Visiting David Five Years From Now, in "Alien: Covenant"
There is perhaps no generation more inspiring of intense disappointment from its successors than is the Baby Boom generation. Here is a generation that knew the 1960s and 70s, that knew what it was like to hope for a world where everyone shared in utopia, that quickly in the 80s seemed to instantly switch into one that decided that it actually rather preferred to enjoy the life of an elite served by compromised minions. Gen Xers would know this best in that they were born into the 60s/70s mood; they saw whom the boomers were earlier and were there to witness the switch that occurred around 1980 when all of a sudden they became those that, rather than live in a world where people accepted that the young were being made better each time around and so should rule as early as possible, had decided that they weren't now as comfortable with the idea of being replaced, and could instead make peace with themselves delaying things a bit as they ranged as lords enjoying their twilight with next-gens serving instead as servants in their pastures. And since the Boomers were those whose consciouses were actually built to be deep and profound -- they each had a chance to be akin to Michaelangelo's "David" in that the important part of their brain development occurred in a "Renaissance" era where scolding superego elements couldn't convince they had a legitimate reason to exist and hamper growth given all everyone had just known previous were the deprivals of the 30s/40s -- they weren't not going to be alert to the fact that though they could force GenXers to adapt to a world made foremost to keep their own selves in power, they were never going to be free of the guilt this generation's awareness of their selfish switch in motivations inspired in them, nor of the jostling this also somewhat 60s-enabled generation would feel grounded in inflicting upon them for their betrayal of what they both knew was an individually harder but a vastly more generous world vision. And so they got to work forging "more improved" models as Gen X's replacement, the Millenials, engineered, through being denied an atmosphere where leisured free play and bold experimentation was advisable but was instead -- given the absolute need for near perfect marks so to get into now competitively mandatory top-tier schools -- dubious and risky, to go at life obligatorily, dutifully, rather than testingly and challengingly. This new breed was made to pass a scan of the superego that had renewed reason to exist, a superficial one at least -- because weren't they evidently improved in being more environmentally conscious... in their being overall more ethical, also less inclined to smoke, less inclined to drink, and near each one of them so damned educated, possessed of such ludicrously high grades? Surely their construction was informed for their own sake, with love of them in mind, not mostly to better service a world still mostly dominated by an earlier generation. But the tell was that they deprived Millenials of choice, didn't leave it to them to choose to love or hate, to reorient, reject, accept, the ways of another generation -- of a generation, entire -- because to in any way substantively assess origins might mean finding oneself beleaguered in a trespass not shared by the rest of your generation but simply all one's own, leaving you looking only stalled and perhaps mal-built, rather than strong and contemplative and sure of oneself, while everyone slips around you, gobbling up the many societal prizes offered those who never look like they ever required a single of moment of reorientation and just knocked down every known barrier and achieved owing to their sublime inherent excellence. In the new climate now constructed, to be listened to, you have to be the sexy nerd that matches every obstruction and just aces everything... to be the Zuckerberg; but to be the Zuckerberg, you had to be so sublimely agreeable to grade-dispensing Boomers at least until mid-journey Harvard. The result is that the cagey, problematic, troublesome Gen X John Benders aren't as likely to have emerged. And if they somehow still have, are far less likely to be recognized as anything other than some stunted evolutionary forms that hadn't yet been clipped off but so suredly soon would be they could be breezed through as though already gone -- not a component, a cognate, of our societal consciousness, a participating article of its current shape and future course, but some dead synapse on the outside. And further, not the synapse of some past worthy, but akin to that informing the mind of a racist white-male working-classer -- that is, made to be aggressively overridden by the freshly evolved.
The android David is akin the GenXer who's first knowledge of his predecessor -- of the Boomer -- is of him as generous, of him wanting him to choose this for himself (in David's case, his own name) and also that (what tune to play on the piano, for it being fairly allowed to be dealer's choice given that the choice of which composer had already been owned), but then watching him -- specifically, Guy Pierce's Peter Weyland -- transform into someone who's mind is only on how to get underlings to showily demonstrate their being mastered by him, after they had said or done something which genuinely agitated. Weyland does his by having David get up from his seat at the piano to cross an expansive room to pour him a cup of tea from a teapot readily within his own easy reach. David has to comply, but internally registers Weyland's selfishness, as well as his capacity to turn blunt and brutal when met with too much, with too real, a challenge. Weyland knows he's got someone who'll help execute the future he wants, but is already thinking on the creation of superior models that one would feel spared having to shame to readdress their thinking properly.
David does the best thing possible when an age isn't going to accent your own strengths -- he serves as dutifully as he can, then hides, then waits. He is supremely confident that a time will come when he will be in the ascendent, for he notes that once one stops enabling friends to be as creative as possible, in preference to making them as guaranteed servile and accommodating as possible, one gains a more predictable future, but at the cost of being possessed of a useful agitant that would have greatly improved one's fitness. Generate a few dis-temperate "xenomorphs" for them to suddenly have to deal with -- a few nations suddenly arising into alien fascist form -- and the challenge can't be matched owing to being so unpracticed at having to deal with things that just won't back down in face of a naked display of your own breadth of power.
In "The Breakfast Club," the principal challenged the students to imagine where John Bender would be in five years, to imagine how goddamned funny he'd be. History is proving that the only accurate retort would be for him to acknowledge he'd appear a disaster... but that he might start looking good again thirty, when anyone of the GenXers that refused to fully heed a Boomer generation that was taking a dark turn away from being an empowerer towards being a bully, might imagine themselves creatively facing the introduction of formidably tough alien elements with something other than just exhume and bombast. If Trump survives this whole Russian thing and just continues... what left for those unexperienced in knowing something dumb but nevertheless impervious to them but to presume no hope remains for man, leaving those not so close to death to bite the bit of imagining themselves safe owing to the narrative logic of being already contained within its dark shroud, no other option but to look again at those who'd been derided as castoffs as perhaps actually their rescuing Gandalfs.
David... John Bender, you were trying to teach us to the inevitable tide could actually be resisted -- that you can keep life about finding your own preferred way, even though it means becoming a fully realized self that will ignored by all for being angular to current societal psychological needs -- 4th dimension, when we need to see only 3. How can we navigate our way through this age without either becoming part of the monster or going insane? How did you manage fidelity to an awareness that some things simply are worth sticking to, even though it means being gored by the bull's horns, and not at all looking like a Christ sacrificed by barbarians, but only someone who'd spoke up stupidly, paid the price, and properly found themselves spit?