“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” This line of the replicant in Blade Runner referred to robotic battles in remote worlds, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to apply it to phenomena we are living right now which, indeed, are pretty hard to believe.

One is the coronavirus crisis that has returned us to the past and called into question our way of life. Another is the environmental crisis that threatens to render our economic and social system unworkable. Then there’s the political crisis that has reared its head with particularly unedifying virulence in the American elections, where, like Roy Batty in the Ridley Scott film, we’ve seen things we’d never have imagined seeing and still can’t quite believe: sympathizers awaiting vote counts armed with assault rifles; a leader not accepting results unless they’re in his favor, thus blowing up the very system that put him in power four years ago; TV networks cutting off their broadcasts of a presidential statement because of intolerable amounts of fake news; incendiary tweets calling for protest in a clear climate of civil war…

Many are the challenges facing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris – the first woman elected VP of the USA – and moderate Americans and much of the world wish them success. The fragility of health, social, and political structures allows depicting the American institutional building as a house of cards, but let’s trust that this architecture can resist the blows of those things we never imagined we’d ever see.

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