September 17, 2012

Ecoporn: At Least the Motives are Good?

At first glance, I understood “ecopornography” to be when natural elements resemble human body parts, especially sexually suggestive parts and poses. I wondered why a person would write an article about this phenomenon, and even more so, why we would be reading it for this class. I then started to slowly understand what the article meant by the term. If I understood correctly, ecopornography is when nature is captured on photo or video in a way that is highly idealized and/or even fictionalized, the way pornography exaggerates human sex to something that it really isn’t. It is misleading and indulgent. I find the idea of this interesting. What I had a harder time understanding is why, in more cases than not, this would be a damaging thing. As the article pointed out, ecoporn has attempted to change the perception of certain elements of nature in the mind of the human.

Shark week on Discovery Channel is an attempt to make American humans appreciate the shark, and in that way prevent it from being hunted and wiped out. I don’t fully understand how it has extremely negative effects. The article also made me think of another kind of perversion; one that I find much more disturbing. That would be torture porn. This is the kind of entertainment found in films like the Saw franchise, Hostel, The Human Centipede, and I’m glad to say I don’t know more examples of that off the top of my head. The name makes sense to me, since it is a brand of horror focused on watching people be tortured, and that is where some sort of pleasure in the viewer comes from. Nature porn, at the very least, seeks to present the world in a way that is beautiful, and worthy of protecting. That’s what I think of when I see the term “ecopornography.” That doesn’t seem so bad to me.

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