Blog Post 1: Affect of Animals

Before this class I would have said that I understood what it meant to have agency. However, now I am not even sure I know exactly what it means to have agency. As we learned in the readings early on in this class, everything even inanimate objects can be affective. What stood out to me the most was when Teresa Brennan said in her book The Transmission of Affect, that the transmission of affect means, “that we are not self-contained in terms of our energies. There is no secure distinction between the “individual” and the “environment”. I wish people actually thought like this, but sadly I don’t think they do.

In society, thinking that individuals and the environment are one in the same is reserved for hippy tree huggers. Personally I whole-heartedly agree that individuals are no different from their environment, but I do not think everyone agrees. People still argue that global warming is a myth and our actions have no negative effect on the planet. However, that is simply not true. Jane Bennett addresses this issue in her book Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, when she says that a guiding question for her book is, “How would political responses to public problems change were we to take seriously the vitality of (nonhuman) bodies?”. I think this question perfectly sums up the fact that some politicians refuse to address the issue of global warming.

Similar to this idea is the question of animal rights. Do animals or nonhuman bodies deserve to be taken seriously by politicians? Should there be laws in place that protect animals despite the fact that they cannot speak for themselves? These questions were ones that I tried to address in my ecology. By examining how humans interacted with animals throughout NYC I was hoping to get a better understanding of the affect animals have on us. Sadly as I visited the Central Park Zoo and listened to the workers there talk about the Sea Lions enjoying their shows because they would practice the tricks on their own time; I realized that people like to see only what they want to see. Why would a Sea Lion enjoy having to perform tricks to get food while being caged in a small tank?

Understanding the affect of media and technology on society is no easy feat, and it might even be impossible. However, what should be easy to understand is that even though as humans we have our own individual dreams and goals, we all live on this planet. Therefore, we should treat our environment with respect, because by harming our planet we are only harming ourselves. That includes all the other animals on the planet, because they too are linked to us. We cannot survive without bees, but yet we are killing them off with the pesticides we use.

As MCC students the best thing we can do is take the readings, Life after New Media and The World Wide Web, to heart and realize that the media we create can make a difference on the world. With the power of the internet and mediation we can hopefully change the way in which people think about our environment and what it means to be an individual, on a global scale. Even though media can be evil it can also be very powerful, and the affect it can have on society is very real.



– Marco





~ by msignorelli7193 on May 10, 2016.

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