Evil Edna and capitalism

There are so many avenues to explore in this film – the evil TV persona of the TV (AKA Evil Edna – a most obvious metaphor for the evils of technology); the waste; the creeping introduction of less than desirable content etc. However I would like to build on some of the ideas discussed in the week one tutorial regarding who ‘gifted’ the technology, why and what might be the effect.

This piece appears to represent a dystopian view on the role of technology, and is potentially a metaphor for its links to capitalism. There are religious echoes throughout: the sub-title ‘Obey his command’; the mount sinai ascent; the dense clouds; thunder and lightening and the worship. The religion in this case appears perhaps to be that of ‘commodity’ at least in the first instance (the proliferation of adverts on the TV, the wastefulness). The deity who gifts this technology then, is perhaps not a metaphysical, spiritual being, but one which has an interest in commodification. Within this proposed metaphor it could represent any one of a number of large corporate entities with an eye on profit within the digital/media world; Facebook, twitter, Google for instance, all of whom share a ‘free’ product with citizens. The omnipresence of the deity becomes apparent when the searchlights begin to track down the citizens. All the while its gift is fracturing the old society, by segmenting it into groups (football fans; gym junkies; children). This could potentially be an example of Lyon’s (2001) ‘intensifying surveillance techniques which increasingly and routinely ‘sort’ populations’ (quoted in Hand p.30) which as Hand goes on to say is a practice ‘inextricably tied to the commodifying tendencies of late capitalism’ (Hand p.30). Finally, in this piece the technology has a tendency to dispatch (read – ‘kill’) citizens, especially those who are different (ice-cream eater), and perhaps this is representative of Hand’s ‘coming society of monadic citadels, a neo-feudal ghettoisation of excluded communities subsisting in a parody of ‘competitive capitalism’ and the global market of atomised interests’ p.33

THANKS fellow #ededc-ers for the ideas!!!


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