Blade Runner - Roy Batty's monologue - DMFan79/YouTube Thumbnail Blade Runner - Roy Batty's monologue - DMFan79/YouTube Thumbnail

Paranoid androids and their fear of being forgotten

Sat, Aug. 19, 2017
CAIRO – 19 August 2017: One of the biggest fears for a human being is to be forgotten. We do not want our struggles and trials to be all for nothing. Sometimes this feeling is intensified when a person feels isolated and alone. It may feel as if they are trapped in a whirl of anxiety, depression and dark thoughts.

In the last verse of their song Paranoid Android, Radiohead delivers one of their most beautiful lines. The music suddenly becomes calmer and Thom Yorke, the front, singer sings:

“Rain down,

Rain down

Come on, rain down on me

From a great height.”

What makes these gloomy lines so significant is that they are being said by an android, a robot. For the robot, the rain would simply mean death. Many argue that these lines are sung as a tribute to another android’s last lines, those of Roy Batty, the robot from Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie Blade Runner (see lyrics interpretation on lyricsgenius.com).

As Roy laments the idea of his temporary existence in his last moments of life, he expresses sadness over the meaninglessness of his unshared memories in the grand scheme of things. As the rain drops down his bleeding face, he says, “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain.”

According to a study conducted in 2000 by researchers from the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society (SIQSS), a distinguished link was found between internet use and social isolation. This study was done long before the internet became as important and available as it is now. Another study done by Harvard Medical School showed that people who feel lonely were at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke and lived shorter lives in comparison to those who socialized.

Rolling Stones Magazine’s video The Story of Radiohead's Classic Album 'Ok Computer shows how Radiohead made the 1997 album to show how technology is gradually isolating people and turning them into lonely paranoid androids.
 
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