Sunday, August 25, 2013

On Gattaca

Its not often an obscure movie from 1997 comes up in conversation twice in one day, however, sometime early last week this did indeed happen regarding Gattaca.  And while there have been many things I have wanted to write about in recent weeks, they all were of a bit more heavy and involved variety.  I need something interesting, yet simple, to get the words to flow once again so here is my somewhat (very) mediocre attempt at writing again.

Initially, I was having a discussion regarding inheritance of autoimmune disease and genetic predisposition.  All of the sudden, I more or less felt like I was describing this movie.  I said as much, yet the person I was speaking with had never seen it.  The thought crossed my mind to watch it again and see exactly how close to reality it had become, but I checked on netflix, and it wasn't available unless you have the dvd to your house option (no way, jose).  And I moved on.

That afternoon, on facebook, I saw an article similar to this one mentioned and Gattaca once again was mentioned (the post has mysteriously disappeared).  If we blood test for suicide risk (premise of the article), what are the possibilities?  Will this harm or hurt people? Was Gattaca more along these lines?  I just couldn't remember.

That was it.  I had to watch the movie.  For the mere price of $9.99 I downloaded it to my phone (thank you so much modern technology) and watched away.  The first 10 or so minutes of the movie were most like reality.  Its amazing to watch movies from less than 20 years ago that were more or less science fiction that have more or less become reality.

In the movie, prejudice is no longer based on race or income or any of the other typical categories we put people in.  Through genetics and IVF, parents are able to ensure that the absolute "best" embryo is the one that becomes their child.  Regardless of ability to get pregnant the old fashioned way, naturally conceived children have become the lower class of citizen.

However, they still aren't able to control fate and accidents can, and do, still happen.  The movie points out that some things will always be left to chance and no matter the overwhelming odds, a 1 in 100 chance still means there's a chance.

If you have a couple of hours, its worth it.  Not only is it an interesting take on society, the "moral of the story" is actually pretty good too.  I'm thankful for all the luck I've had in my life ... but I'm also thankful for all the hard work I've put in to make the luck work the best it can.  :)

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