California, 2049. Inner cities plagued with mass homelessness, corporations are creating cutting edge technology meanwhile growing more powerful, and the weather is toxic. Although this is straight out of Blade Runner 2049, there’s no need to go to the future or watch a movie, for this is the reality of living in California in 2019, making it a cyberpunk dystopia.
High Tech Low Life
There is a huge homeless crisis in the California’s inner cities such as the ones in the Bay Area, and Los Angeles. Looking at the Bay Area for example, this is very true. In the same cities that can built advance cars like Telsa and self driving cars, AI’s, and all the technology that comes out of Silicon Valley, it’s ironic that those are the same cities in which have many homeless people. The cos of living is high, making it hard for people to live there, yet it’s home to many million and billionaires, which is the extraordinary factor. In the same city where there are tech CEO’s who have billions of dollars, homeless people flood the street is increasing proportions. Literally on the same streets people are sleeping on the streets next to their own shit, people are walking by with computers in their hands, riding electronic scooters, driving in smart cars; many people who are struggling as well.
The contrast of rich and poor is very present in the Bay Area, just like how it is in cyberpunk fictions. When looking at high tech low life, a lot of homeless people have cell phones which on occasions are given out for free by the government. It’s astonishing how a person can be so poor, yet have advance technology at their finger tips. This is the greatest element of cyberpunk, and it’s one very present in California.
Although not as present in the previous years, when looking at the fire seasons of 2018, and 2019, they have created circumstances that looked literally like Blade Runner 2049. Unlike how it is normally, the last past Octobers were in the 80s, even in San Francisco which is in the 70’s in August due to being by the water. Throughout the Bay Area in both years during summer and fall, many times the sun was blocked out from all the fires, causing an unusual scene. San Francisco literally looked like Blade Runner 2049 from this. Here’s a picture of SF in July of 2018 during the fires.
Now here’s a picture of the nuclear fallout of Las Vegas in Blade Runner 2049.
Oddly enough the climate for the above scene was inspired by how Sydney Australia looked in 2009 due to dust storms. It looks practically the same. Although the fires came and went, the presence it had for those months shows how cyberpunk fictions’ climates can be.
WAIT! BEFORE I GET LABELED AS A RACIST, I MUST SAY THAT THIS ASPECT IS NOT A BAD THING UNLIKE THE OTHERS. Unlike the previous ones, this isn’t a negative trait, this is more neutral which doesn’t contribute to the dystopia aspect of cyberpunk, nonetheless it still is cyberpunk. In many cyberpunk works the cities are multicultural, they consist of people from all over the worlds. This is the case in many pars of the US but especially California. In Blade Runner, the city of Los Angeles had a huge Chinese population which is base off of the real life aspect of LA’s Chinese population.
To go further, California is becoming more multicultural as time goes on, just like in Cyberpunk works. It’s ironic that many cyberpunk works such as Blade Runner, Altered Carbon, and Neuormancer takes place in California, and in those works Asian culture is very dominant. After all Cyberpunk takes a lot from Eastern culture.
This place is a fucking shit hole. It only works if you have a shit ton of money, usually through getting a tech job that’ll be replaced by the robots you help create, being an athlete for a shitty team that’s not the Warriors, an actor or actress (don’t want to be called sexist), or being a porn star, although Mia Khalifa only made 12k so think twice before you want to jump on the casting couch. Until next time, thanks for reading and peace motherfuckers.