What a graphic name for a concept that isn't as graphic as we would like to think it is. Or is it?
This past week, I keep coming back to thinking about Ecoporn and what Welling was trying to get at. He mentions that Mander states, "Ecopornography is like 'real' pornography, because it masks sordid agendas with illusions of beauty and perfection." (pg.54) Wellings believed that it was an "unfruitful metaphor" for the term Ecoporn.
So what is Ecoporn? Is it the degradation of nature in our society, just like human pornography is? Or is it something completely different? The academic definition of pornography is this: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction. (Merriam Webster)
Wellings himself didn't believe that human porn and ecoporn should be considered the same, as difficult as that is. "Thinking about ecopornography and standard heterosexual pornography as related categories on the same spectrum rather than totally independent phenomena can illuminate the chiastic nature of their relationship. Likewise, this holistic approach can help us understand the function of desire and power in ecopornograpjy as dynamic translations rather than abstract simulacra, of the inter workings of desire and power in more traditional pornographic contexts. In other words, instead of bowing to the obvious objection that ecopornaography does not literally "get us off," and thus cannot properly be considered pornography, I would suggest that ecoporn-as-porn places the viewer in the same asymmetrical, sexualised relationshop to its subjects as standard pornography, even if its primary goal is not sexual arousal." (Wellings, pg.46)
So in a nutshell, ecoporn is supposed to evoke some kind of desire out of us, using nature and animals. It isn't all bad. It can be said, that watching a commercial about dogs being abused and left to fend to themselves can create a sense of desire to save those dogs. It can all so be said that watching a fashion show, where all the models are wearing only fur, can evoke a strong desire to protest against animal cruelty.
This picture evokes so many emotions in an audience. For one, I'm thinking, "AWW, how cute! It's the softest little kitty with flowers in a basket!" It makes me want one. Then I continue to read the caption, and agree, that this isn't normal, but it could be! By the end, I'm agreeing that I should get a cat, and lots of catnip to go with it. Congrats ecoporn! You just succeeded in convincing me to love the cat, and but catnip.