The “Body Electric” reading about electric belts and the intimacies of technology reminded me of the movie Her, in which a man falls in love with his computer’s operating system. The de la Pena article is closely related to this movie through the general theme of societies’ different uses for technology, and also the connections humans can develop with technology. In the reading it is a purely physical relationship, but the movie is more concerned with the emotional aspect (although there are some uncomfortable scenes that tackle both). Currently, we use technology to connect with other humans, for the most part; but artificial intelligence as it is shown in the film would likely change that dynamic drastically.
Aside from the fact that I really enjoyed this movie, I wanted to write about Her because its imagined future so closely resembles the electric belt craze of the very real past. Considering one of the goals of this course is to make the ordinary foreign and vice-verse, what could be considered strange about our culture’s behaviors and attitudes regarding technology?
The word “hegemony” refers to when a dominant group seeks to control a subordinate group and remain in advantage, often through manipulation and coercion. I chose to look at the hegemony behind fast food corporations and their surprising influence on politics, as well as our diets.
By blatantly targeting the middle and lower classes in print ads and TV commercials, fast food companies are trying to take advantage of the lower classes by selling bad food for cheap, while raking in the profits. In recent years there have also been scandals concerning how fast food giants use their influence and money, like Chick-fil-A’s support of anti- gay marriage lobbyist groups. This issue raised alarm over the fact that these companies can gain power and control even outside of their products, often without consumers’ knowledge. It makes sense that companies like this would get greedy and seek to expand their influence, but having lobbyists looking out for the interests of these corporations is extremely dangerous, both to politics and our health.
Realistically, would you still support a company knowing this was going on? Are there other industries that abuse their power in a similar way?