In the chapter, Big Wheel, I could not help but be distracted by a tantalizing concept: cyborgs defeating cyborgs. Now, I am utilizing, of course, this term figuratively and literally. The cyborgs in Global Frequency are representative of which Donna Haraway refers to in, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs,” in which she flat out states, on page 8, “by the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism: in short, we are cyborgs. The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centers structuring any possibility of historical transformation.” In this case, the Global Frequency team members represent two joined centers: human and machine. Their reality is one constructed through technology, where it is accepted and dealt with—an ideal that Kermode would most likely sneer at, based on his persistence to continue questioning the essence of technology, and how it controls us. However, though the year in this chapter is not stated, reader can assume that they live in a time period where technology has become far too advanced to fight against it with any other means. The team is constantly battling against enemies who have been constructed with some element of bioengineering, chemical compounding, or mechanical inputs and attachments. The scene that particularly engaged my thinking toward this direction is on page 7 of chapter Big Wheel, where a team member (Intelsat 99) is sitting in the middle of a children’s playground with her phone and laptop. She is contacted by the Global Frequency and immediately begins researching, and within minutes discovers that their enemy is not human based on the extremity of the hot spot recorded on her thermal tracer. The background of this scene is what stuck out to me the most, as it perfectly embodies that technology and its heavy reliance is accepted and not questioned at all.
While Intelsat 99 is in the middle of phoning Global Frequency members, simultaneously researching on her laptop, and speaking of some mechanically constructed man, the kids in the background continue casually playing soccer on a bright, sunny day. I find the miniscule details serve the most impactful purpose, sometimes, because in this case, the casualty of the situation shows that it is accepted and perhaps even regular. Furthermore, this tiny square is the only scene that portrays to us the outside world, their REALITY, as opposed to keeping us submerged in the action and battle scenes. Kermode seeks for humans to engage in the questioning of technology. Haraway insists that we are cyborgs and that by continuing this way of life we may transform history altogether. I believe, in Global Frequency, specifically represented in the chapter Big Wheel, that humans have gone beyond that point. The forces they fight against have inhibited them from taking any step backwards, as the enemies are equipped with some sort of supernatural influence beyond the power of human. Therefore, they must form the Global Frequency to combat these forces, demonstrating the idea of cyborgs themselves, as they rely on the best technology to not only FIGHT against these cyborgs, but technologically stay connected with one another ALL over the world.
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