January 26th, 2012


'futuristic robot love stories'

A post about 'That's the thing about us' has been drafting itself in my brain for a couple of weeks, and this phrase from Epitonic yesterday nudged me to pull together my thoughts in some kind of communicable format:

"Possibly the world’s least-known supergroup, Apparatjik makes eccentric industrial dance-rock music to soundtrack tales of futuristic robot love stories."

(Sorry, but when I read that I couldn't help but think of these unlikely soulmates :-))

Those of us who have been following along from the beginning generally know about the World of the Apparatjik and the storyline around Josie (find it over here in a more readable format), and we're used to lyrics referring to this strange digital love relationship. Some references to it are sweet, some fun, some questioning, and some - like in 'That's the thing about us' - almost painfully beautiful.

The story has changed over time, but what seems to be consistent is that there are two people (Apparatjiks or humanoids or robots or whatever, I'm just gonna call them 'people' because it's easiest when writing) who have an amazing attraction to one another, who for some reason communicate over a distance and seem to never have clearly declared their feelings for each other. So even though there is a wonderful, deep bond there, and we get clues that they belong together, there is some kind of mysterious and tragic disconnect ('supervoid') keeping them apart.

Do they speak different languages?
Are they of different 'ancestry' and thus physically incompatible? Or is there actual danger in being together? ('we are running, we are hiding..')
Are they in parallel universes, only able to communicate via technology somehow? ('can you see the writing on the screen?')
Is their relationship ultimately doomed, or is there a way to be together if they can only find it? ('will you be my digital valentine?')

Yes, this is all modern mythology around artificial beings, but the way the story is told sounds like a very human experience, and I think many people can probably relate to the emotions in the songs.

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So is there any hope for these two? They both lack confidence and trust in each other's love. The only way to build trust and confidence is to risk everything and be open for once. If she can learn to trust herself - and to trust him - and if he can find a way to let her know how he feels and that she is safe with him, they could actually get somewhere.

If this were a Hollywood movie, it would probably play out like this: he would find the courage to finally declare himself clearly, somehow convince her she is safe with him, and then there would be a passionate kiss and all her defenses would magically disappear and they'd start a new life together, fade to credits, where did we park the car? But in real life and in the World of the Apparatjik, I doubt it could be that simple ;-)