were the robots out in the rain?” And no, I’m not trying to channel (at least, not consciously) Philip K. Dick here, but I’ve been thinking about the ramifications of being identified, both self- and by others, as a robot.

I realize that the designation is not meant to be an insult, especially since BMO is this cute little gender neutral video game contraption whose mannerisms and appearance are imbued with that derpy cuteness so associated with characters from Japanese animation. And yeah, I do play off of that association now, especially when my roommates make some appeal to my inner humanity and I flash them a deadpan expression and say, “What feelings?”

But that doesn’t discount the fact that it’s a little disturbing to be so closely associated with something that’s not supposed to be human. Sure, BMO’s cute, but it’s a robot that says silly things and makes silly faces and is routinely underestimated by the people in the “Adventure Time” universe. BMO doesn’t know what’s up; BMO will never know what’s up, and will be forever playing catch up to what it thinks being real is.

I understand the futility and fragility associated with trying to shake off associations, be they positive ones or negative ones (see: every Disney Channel starlet ever), so for a while now, I’d taken the BMO mantle and just ran with it. I am a little living boy!!! Oh, how clumsy of me to trip over nothing, and how cute of me to make funny little sounds when I stumble or cough or say anything!!!

But goddammit, when I start to buy into my own charade, when I try to run my life in series of calculations and estimations, when I separate myself from my very much present emotions,

it takes me out of who I am, or more specifically, who I want myself to be. And when I’m watching machines stand still out in the cold, sharp swell of dream world precipitation, I thank my lucky stars that I’m undoubtedly, earnestly and everything, human after all.

(Image: Untitled by James Harvey)


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