Me is me, You is you
Posted June 5, 2010on:
“There are too many people and too few human beings. The more humanity advances, the more it is degraded, for happiness is in our society but only clocked in sadness”
What’s the difference in between the sky and the sea? Love and hate? Light and dark? Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than You. In the mirror I see myself and not you. Then what makes me, Me and you, You? Your blood is red, so is mine, your kindness and patience is everlasting, is mine?
Everyone aims for a perfect world but is perfectionism what we really want? COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY are the key ingredients that form a utopian society says Aldous Huxley. Then again are the individuals responsible for the formation of the society? Or is the society responsible for the formation of individuals? For a utopian world shouts out to its people “lose your individuality!!!” Brave New World emphasises the aspect that a world must be based around one belief, one mind. One Body in Ford.
In Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca ambition is the virtue that surpasses all the boundaries, even one’s own caste. In our modern society, filled with intellects, a quality such as human genomes is enough to divide you and me. Morals are the foundation for the creation of human beings, for nurture maybe of the greater good, or for worst. Often our eyes blind us; it’s our nature, for we seek only the best. Our emotions, our body and our intellectual ability craft us, but then how to gain stability?
Our knowledge develops from day to day, our characteristics cultivate second by second. English men simply call out “Hello”, whilst the French exclaim “Bounjourno”, for Chinese its “Neehoa”, and who can forget those Islanders who very often tend to shout out “G’day mate!” Our nature, our upbringing, our influences, all contributes in crafting us into who we are. Our differing mindsets, differing thought process are all a part of a term, individuality. What is individuality? You and Me? Self-Independence. Self- Realization.
After a week’s hard work, when God finally created this world, he decided to fill it up with creatures, to make them all superior he gifted us all with a talent, something to be recognized by. Many live there life searching for answers, their strengths, some realize their potential just in time and become millionaires. However talent, isn’t all about gaining success, it is about unravelling Y.O.U (your own uniqueness), understanding the person who wears your name tag, and in doing so giving an identity to your own soul.
Just the other day Benjamin Franklin stated “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” For many privileged, opportunity is everyday thing. But there are those who try and jump, jump as high as they can yet fail to reach their mark, it is as though a glass ceiling exists. From an individual’s skin colour, to his/her genome prejudice still shows up here or there. Prejudice formed simply on the basis of uniqueness. The film Gattaca portrays a message, message about barriers intact, barriers that only allow those who are accustomed to perfectionism. It is a depiction of society where there are no mistakes, no faults. No matter how great one’s talent maybe, yet his ambition is regarded as a failure, only because of blood. Reminding us, who are we to judge a book by its cover, for it doesn’t judge us as its reader. For our uniqueness is our pride, our identity. It is to be celebrated.
It is a new experience that we seek, for a new experience seeks us. Every day we dream, we think, we take risks, why? All we want is excitement; we often wonder to and fro getting bored only waiting for something to happen, something out of ordinary. Our Interactions with those unlike us, our diversity keeps us alive, keeping us safe from a place where stability is the only option. Stability that is gained from the formations in surrogates, machines in hundreds and thousands who only look like you and me but have limited, rather no space to think within. Brave New World opens up a dimension to utopia then why does it all sound like a dystopia? Isn’t perfection what we want? Don’t we all want to fall into a trap of happiness? Then why sadness?
It is evident that morals and ethics play a major role in the implications of the Nature vs. Nurture debate, thus present a dilemma in different societies around the world. Morals are an ever-changing cycle of social norms taught and nurtured to the younger generations during their upbringing, which ultimately influences their perception of the world that they live in. Morals and ethics have changed throughout the course of history and will continue to transform as mankind ventures into a new age of technology and scientific discovery. Morality is infact double faced, one which we preach but do not practise and another which we practice but often preach.
Is knowledge a problem for knowledge itself, is power to much for power itself? For a power is a greed that can destroy best of people. Power in the hands of humans, enables such individuals to craft the path for future accordingly. Evident in the film ‘Gattaca’, the morals and ethics have transitioned from today’s understanding in the sense that Human Genetics Enhancement which is considered to be perfectly normal and natural. The scene of enhancing a baby’s immunity and appearance in the laboratory reinforces this idea of Moral Transitioning. Science may hold the answers, but do all the questions have to be answer, moreover provided with a solution?
The alteration of Moral and Ethical progression is carried a step further in Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ as such virtues have shifted above and beyond what today’s society is accustomed to. The concepts of Parenting and Pregnancy are obscene within this ‘Brave New World’, replaced by the nurtured ideal that ‘Everybody belongs to everybody else’ thus presenting the idea that it is normal to have sexual relations with multiple partners at a time, thus contradicting the statement “You shall not commit adultery.” The use of ‘Soma’ is also a device used to show Huxley’s perception of human’s weakness, their inability to deal with deep emotions resulting in the denial of sadness or anger. This creates a setting without true emotions resulting in a world of superficial happiness and contentment. This conveys the flaws of a so-called ‘Utopian Society’. The sacrifice of true emotions and feelings for the sake of control.
Gattaca portrays the idea of individual’s being nurtured to fit into a society. Class which is determined by science; as Vincent loses his identity and lives as Jerome to fulfil both their ambitions. ‘I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the colour of my skin. Now we have discrimination to science,’ this statement underlines nature, which is controlled by supernatural factors but also its counterpart. No longer is the social status determined by education or race, it is about being the best, the best from inside.
Brave New World depicts the loss of humanity in the hands of ‘machine-men’. The utopians have their own social cast- alphas, betas, gammas, deltas, and epsilons. “I suppose Epsilons don’t really mind being Epsilons” she said aloud. “Offcourse they don’t. How can they? They don’t know what it’s like being anything else.” So is conditioning the aspect that links to the getting rid of self-identity part? Or are we born into system where truth is camouflaged?
In a utopian world, you are just another product on the shelf, waiting to be picked out, eaten and thrown away. Living in a utopian society causes individuals lose their individuality, preventing men and women to showcase their own uniqueness. A perfect world poses a question in regards to moral values, its practises, moreover an individual’s upbringing. So do you belong in the aisle of tomato cans? Or the aisle of freshly baked bread? How would you feel if you had the same name as everyone else, looked like everyone else, thought and was conditioned like everyone? How would it feel to be noticed by others by what you are, but not by who you are? YOU see, a utopian society will make you me and me you. Brave New World and Gattaca both express two different messages but are closely linked. The world state in BNW leads the people to believe who they are according to their views, whereas in Gattaca, Vincent realizes through his own eyes who he really is. You is You, Me is Me. We won’t have it any other way. Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today. Your life is yours not mine, don’t let this change, as time goes by.