Thursday, July 12, 2012

Remembering Marshall McLuhan-The medium is the message

I remember reading Marshal McLuhan best seller released back in 1967. I remember it was not an easy read as a teenager, but I did get his message-the medium is the message.  He also is attributed with a lot of other things such as terms like "global village", "global theater"and predicted the Internet happening including coining the term "surfing".

Further, on-line, it is reported McLuhan personally inspired Timothy Leary to popularize the phrase McLuhan was credited with coining the phrase Turn on, tune in, drop out by its popularizer, Timothy Leary in the 1960s. So, I would really like to re-read some of what McLuhan wrote; updating and modifying what he wrote in 1967 and afterwards until he passed.

Some critics attacked McLuhan for what he wrote at the time. However, what he did write about pop culture rings true today, as it did back in 1967. So if you are an Ayn Rand fan and like trying to find John Galt, you might want to also read what McLuhan wrote on line regarding the various forms of media as we progress due to all this technology we have to deal with.

Moreover, if you understand Ayn Rand and get Atlas Shrugged by yourself the first read, McLuhan will be a simple read for those gifted more than my simple and humble self.

In short summation, what McLuhan wrote happened. Going forward, what we can we try and anticipate and predict about mass media forms, going forward in these difficult political and economic times?

But  first, I want to digress reflectively to those events before 1967 to give both your and my life some relative perspective.  Being a baby boomer, the impact on the various mediums led many including my generation into this mass media addiction-TV, Internet, surfing as described by McLuhan, and various other forms of electronic media available that others may use, but I do not use all. I think if I used less, I would probably be more social with the rest of humanity by turning off.

At my age of 58, I am jumping off the technology bandwagon choosing to no longer leapto each new fad form of media like cell phones, notepads, e-books and Twitter accounts.  Heck, I have one of those dvr things and have no desire or ambition to figure how to use such things.

Back in the fifties and sixties, the medium did certainly shape the message-our culture more than family or institutions.  Maybe even worse, the media propaganda formed not only our culture, but also impacted our values and morals.  My generation, during the late 60's and early 70's rejected most forms of authority including parents and institutions.  Now, many of us old rebels are now the Tea Party folks.

Instead of family and institutions, we relied instead on that TV thing having the 3 major networks controlling programming back in the day.  And wow, when we got a color TV, I felt our family moved socially to the middle class.  My family was now one of those small town "high class" families since we had the luxury of wall-to-wall carpet and an air conditioner.  We even had indoor plumbing, a 3 digit party line phone and no outhouse unlike some of our family still out there living and struggling to hang onto farming in rural America. 

For example, a lot of our baby boomer morals and values makes me wanting a simplier Leave it to Beaver kind of mentality person.  I miss Andy Taylor and that Mayberry kind of feel good morals and values types of programming.  And maybe we might see a resurgence soon in network programming allowing us a distraction and coping mechanism due to all the present doom and gloom mentality. 

John Wayne hero movies and Vic Morrow reruns of Combat are gone, but another John Wayne type hero or heroine many might wish for hopefully will appear soon promoting American morals and values  again, may appear in a similar type of feel good escape from reality format.

Not to mention all that Olympic stuff to watch from London later this summer, while I am waiting for NFL preseason to get underway. I also spent a lot of tv time back then watching sporting events including Jim McKay almost every Saturday on ABC's Wide World of Sports. So athletes were also hero and heroine types lots of us admired.

Right or wrong, leads me to kindly to suggest to others the new message might be "don't turn on, tune out and turn off"  suggesting we let go of this undue reliance on the mass media and technology for the hazards and harm these sources cause effect on our lives leading to avoidance of contact and social involvement with other human beings. Kindly, we need to reconnect with humanity again, fighting the addition and ease related to the tech universe.

Anyway, gotta go.  Time to tune in to cable news and check on my internet and Facebook account; while tending my Internet farm on Farmville. So enough blogging for today.  Probably write some more stuff hardly anyone reads tomorrow.  Thanks to social networking.  Almost everyone is now in some kind of form, a blog-type writer these days. 

To those that avoid libraries and books, here is a link source below:

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