"The Medium is the Message"; Marshall McLuhan
Although I dislike blogging, it occurred to me that I had been sitting still, trying to read the Sunday New York Times, but had been distracted for most of the afternoon from doing so attentively because cable was on, making "noise, noise, noise, noise, noise" (apologies to Dr. Seuss).
Fifty years ago, in his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan argued that the media shapes and controls “the scale and form of human association and action”.
Borrowing a summary from the dreaded Wikipedia: McLuhan compares the "content" of a
medium to a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the
watchdog of the mind.
In the process of attending to the content, we
largely miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced
subtly, or over long periods of time.
As society's values, norms, and ways of doing things change because of
the technology, it is then we realize the social implications of the
medium, whether in regards to cultural or religious issues, historical fact or fiction, or even artistic and creative processes.
I know that I, like many others, am susceptible to the suggestion that I NEED things to carry out my mission in life -- to feel fulfilled. And I those ideas are paralyzingly reinforced when I find myself mindlessly taking in external messages--especially from television and social media.
At any rate, tonight I step away. I am checking in with some creative friends for inspiration and encouragement, and sharing my reflections here. But I am so done with allowing myself to be passively 'entertained' while my own creative energies sleep.
So here's to creation, rather than consumption, for tonight. May your own energies find wings to fly as well! Here's a kite to remind me . . .