I found this blog prompt to be interesting but a little bit confusing. I do not really understand what it is exactly that we are looking to discuss, but one thing I did take from this blog post was the idea that, although I do not think there is much of a difference between studying objects to learn human stories and studying them to learn their own stories, it is noteworthy to think of inanimate things as having a birth, a life, and afterlife. Even things that we consider lifeless can have a huge impact on our own lives, as well as those around us and around the world. This view is taken from an article written by Josh Lepawsky and Charles Mather entitled, “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube’s Strange Afterlife.”
In the article, the authors highlight the role of the CRT in our modern society. Although considered an inanimate object, the CRT has greatly influenced our society. The authors state that “the CRT is technologically fundamental to modern seeing”, and furthermore that it is “the primary screen on which many of us experienced television, video, and computing.” However, in our ever evolving society, the use of the CRT is becoming less and less necessary. An excess of CRT is apparent today and its many parts are being stripped down, repaired, and reused for different devices. Furthermore, the authors state that “only recently, a novel strain of bacterium was identified thriving on the highly toxic chemical constituents left in the soil of an electronic waste dump.” Discoveries like this demonstrate the effects of the so called “afterlife” described by the authors. It may not always be known what will emerge from dying entities, but something is bound to come of it.
Taking this approach, in my opinion, teaches us a lot about life. I’m not entirely clear on what this approach may teach us about writing, besides the fact that you can learn and describe an object in greater detail than what initially meets the eye. Regarding life, it shows us that all things are inevitably connected and contribute to moving forward and advancement. Learning to respect and appreciate everything for the specific purposes they serve is important because we are all interconnected. Stepping into an antique shop is a good example of old inanimate objects that have been well preserved and maintained over the years. I recently went into one off Ponce de Leon Road and did not realize the many items available. Although old, they demonstrate what was once new, hip, and effective in our society. However, their lives have slowed down now and they serve as reminders of old essentials. When looking at these objects, I wonder about its history and how it came to be there. It is not impossible for the story of an object to be told “without also telling the stories of the people who created and used it.” The object itself has its own storied past and with a brief understanding of the time period, there is much to be learned of its specific purpose.