Technology Connecting the World?

The specific moment I will be focusing on occurs in the opening panels of the “unnamed” chapter involving Takashi Sato. When thinking about the form used throughout this comic, I immediately remembered this chapter because of the fact that it is unnamed. Also, it is the only chapter that did not begin the chapter by asking the question, “Are you on the global frequency?” These distinct changes in form, that had been constant up until this point, were striking and seemed to signal disjointedness in the Global Frequency. The opening panels with Takashi and Aleph further show this disconnect; Takashi panels are illustrated in orange while Aleph panels are illustrated with green and purple colors. This was significant to me because these colors greatly contrast each other. Aleph and Miranda are portrayed sinisterly and somewhat evil in a sense; seeing Aleph illustrated like this reminded me of something like Frankenstein or the Hulk, some type of monster. This contradicted the idea of the global frequency being this global rescue organization depicted throughout the earlier chapters. Also, panels of Takashi and Aleph are surrounded with a fragmented white border, creating distinct separation between the two. This mirrors Takashi’s current attitude toward the Global Frequency. He no longer wants to be a part of it, stating that Aleph has “one thousand other people on the global frequency, just waiting for the call to mount a rescue operation” (Ellis). His tattoo of the Global Frequency symbol has an “X” through it and is shown in multiple panels in the first three pages. The shadows in a few of his panels almost resemble that of a jail cell, as if he is “stuck” in the Global Frequency against his will, forced to go on a rescue operation. Takashi is connected through this network that is the Global Frequency, yet disconnected in the sense that he no longer wants to be in it. Joining the Global Frequency is as permanent as a tattoo; quitting the frequency is as difficult as removing or altering a tattoo.

This type of connect and disconnect that technology creates parallels Martin Heidegger’s idea of enframing nature and people as a standing reserve. The old wooden bridge over the Rhine connects us with nature; it allows us to cross over the river without impeding the flow of the river, without affect its course. Modern technology like the hydroelectric plant disconnects us from nature, obstructing the natural path of the river and exploiting it as a standing reserve, a resource to be stored and used solely for something else. Takashi is connected on the Global Frequency through technology, this global rescue network that saves the world from crises, but disconnected at the same time. The Global Frequency itself is a standing reserve; a standing reserve of people, waiting “for the call,” reified like a soldier in a war, thrown at other soldiers. Takashi wants to quit this reserve, which is represented through the form described through the opening panels.

This chapter of the narrative signals a disconnect of a sort, from depicting the Global Frequency as an altruistic rescue organization where every agent is willing to help out for the greater good, to an organization where an agent feels like standing reserve, as just another agent waiting for the call. This network is connected through technology but disconnected at the same time. In life, technology can connect us in beneficial ways but also separate or isolate us at the same time. Technology must be used in the way of the old wooden bridge over the Rhine, connecting us without disrupting the essence of the connection.

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5 Responses to Technology Connecting the World?

  1. spelunkingseahorse says:

    I was also very intrigued by this chapter featuring Takashi Soto. I was surprised to see that there was an agent that no longer wanted to be a part of the Global Frequency. Prior to this, it seems like this noble rescue organization is an honor to be a part of as you are helping to solve potential world ending crises. Aleph had to guilt him into helping them this one last time since he was the closet agent. These Global Frequency agents have been through some traumatic experiences that have impacted their entire lives and yet there is no way to get off of the frequency once you are on it. Takashi would rather die than continue his life on the frequency. Your connection of this chapter to Heidegger’s essay was very insightful.

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  2. hamiltonjonesii says:

    I really appreciate your discourse on the disconnection between Takashi and the Global Frequency. I also felt that the strong disconnect played a vital role in allowing that episode to convey its message. I am also very intrigued by your thoughts on the ways technology should be used. While I agree that technology is evolving at a dangerously exponential rate, I believe that as long as there is responsible growth that technology. I wish that there was more room in your essay to expand on this topic. I am very interested to hear if you have any further take on both the ways that technology can be used in beneficial and hindering ways.

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  3. soc19 says:

    I like that you touched upon the differences in the colorization and design in this chapter as compared to the rest of the volume. I also noticed these differences, and was particularly impressed by the art style: the artist who illustrated this chapter has a distinctly less “cartoon/comic-like” style and more of a realistic style, complete with very detailed rendering of facial expressions, clothing, etc. The more photo-realistic art makes the medical facility human experiment subjects all the more gruesome, and we can see the anguish and revolt clearly through Takashi’s expressions. The tone of the chapter is much darker, and like your post mentions, the design of the chapter seems to portray the less glamorous aspects of being part of the Global Frequency. I would have loved to see more exploration of this negative side to the GF; a lot can be said about how a network like this is both a blessing and bane to humanity.

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  4. After reading this chapter, I found the importance of standing-reverse too. But I agree with you and spelunkingseahorse on this chapter opens interestingly on Takashi is reluctant to get involve with the rescue mission. Also on one of the pictures, it shows his chest with the logo of Global Frequency with a big cross on top. From the previous chapters, different members are all willing to help Ms. Zero and even sacrifice themselves, this placed a great paradox in the comic strips.

    Besides from this point, I have not considered the images’ color in this sequence that shows the importance of Takashi. In color theory, purple and yellow (orange) is complimentary color, they together mix into the black. The black represents secrets, and underground, which is exactly Global Frequency is.

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  5. danwillisdan says:

    I like this idea of technology as both a site of connection and disconnection, that as technology becomes a bringing-together of resources, it becomes a shutting-off of essences. And because Takashi feels replaceable (“You’ve got one thousand other people on the global frequency, just waiting for the call to mount a rescue operation. Call someone else.”), he feels that his essence has become insignificant and inaccessible. You’re absolutely right in saying that certain types of connection engender certain types of disconnection.

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