Friday, February 16, 2007

After much reflection on "Crash"

I’ve really struggled over the past week to fit Crash into a larger world scope. I found three things throughout the book that really struck me.
The first of these is the idea of “Autogeddon.” Ballard seemed to view Autogeddon as vehicles bringing about the end of civilization. It strikes me that Autogeddon may really betaking place in the form of global warming caused by vehicles in the hydrocarbon era. In the novel Vaughn uses his Lincoln as a force of destruction, where as in the world today the gas guzzlers like his Lincoln are causing the greatest environmental damage.
The second point I was able to dig from Crash was a warning against media desensitization of viewers. Throughout the novel actions became more violent and more outrageous for the characters, like a heroin addict more and more was needed in order to feel anything. In our world outside of the novel you can see the same thing happening. Take for example movies, since the beginning of the CGI era violence is becoming more and more graphic. I personally am very disturbed by the recent popularity of torture movies like Hostel.
The third point I found was the problem of technology becoming a necessary part of and overpowering personal relationships. This is most obvious in Ballard not being able to sexually perform outside of a car. Since 73 when Crash was written humans are becoming more and more separated and depending more and more on technology to communicate. We have lost the personal touch of looking at a person’s script when reading a letter. When reading an e-mail you have no clue to the writer’s mood like you may get through penmanship. Finally the piece of technology that confuses me the most and even more cuts the personal ties of communication is text messaging. We now have to type into our phone rather than simply talk to the person at the other end.
Well that being said I have to check my e-mail and send a couple of texts.

1 comment:

terra said...

I thought that your global warming analogy seemed quite appropriate for Ballard's "autogedden". Smog had already been an issue in London since the late 19th century. He definitely could have thought that the many vehicles would only contribute to the problem, and ultimately lead to the demise of everyone. Also, you are quite right about today's technological dependence. Text messaging is not personable, and they can often be interpreted incorrectly. However, it can be an efficient way to communicate with someone. I have friends that prefer that method, and refuse to listen to their voice-mails. Because of this technology, I feel as though I can and must be connected to my friends at all times. As a result, I have become completely dependent on it, and when it fails or people do not respond, I tend be frustrated. I find it disturbing how society has evolved into a one that is so incredibly dependent and controlled by technology.