For this post I’d like to focus on the moment in Global Frequency when Sita Patel is patched through to the global frequency. Within moments of the initial call, she is first introduced to the threat at hand, biological warfare. She is told that she only has twenty minutes to disable the bomb and within seconds is off and running. She treats the city as an obstacle course and navigates through, all while being briefed on the impending doom.
This brief comic can be related back to enframing, which is described in detail by Martin Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology.” He states “It is precisely in enframing, which threatens to sweep man away into ordering as the ostensibly sole way of revealing, and so thrusts man into the danger of the surrender of his free essence.” This quote illustrates the fear and danger of becoming enframed. While that fear may be legitimate, i.e. Sita is very hesitant about being dispatched to disable the biological weapon but goes along nonetheless, there are also some positives. Global Frequency enlightens the reader by exposing a favorable side to enframement. In Global Frequency, the standing reserve, i.e. enframed party, can be thought of as everyone on the network. In this case, the network is so extensive and wide ranging that it seems there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved by someone or some group on the frequency.
The two narratives described above use very different form to convey the message. Heidegger tends to use fear of the unknown to convey his message of fear and wariness of enframement. The sentence structure includes very elegantly constructed phrases with sometimes concealed meanings. Contrarily, Warren Ellis utilizes common, basic conversation to describe his view. Ellis seems to explore both sides of the issue by showing not only the instant response demanded of the Global Frequency, but the slight hesitation to the response. Members answered the call of duty, but they were not always completely in agreeance. This response can be compared to a common soldier’s response to his commanding officer, i.e. if he tells you to jump, the overwhelming response should always be, “How high?” That kind of enframement is the way in which our world is trending. Examples such as slavery, the Nazi concentration camps, and now even Facebook and ISIS all are examples of enframement. A global frequency which can solve all of the terroristic issues of the world is one thing, but when enframement is the root cause of, or propagates into, terrorism, issues arise.
Now, how exactly did Warren Ellis relate narrative and technology? Well, Global Frequency accomplishes narrative through technology. This comic is novel in that brings to light multiple, complex issues through a laid back, conversational approach which takes place over the airwaves. This approach is critical because the comic appeals to a different audience than Heidegger. They both bring to light the issues regarding enframement but the differing structures allow for a larger overall population’s enlightenment. If more people are not aware of society’s daily attempt at enframement, we will all become the standing reserve for something, whether we admit to it or not.