I Am Legend (2007) How to Regulate Unstable Realities


Reality is substance and significance shaped through time, narrative and exchange. A world exists! exhaustively populated by things and people. Small things and large things. Parasites and elephants. Each ordered and regulated by a peoples need for a minimal exchange. Quid Pro Quo. A dollar for a sandwich. and a sandwich for a dollar. But what is a sandwich? A couple slice of bread hugging meat and mayo. A set of object, each their own unique significance. Bread. Meat. Cheese. Mayo. Separate concepts conjoined and wrapped into something more than just a compound word. Sandwich, in so far that it is a thing and idea, is also a condensation. The individual uniqueness of a Sandwich's parts becomes collateral to its summarization. That thing we eat.

Reality is an assemblage of parts. Shattered, expanded and folded over. Chasing entropy, yet needing a reformation of significance's totality. Or, a re-conjoining. An exchanging or blending of parts. Reassigned for an eventual re-exchange. Circulating between nodes. Pursing half life yet mobile nonetheless.

Let's talk about, I Am Legend.

The film follows Dr. Robert Nevelle. Soldier, scientist and last man standing after a purported cure for cancer turned population into night dwelling vampire-ish creatures.

Robert has a problem. He is alone in New York with nothing to do. He needs a purpose. The daily, scavenging and experiments to find a cure are failing.

But wait there is a dog. Last man's best friends.

But he is not enough.

What is lacking in Roberts life? A narrative exchanged over time. How is this exchange possible without a second exchange agent in which to construct and establish narrative significance. Over time, Robert's routine cracks. Monotony breeds leakage. A composition for something more that same. Leakage facilitated by cracks demand re-joining. Linkage for re-cracking.

When Robert begins exchanging words with himself via mannequin 's he is not seeking a quick fix to deal linkages via entertainment and escapism. He is re-imagining reality. Remoding linkages, using the humanoid statues as tv screens to play out memories. Suddenly he isn't exactly alone in the same way. Robert shifts from being alone without others to being alone with himself. The result is a kind of internalization of the two. The self we take as the one who appears as the ghost in the machine, and the observer who ultimately feels in control but yet is in constant reflection on the polarity created by observing a self's thoughts and the thinking and acting out of those thoughts from the same terminal.

Robert created a self into time via re-arranging a restart to a re-exchange. This returned the motion back to thought.

Freed into slavery, Robert returns to a feigned former self. Something like a pre-apocalypse self. Yet not. The stuff and things in Robert's world have returned to a hijacked societal symphony. Orchestrated by a singular person. So, dismal and crushed via isolation and loss of exchange, he forges the world he sees in from of his eyes into something entirely self-imagined.

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