In a more recent interview, Scott Bukatman admits that cyberculture has changed so much since the publication of his book that terminal identity may well have become an obsolete term. ‘It seems that people have gotten more comfortable with a sense of overlap: that there’s a physical culture and an electronic culture, and that’s not exactly the same thing’, he says. ‘We don’t think it’s confusing to go from one to the other any more… It’s like virtual reality was never all it was cracked to be.’
Perhaps it’s true that social media and virtual reality hasn’t changed us in the way science fiction has incessantly prophesied. We understand that there are things in the material world that cyberspace can never offer, and some semblance of the virtual/real binary remains intact. However, therein lies a danger of complacency. ‘If we’re so comfortable that we no longer reflect on it, except when somebody commits suicide because they were harassed on Facebook or something like that, then there’s trouble,’ Bukatman warns.
When the telescope was first invented, humans must’ve wondered they would finally see God behind the clouds. Alas, as unimaginably vast as space was, God was nowhere to be found.
But there exists another place, more pervasive and immediate, yet elusive and inaccessible. It lies outside time, space, and being – better suited to God’s needs – where everyone can be immortal, immaterial, and infinitely connected to one another.
Eventually, mankind too invented a device that gave them access to this place. It heralded the end of the space age – and it was where they found God.
That device was the modern computer, and thus began the cybernetic age.
Just to update you guys, I’m currently working on a post on Serial Experiments Lain. This will be THE most ambitious post I’ve ever done, because I’m actually reading an ENTIRE BOOK to just write it.
So yeah, it’s a lot of effort. But I take my anime critique seriously >:) And I have A LOT of things to say about Serial Experiments Lain which no one else, to my knowledge, has said before (and I’ve read up voraciously on anything and everything there is to read on Serial Experiments Lain out there on the web). I think it’s totally gonna blow your mind, and it’ll be worth the wait. Gimme some time, it’ll come out eventually.
Btw, if anyone’s interested, the book in question is Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction by Scott Bukatman.
So recently, I received an email from someone who made my day (don’t worry, I did get permission):
I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your veganime blog. I’m not vegan/vegetarian (I’ve done it for a bit before, live/play with people who are, and am more focused on other advocacy areas at the moment.)
I think, in general, your blog is one of the most awesome critical readings of anime that I’ve found. I also think that even outside of veganism/vegetarianism in general, the things you talk about are really good analyses of struggles that anyone attempting any kind of ethical living will go through, in relation to the world, in relation themselves, in relation to the fortunate and unfortunate social politics one finds in communities around their particular ethical living.
So even in the areas I’m actively grappling with, your blog has really awesome insights that apply!
This isn’t the first email I’ve gotten, though it is the longest. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me, by the way :) Continue reading
In part 1, I discuss how the superficiality of mass media altruism has widened the gap between altruistic intention and altruistic action. In part 2, I discuss how altruistic intentions are also necessarily self-interested.
Okay, we get it. We are insecure, hypocritical, pathetic. We aren’t capable of doing good even when we want to (or at least we think we want to). Thanks for the fucking vote of confidence. This is why Anno is screwed up and Evangelion is bad for you. Now what? Continue reading
In part 1, I discuss how Shinji is a reflection of a kind of superficial altruism that mass media has encouraged us to embrace, that consequently discourages us from acting altruistically in our lives.
So the solution that Evangelion proposes is simple, right? We need to stop having unrealistic expectations of what constitutes altruism, and start acting altruistically in whatever ways we can (hinthintgovegan). Problem solved.
Bzzzzt. Wrong. Evangelion doesn’t just question mass media altruism. It questions if altruism even exists at all.
Now we’re talking neurotic.
Altruism is tricky business. Continue reading
The moment I heard what others had to say about Attack on Titan, I knew that I was obligated to watch this show, and to write something about it. Apparently, Attack on Titan relates the way in which the titans treat humans to the way in which humans treat animals. Apparently, it could function as a commentary on animal exploitation.
An anime that makes people think about animal exploitation? That is a hit amongst the masses? Surely you jest.
Okay, so the comparisons are plain as day. Continue reading