William Gibson’s ‘Up the Line’, a talk delivered at the Directors Guild of America’s Digital Day on 17th May, 2003 at Los Angeles appeared to veil some inevitable harshness behind his cyberpun approach. Consequences of dependency, either directly or indirectly has been one of the primary elements in Gibson’s satirical approach towards technology.
Gibson’s raw satire on the aggressiveness of media ventures may be deemed as prose fiction, but it is indeed a fiction summed up of non-fictionalized reality. But the writer’s percept of this reality does not concern the immediate present but the near future probable because of the present. “Amidst the indefinite choices of Johnny’s entertainment system, there is one which inserts highly expressive and high resolution dog heads in place of all the characters’ head. However, it is not known to Johnny that such a scenario is based on the once well-recognized Edwardian folk symbol of poker playing dogs, but then it is alright as Johnny is no professor of history and in case if he needed to know it, he would have been informed by the system”, included Gibson in his speech almost a decade back.
Gibson’s quote is quite applicable on the modern American generation, wherein students know to add, subtract, multiply and divide only using a character but the real method of is unknown to them as if they do not bother to know it, because according to them a calculator is more accurate and faster than human brain and if they needed to know the real method of mathematical calculations, the calculator would have done the needful for them too.
Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show ironically displayed the naivety or, chronologically that which may be termed as insensitivity more than naivety of humans in accordance with their addiction and dependence on media and the extent to which people may indulge in order to dissolve in entertainment.
“It is a fact that televisual advancement over realism arrives with an entire storytelling risk, i.e. a risk, which is different from the common ethical, moral and legalistic risk” (Jackson 148).