Author: Daniel Tiersin

  • JUNG_E Review

    JUNG_E Review

    JUNG_E is the latest film written and directed by Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho. Here the famed South Korean director tries his hand at dystopian science fiction to arguably good success. Its influences are obvious, to the point that some may feel like it is derivative. And that’s perfectly fine. I’ve seen many movies recently that were derivative of previous works but were pretty good nonetheless. This is somewhat common nowadays especially in science fiction, and in dystopian and cyberpunk science fiction in particular.

    Blade Runner is the obvious big influence here. And one might be inclined to note similarities to franchises like The Terminator and Robocop. But I also see elements of some pretty famous anime and manga, the most obvious being Ghost in the Shell. There are also plenty of elements of Gundam, Alita, and Appleseed, among others. In fact the similarities are so bold that I feel like the inclusion of them is likely deliberate and in homage to all those classic dystopian and cyberpunk franchises.

    Yun Seo-hyun (portrayed by Kang Soo-yeon)

    Whatever the case, I feel like JUNG_E was made out of a massive love for the properties and franchises that came before it. And as an homage it definitely succeeds. It looks the part with it’s beautiful cinematography and dazzling special effects. But how is it as cyberpunkery? That’s why we’re here discussing it after all.

    The film takes place sometime in the 22nd century. Sea levels have risen catastrophically high due to climate change, which has caused Earth to become uninhabitable. Consequently most of humanity settles off-world and lives across a number of space colonies. This leads to several colonies banding together and declaring themselves as independent from the rest of humanity. War erupts between the breakaway colonies and the remaining ones. Of course.

    Meanwhile humanity has nearly perfected a process to copy a human being’s brain into an artificial electronic brain which is then implanted into an android body. This is apparently big business in this world. There are three payment tiers if people want their brains copied into new bodies.

    The first tier is “Class A.” This is astronomically expensive and clearly most people can’t afford it however those in this tier are completely free and treated like any other person after they are copied. There is also a “Class B” tier which is still prohibitively expensive but cheaper than Class A. The drawback is that people who are copied in this tier do not enjoy as much freedom afterward as those who were able to afford the Class A.

    And then there is the “Class C” tier. This one’s free. Though while it doesn’t cost anything, by choosing this tier people are agreeing to allow an obviously very sketchy corporate entity to copy them infinitely and use them however they like. They can be sold to corporations or to rich upper class citizens to be used as slave labor. Or they can be used as military soldiers to fight in the seemingly endless war.

    The film follows one such military soldier, Yun Jung-yi (portrayed by Kim Hyun-joo), a famous and highly respected war hero who becomes a paid mercenary in order to pay for life-saving surgery for her daughter Yun Seo-hyun (portrayed by Kang Soo-yeon). However she is overcome and nearly killed in a battle that puts her in a comatose state for years with no chance of recovery. Her family, too impoverished to afford a higher tier, signs off to copy her as a “Class C.”

    Yun Jung-yi/JUNG_E (portrayed by Kim Hyun-joo)

    Yun Seo-hyun later becomes one of the leading AI researchers working for the laboratory in charge of making the copies of her mother (now named JUNG_E). The goal of this laboratory is to perfect the combat of JUNG_E copies by finding out how and why she was defeated in that last battle and find a way to circumvent it. Presumably to create an army of super soldiers based on her.

    They do this by creating endless copies of her and running them through realistic simulations of the fateful battle that nearly killed her. Each time a copy fails, it is terminated and they try again with another one while changing various factors of the fight.

    And this is where the film had an enormous opportunity to address a, uh, pretty colossal ethical problem happening in its world.

    In JUNG_E when people’s brains are copied into the new bodies, they have all of the memories, life experiences, and emotions of the person they were copied from. And in fact it seems like many don’t even know they are androids at all. They can even feel an approximation of physical pain when their body is damaged. Essentially there is no difference between the AI copies and real flesh and blood humans aside from what they are made of physically. They are like the replicants of Blade Runner, just robotic instead of organic.

    So to be bought and sold as slave labor or, as in cases like Yun Jung-yi/JUNG_E, subjected to relentless torture and what amounts to systematic murder, is a huge ethical dilemma. And it happens seemingly unchecked and unregulated by any government agency. And whether or not what they’re doing is right is never really called into question in this film. Not by any character, by the society at large (the program is public knowledge), or by the film’s narrative itself. Even Yun Seo-hyun seems ok with watching her mother get tortured and killed repeatedly. Which is weird to say the least and I admit that I found this more than a little frustrating.

    One of the few glimpses we see of the world outside the AI lab. I wanted to see more of this place!

    To be fair, she doesn’t seem particularly thrilled about it. Though I’m not sure if that is her disagreement surfacing or if it’s simply the stoic nature of her character. Eventually though she does reach a turning point when it is revealed that the war is ending due to a peace agreement being reached with the breakaway colonies with whom they have been at war for decades.

    The research project, now having no need for an army of robot soldier moms, is directed to change focus away from combat models of JUNG_E for military contracts and toward marketing them for commercial, non-military purposes such as sexual slavery.

    It is this, and not the repeated torture and death of her mother, that inspires Yun Seo-hyun to take actions against the company she works for and liberate her (and all her copies). And while this is a totally legit and valid reason to do so, I found it strange that it was only at this point that she felt their research was going over the line. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. It’s her mom and she doesn’t want to see her used as a sex slave for fanboys who grew up playing with action figures based on her (yes this literally happens in the film) or for whatever other frivolous purpose purchasers have in mind for her.

    It’s just a little frustrating at times that there are endless opportunities in JUNG_E to ask relevant moral and ethical questions and to really flesh out the depraved nature of this world and then watch as the film never quite brings itself to do it.

    But in spite of this, I really enjoyed JUNG_E. It was beautifully shot, featured some bangin’ special effects, some interesting world building, and great acting from the cast all around. I would Like to have seen more of the outside world to find out what kind of place it is where people would purchase a self-aware, sentient android—who used to be a real flesh and blood human being and probably still thinks they are—for frivolous slave labor. Most of the film takes place in the AI laboratory with only a couple of scenes taking place outside.

    The film works in spite of this. It’s definitely not an action movie, though there are action-packed segments in the simulated battle scenes. And in a truly badass robot vs. robot fight at the end of the film that rivals some of the genre’s best.

    No, it’s about the relationship between the mother and the daughter and the lengths that each will go to protect and care for the other. The film is very effective in this way. I found the relationship between Yun Seo-hyun and Yun Jung-yi/JUNG_E touching and relatable. And that’s really what this movie was all about, I suppose, rather than asking the big questions. Sometimes peoples’ motivations are in the smaller, more personal details rather than the grand. And that’s probably something most of us can relate to.

    JUNG_E is currently streaming on Netflix. It’s definitely worth a watch in spite of its apparent flaws. I would honestly love to see another film that takes place in the same world with different characters, though I’m not sure that is likely to happen. It is an interesting place that I’d love to see more of, which speaks to how effective this film was at creating a fascinating dystopian environment.

  • In a Weary World by Megan McDuffee Review

    In a Weary World by Megan McDuffee Review

    On her latest album, In a Weary World, Megan McDuffee taps into something special. You can call it synthwave if you want, but that’s really a disservice to this fantastic album. Don’t get me wrong, I love synthwave music but a lot of it doesn’t sound dissimilar to late 80s/early 90s EBM or synth-pop. And I suppose that is exactly the appeal for a lot of people, and I get it. Synthwave is huge right now, and has been for the last few years. So much so that there are as many varieties of it as there are of other styles of electronic music. The synthwave music that I tend to gravitate to though is the slower, more prodding, more cinematic-sounding stuff. The stuff that emulates 80s movie soundtracks, essentially. That’s a bit closer to what we have here.

    I grew up listening to electronic music. It’s one of the things that lead me down the “path of cyberpunkery” from an early age. It always appealed to me, even as a young child. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, music was such a commonplace thing and so integrated into culture and society that it almost seemed kind of mundane. But it was electronic music that, whenever I heard it, piqued my interest in not only the music itself, but whatever media was associated with it. I’m not sure why. It might be my love of computer technology from a young age. Or it might’ve been my love of science fiction, also from a young age. But something about music being composed with technology appealed to me on a deeper level than traditional music ever did.

    In the 80s, electronic music was fairly prevalent for a variety of reasons. I imagine one of those reasons was the mass marketing and consumerism surrounding synthesizers. New wave music was getting really big and every band had to have a synth/keyboard player. At least one. Sometimes many more. So I imagine the market for synthesizers blew up as a result of every high school kid wanting to start a band and be the next new wave phenomenon.

    Another major reason was movies. Electronic music scores certainly didn’t start in the 80s. There was Wendy Carlos’ amazing score for A Clockwork Orange, a film that came out in 1971 and predated the 80s proliferation of electronic movie scores by far. It was, as I understand, hugely influential on it though. And rightfully so.

    You could spend a whole day talking about all the 80s films that used electronic music scores and only get to a fraction of them. The reason for this is debatable. There is a likelihood that many movie producers/directors simply chose it for aesthetic effect because it fit the theme of the film perfectly. The Terminator and it’s score by Brad Fiedel is a good example here. But I suspect that there was a bigger reason that electronic scores were so prevalent in the 80s and it has to do with budgets. Often these scores were created by one single person. And it was infinitely cheaper for movie studios to hire one musician with a synthesizer to compose a score than to hire a high-profile composer and an orchestra. So I assume using synthwork was a cost-cutting measure by movie studios.

    But hey, that’s ok. It’s what lead to the amazing revival of 80s movie-sounding music we have today in the 2020s known as synthwave. Thank you cheap-ass movie studios!

    My exposure to electronic music owes itself to this. I watched a lot of movies as a kid in the 80s and so I experienced a lot of electronic music. There were three films in particular whose scores stood out and helped create a deep-seeded love of electronic music in me. One was the aforementioned The Terminator. But there were two more that had an even bigger, more profound impact. It should be no surprise, given the theme of this website, that one of them was Blade Runner. The other was Legend. Two very different movies by the same director, Ridley Scott. Blade Runner’s soundtrack was composed by Vangelis and Legend’s was composed by Tangerine Dream.

    The music these artists composed was often referred to as “new age” by media outlets. That was unfortunate because new age music was associated with many of the fluff pseudo-religious movements of the time. I had heard new age music, and this was not that. Even as a child I knew this was not that. It was moody, yes. It was calm, yes. It was ambient, yes. But it wasn’t new age, even if the artists themselves sometimes used the term to describe their own music. It was a disservice to the brilliantly deep, creative, thought provoking electronic compositions they were creating.

    These artists were actually part of a music scene known as “Berlin school” or “the Berlin school of electronic music” as many of the genre’s most prominent artists were from, or were based in, Berlin, Germany. Vangelis was more of an honorary member as he was from Greece, but created a very similar style of music. I didn’t know anything about this genre at the time though. I had no idea it even existed. I was a kid and there was no internet available to the average American household. I had to rely on music magazines that I would peruse whenever I’d visit a book or music store and glean whatever info I could. Had it not been for these films though, I sadly wouldn’t have even known these artists existed at all.

    As movies got bigger and bigger, they also got bigger and bigger budgets. And eventually the synth-based score became less popular as movie studios began to favor classical “organic” scores with big grand orchestras and high-profile composers at the helm. Electronic music itself was also evolving away from the analogue modular synthesis work of the late 70s/early 80s and began adopting digital and software-based technologies in the late 80s and especially as the 90s rolled in. Modern electronica took off and Berlin school music, as it had been known, became less prevalent and more underground. The most prominent artists like the aforementioned Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, as well as others like Jean Michel-Jarre and Klaus Schulze continued to thrive but weren’t talked about much outside of electronic music enthusiast circles.

    The genre wasn’t dead but it had become niche. And it would stay that way until a little revival from the 2010s to the 2020s. Some newer artists have begun adopting the old styles of Berlin school and creating a modern take on them. Arists like Neuland and Martin Stürtzer are great examples. Even bands like Apoptygma Berzerk have gone back to their modular synth roots and started writing modern music with older tech, and it’s all the better for it. Which all brings me, finally, back to Megan McDuffee and her album In a Weary World.

    McDuffee has earned a name for herself for creating music for critically acclaimed video game soundtracks including Wayforward’s River City Girls series and Atari’s Recharged series of revamped classics. She’s a highly sought-after artist for video game, TV, and film projects and despite being such a prolific artist for years, she didn’t release her full length debut album until May, 2021. In a Weary World is her latest full length effort. It’s a completely instrumental album in the vein of the aforementioned Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and Wendy Carlos. She describes the album as chillwave, a downtempo style of music often associated with synthwave.

    Image Credit: Megan McDuffee / Artwork by Casey George

    For me, what the album really is, though, is a modern and updated take on classic Berlin school music. And it sounds like an authentic one too. I’ve said on this website before that this style of music is the unofficial sound of cyberpunk thanks to Vangelis’ score to Blade Runner. And indeed, In a Weary World is chock full of cyberpunk vibes. Every track on this album conjures up mental images of a calming journey through a futuristic cityscape at night. It’s easy to get lost in these mental images as you listen and a whole fictional cyberpunk world unfolds in your mind.

    There are 9 tracks on this album with a total play time of roughly 33 minutes. Most of the tracks are ambient, though percussive elements pop up from time to time that, while not quite dance-worthy, raise the tempo up a bit. But everything stays below mid-tempo here. The beats are simple but effective. The album is relaxing and cinematic through and through. The lush, classic-sounding synthwork succeeds in sounding simultaneously retro and futuristic, which has in modern times become a staple of this genre and one of the things that I’ve come to adore about it. The dichotomy of the the two puts my head in such a delightfully unique place that I’d physically move to it and live in it if I could.

    In a Weary World couldn’t be more aptly named. This was exactly the collection of music I needed to escape the stress and anxiety of life in the world of 2022. I loved every minute of this album. It’s a short but sweet collection of retro-style and modern production that took me on a journey to a delightful retro-futuristic world. This album goes on my list of important works in this genre and will be one of the soundtracks for my many cyberpunk daydreams for years to come. It checks all the boxes on the list of everything I love about this genre.

    In a Weary World can be purchased on Megan McDuffee’s bandcamp page for $8. A small price to pay for a fantastic collection of music that will take you on a voyage to a much more relaxing dystopia.

  • Cloudpunk Review

    Cloudpunk Review

    Cloudpunk is a game that had been on my radar for a long time. The game was formally announced back in 2018 by indie developer ION LANDS. It immediately piqued my interest. The idea seemed straightforward at the time. It was like the flying car segments of Blade Runner except you were a UPS-style delivery driver working in a vast cyberpunk city. It was a unique idea that immediately appealed to me. I wanted to fly freely around a huge cyberpunk city with electronic lights glowing in the endless rainfall. I wanted to so badly. So I followed the game’s development for the next two years and became increasingly excited as new details emerged. Then it was finally released in 2020 and I. . .did not get it for another two years. This year. This week in fact.

    And now that I have played through it I realize what a fool I’ve been. An absolute fool. A ridiculous, absolute fool. Had I known at the time how much I was going to love this game, I would have purchased it on day one. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I wanted to fly around an endless cyberpunk city in a flying car delivering packages and when I finally could, I delayed. Cloudpunk indeed delivered (heh) the Blade Runner-ish flying car package delivery that it promised for years that it would. But it also turned out to be so much more than I was expecting.

    It never stops raining in Nivalis. The city is oozing with atmosphere and you’re free to explore it all.

    The game wastes no time throwing you into the aforementioned flying car, called a HOVA in-game. You are Rania, a startlingly level-headed woman with a wry sense of humor who has just recently arrived in the city for work in order to pay off debt. Debt is a big deal in this world, by the way. If you are in debt, you are relentlessly pursued by a group called the DebtCorps whose job it is to make your life a living hell until you pay what you owe. They’ll take your home, kidnap your relatives, and do god-knows-what to you if they catch you.

    The city Rania has arrived in is called Nivalis and the work she has come to the city to do is to be a delivery driver for a sometimes sketchy delivery company called Cloudpunk. You are given a brief introduction to the city and to Cloudpunk by a mysterious dispatcher known to you only as Control. You eventually learn his real name later on but for most of the game he is simply referred to as “Control.”

    You are told to go to Cloudpunk HQ to pick up a package and deliver it to a destination that is given to you by Control. This is the crux of the gameplay in Cloudpunk. At it’s core you are simply delivering packages, and sometimes people from Point-A to Point-B. When Control gives you a job to do, he will place a “nav point” on your map. This is an icon that shows up on your map and shows you where to fly your HOVA to.

    The focus of the gameplay is on the flying segments but there are plenty of on-foot areas where you get to exit your HOVA and explore an area by walking around. This is usually when you arrive at a delivery destination. After you find a parking spot, that is (this turned out to be one of the most challenging aspects of this game). The on-foot segments are fun but limited as you don’t interact with the environment much outside of operating switches for elevators, picking up an item from time to time, or interacting with vendors. It’s immediately noticeable how little you can interact with the environment in these scenes and it really says a lot about the design of the setting that I would immediately want to interact more with it.

    After you deliver your packages, it’s back in the HOVA for you where you will almost immediately be contacted by Control and given your next mission. There is a lot of playful banter between Raina and Control and it’s a fun little addition that makes the characters more personable. Your other companion while exploring Nivalis is Camus. Camus is an AI assistant who appears as a dog. He helps Rania during her trips through the city and even provides useful guidance her make moral decisions from time to time. Aside from Control, Camus is Raina’s only friend for most of the game.

    When arriving at delivery locations you exit your HOVA and explore the area on foot.

    Not every job you are given is as simple as delivering from Point-A to Point-B. There are some morally questionable delivery requests that pop up from time to time. Cloudpunk as a company doesn’t ask questions, but Rania and Camus certainly do. For example, one of the early packages when picked up is making a strange sound that makes Camus uneasy. When he tells you that he doesn’t like it, a secondary nav point is added to your map and you’re given the option to delivery the package to it’s intended recipient or take it to a trash disposal. As it turns out, the package was a bomb intended to blow up the recipient.

    I ended up delivering the package to the intended recipient because I didn’t yet realize right away that I had the option to do something else, despite Camus’ pleading. I felt bad but I made up for it by making future moral decisions more carefully. There is no long term impact of whatever decision you make. It triggers some interesting dialogue between you and Control and between you and Camus. But to have the option to disobey orders and make a decision that you feel is right is a nice touch.

    While you are making your deliveries you are meeting various people and speaking with them. As you do this you start to realize that there is an overarching story unfolding. This is where the game surprised me. I knew that I’d be meeting and talking to various people and learning more about them beforehand. But I was not expecting to experience the sort of in-depth story-telling present here.

    Rania notices a lot of people in Nivalis use the term CORA in various ways. It’s sometimes as slang, sometimes in the context of something mythical. But sometimes in a literal sense, as though it were a living thing that truly exists. Rania becomes more and more curious the more she hears the term used and begins to investigate what or who CORA is. The city, according to its citizens, is very old. Hundreds, or possibly even thousands of years. No one really knows. The city is treated in many ways as though it’s systems are mythical. No one really knows how the city works, technologically speaking. That information was lost ages ago. They just know that until now it has. But things start going wrong with the city and its various systems and Rania and others believe CORA might be involved.

    CORA and its nature are one of the most intriguing aspects of the game.

    This aspect of the story gripped me and inspired me to keep playing. I wanted to unlock more of the mystery surrounding CORA. And when the truth was finally revealed, I was not disappointed. This was real cyberpunk novel-worthy stuff.

    As good as the story is, the real star of the show here is the city itself. Nivalis is a living city, bustling with endless amounts of people, be they human or android, and other HOVAs flying around the busy “roads” all around the city. Visually, the city is stunning. It consists of hundreds of tiers stacked upon each other and extends over vast distances in all directions. All over you see the electronic light of digital billboards riddled with ads, the lights of noodle shops and apartments. You can navigate your HOVA up and down all these tiers, but not all the way to the towers above the clouds. Those can only be accessed by the ultra-rich. You do access some of these “spires” but only when it involves a delivery job you have to do.

    And it’s raining. Constantly. The entirety of the game takes place on Rania’s first night on the job so it’s possible that it’s just a rainy day. But it is never not raining in Nivalis during the game and I have no complaints about that. The city is delightfully atmospheric as a result.

    Adding to the atmosphere is the sounds you hear as you walk past various establishments. You’ll hear sirens above you as police HOVAs are chasing someone around in the skies above you. You may hear the thumping of bass as you pass a night club. You’ll hear ads and occasionally news reports. This all adds a sensation of life to the city.

    On top of all the background and foreground sounds you hear, there is also the music. Which I would be remiss not to mention. The soundtrack, composed by Harry Critchley, is very good. It’s mostly electronic music in the vein of various styles of synthwave. You have everything from the more ambient atmospheres of Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack to the more pulsing dance-oriented stuff that has risen in popularity over the last few years.

    All of this amounts to an extremely fun, addictive game that I had a hard time turning off. I played through almost the entirety of the game in one session and it was over too soon. Which brings me to my second complaint about Cloudpunk. It’s too damn short. When the game was done, I wanted more. It’s like a movie that is so good you wish it wouldn’t end. Fortunately ION LANDS has since released DLC for the game that acts as a full-fledged sequel called City of Ghosts. I’m looking forward to playing that and will tackle it in a separate review sometime in the future.

    Cloudpunk is a breezy, fun, and very addictive adventure through a living cyberpunk world that feels real even in spite of it’s voxel-style graphics. A little more interactivity with the on-foot segment would have made this a near perfect experience. It’s a game that I will likely replay time and time again forever. I love being in the city of Nivalis. I’d live there if I could.

  • All Those Moments Will Be Lost, like Tiers in Rain

    All Those Moments Will Be Lost, like Tiers in Rain

    To the Tannhäuser Gate and Back

    It’s long been a dream of mine to write professionally. And indeed I have attempted to pursue this dream through many a (failed) website in the past. Unfortunately I never pursued it as fervently as I would have needed to in order to become even vaguely successful at it. I will chalk that up to immaturity, among a whole lot of other things.

    Now that I’m a bit older and see the universe and myself disintegrating before my eyes, I realize that I can’t stop time. Which is lame. But have therefore come to the conclusion that all I want to do is write—whether I’m successful or not—before entropy washes away all things and I dissolve into nothingness and become one with the Force or something.

    So, I’m just going to do it. But this time, I’m going to stick to it.

    As for the name, Tiers in Rain or ‘TiersInRain’ is simply the name I use for all my online activities, social networks, etc.. An obvious play on words, “tiers” could represent my love of video gaming (tiers as in tiers, or levels, in a video game), or possibly tiers of a tall building set amidst a dark city skyline. And the “tears in rain” part is where it gets a little intense.

    The Tears in Rain Monologue

    As I hinted at in the heading above, Tiers in Rain is a play on words and a reference to Blade Runner. Specifically, the quote is from the character of Roy Batty. If you are familiar with the film, you likely know where the expression “tears in rain” comes from. I believe this has a pretty profound meaning, especially when taken in context with what the film, and the book it’s based on, are about.

    It comes from the infamous “tears in rain” monologue in the final scene of the film, in which Batty, who is the antagonist of the story, attempts to elicit empathy for his situation from the protagonist, Rick Deckard. The same empathy that he and other replicants in the story are accused of lacking.

    “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 Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

    -Roy Batty, Blade Runner

    One of the most famous quotes in the history of film, and a heartbreaking one. Especially if you take into consideration that these memories that Batty remembers so powerfully and vividly, may not have ever happened. At least not to him. The replicants are artificial lifeforms that are given implanted false memories to make them feel, and therefore act, more human.

    They also have a very short lifespan.

    I Want More Life

    Roy and his team come to Earth from off-world military servitude in order to find a way to extend their life. To do this he arranges a meeting with Dr. Tyrell, head of the Tyrell corporation and Roy’s creator.

    There is sort of a spiritual undertone to this story, which can be seen as analogous to a mortal human seeking eternal life by becoming redeemed to God. And Tyrell, playing the role of God in the replicants’ lives, fails to fulfill that role sufficiently. He is unable to extend his life.

    In no way do I see Roy as the hero of the story. He does kill people, including his creator. But he’s not exactly a complete villain either. He’s a tragedy. The creation of human greed and ego. Given a simulacrum of a human soul and human desires but denied a true human existence. He has the human instinct of survival. He has the desire to continue to live and he seeks it through his creator, his god. But since his god is human, it’s a fool’s errand.

    I see myself as something similar to Roy Batty and also something different. A created being. Deeply flawed. Dying. And I seek to extend my life beyond the few years we as humans have to live on this Earth. And my memories are profound, to me at least.

    Tyrell’s response to Roy is kind of heartless. He tells him that he can’t stop him from dying and suggests he simply accept that his life has been magnificent and that he’s had experiences that few humans ever will, albeit short.

    He’s not wrong, but it doesn’t solve the problem. And that’s all Roy wants.

    What It All Means

    This might have something to do with why I want to write and why I started Tiers in Rain. I feel like my writing is here to sort of revel in my life experiences. It might be purely cathartic. It might not have any purpose beyond that. It doesn’t matter. I’m just putting it out there to say, “I was here. I experienced these things.” Tiers in Rain is here to contain those statements.

    That wasn’t good enough for Roy. But it’s enough for me. Because my god isn’t human. My god won’t patronize me the way Tyrell did with Roy. Whether my writing has meaning or not, I know that my experiences have greater meaning in the life beyond this Earth.

    So the tears in rain monologue has a slightly different meaning for me.

    For me, it is the pain and the suffering, the sorrow and heartbreak, and the sting of death. Those are the moments that will be lost.

    Like tears in rain.