And not just God in any one form, but in a whole slew of manifestations? First example: the Cogito virus. When an AutoReiv is infected with it, it no longer obeys orders from humans God is dead now to them and flees the dome for a future with no certainty, but with freedom of thought and movement Adam and Eve taste the fruit of knowledge and are expelled from Eden.
But the story also knows better than to tell us such liberations always have happy endings. He still has feelings of devotion for her, but are those genuine, or simply artifacts from the time Re-L was his god dess? Is the rage that he feels towards Vincent for stealing her away from him also genuine? The conflict and torment he experiences, and the tragic way they're resolved, form one of the best episodes of the series. Likewise, Re-L is presented with the possibility of being able to kill Vincent, but by that point he is to her no longer just a mystery to be solved; he's a fellow being in pain, and killing him may create at least as many problems as it solves.
The Proxies themselves also figure into the dynamic of gods-gone-missing, and not in the obvious way. Yes, the Proxies are gods to the human race, but at the same time were created by humanity itself — and what happens when God discovers he's essentially a temp worker, set to be fired at the end of the season?
Few of them are inclined to lie down and let things unfold as they must. Vincent is among those few, and his dilemma is not just that he's schizoid, having taken on the guise of an ordinary human in an attempt to shirk destiny. It's that he realizes his real mission is to become God's wrath and to wipe the earth clean of the human race that started this whole mess to begin with — and that the human race, for all of its limitations, annoyances, and stupidity, has that much more about it that's redeemable than any god.
The whole God-is-dead, now-what? I've described how Vincent, Iggy, and Pino deal with their own respective existential crises. But I've said little about how Re-L Mayer, the story's putative protagonist, deals with all of it — and maybe that's because from the beginning she's not positioned as the sort of character to ever have an existential crisis in the first place.
Her no-nonsense, all-business attitude is only briefly derailed when one of the Proxies crashes into her apartment it's actually Vincent, an act that forms the first of many links between them , and the way she swings around that shotgun of hers, navigates Romdo's dead-end bureaucracy, and dons a hazmat suit to chase down Vincent in the wasteland and single-handedly bring him back all speak to her independence and self-assertion.
This is someone who doesn't seem to have a god to lose in the first place. Or does she? For one, there's Iggy, her AutoReiv companion. It answers to her and obeys all her orders with effervescent cheer, so it's easy to assume which direction the dependencies go in. But Re-L is as dependent on Iggy as it is on her — without him, she has that many less extra hands to get things done with, and one less source of ideas and perspective.
And even when she is able to work around her dependencies on him, it's clear they're just manifestations of the other gods that rule her life — her grandfather, or Romdo's management, or Romdo itself. Technological civilization itself is her god, and in this world it has an expiration date. How long would a straphanging New Yorker survive in the Amazon?
The show's also not shy about showing how this attitude comes at the detriment of Re-L as a person generally. When Re-L, Vincent, and Pino light out for the territories in a little wind-powered skiff, Re-L tries to pretend she's still living at home — she wears the same makeup and insists on Vincent taking Iggy's place to do her toilette , affects the same dress, gets annoyed when she can't enjoy showers of the same length as before.
In a word, she's spoiled, and it takes more than just being pitched out of Romdo's Eden to get her to wise up. She has to also lose Iggy another thing she can't live without and share both suffering and joy with Vincent — and Pino, too — before she can get over herself. The wording of her thoughts at the moment of that epiphany — "I felt I could let myself smile " — are a hint: she's always been capable of this, but only now has given herself the freedom — spiritual, not only physical — to act on it.
For her, the ultimate advantage of life without god one of the episodes is named this, explicitly is that it has given her an opportunity to be something other than a creature of the state's will, or a slave to her own predilections. It gives her the chance to be free not just from others, but from herself.
The more I think about it, the more I realize Ergo Proxy was produced entirely in spite of it being so edgy and groundbreaking; rather, it came into existence only because of a lucky confluence of market forces that existed at the time. And from what Murase stated in an interview, they had "almost too much [creative] freedom" — there were no requirements to create something that could be merchandised, just an obligation to fill a pay-satellite broadcast slot and meet a DVD release schedule.
Cowboy Bebop was also lucky in this regard. I suspect having the U. S distribution and TV broadcast was fast becoming one of the major ways anime could recoup its production costs.
According to Justin Sevakis, such pre-emptive investments by a distributor, in exchange for a share of the rights, were a way to become part of something that might well become a hit. Nobody was making money. Most every market for popular entertainment is driven by what sells. Anime has never been an exception, and I think a lot of why it's easy to think otherwise is because one culture's mainstream looks a lot like another culture's underground. All this makes Ergo Proxy doubly exceptional — it was odd and experimental even by Japan's standards, and the fact it exists at all was because it was financed as part of a panic of such projects in its time period.
Murase's comment about "too much freedom" gives some ammunition to those who think Ergo Proxy is too self-indulgent and pretentious for its own good. Creative work produced in a commercial context inevitably has constraints imposed on it — length, subject matter, scope, contents. But those constraints can sometimes function in a positive way, by forcing you to deliver consistently and not wander too far off into the weeds.
The old restrictions in [recording] technology forced us to do things right. It forced us to have to make decisions. Why You? Hybrid Results. A note on the picture used in the header above: I was driving through a suburb of Melbourne in and could not believe my eyes when I saw this graffiti on a shop wall.
It appeared that someone else had the same "feel imperative" that we do in Af-x. I took a picture of it. In , nine years later , I returned to Melbourne, and there it was I choose to think there is something about that message that said to folk, "leave it there". Ian White. For centuries, society has been fond of using the old Descartes saying, "I think; therefore I am". Modern affectologists and Af-x Therapists recognize this as being a deterrent to authentically successful emotional change.
Of all the philosophers discussed only JS Mill appeared worth serious attention. Dennett was mentioned briefly in a footnote somewhere and I have subsequently read "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking".
It was a breath of fresh air. Ted says "I see free will as It is the old "life force" fantasy indulged in by the likes of Mary Midgley. You might as well read Lobsang Rampa. If you want to study things that are apparently non-causal, you could try quantum mechanics but that is too hard for most, certainly too hard for me. We do hear from time to time that there are quantum mechanical explanations for mind, but generally they come from people who think "I don't understand A or B, therefore B is like A".
Penrose is the honourable exception, but there comes a point where a mathematical proposition must be subject to a real world test if you want to assert that it has a real world effect. Not likely any time soon. Alex Dean.
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