November 12, 2012

The Medium Is the Message; the Message Is the Master

“We have no king but Caesar!” – Mobs throughout history.

Seers play an important role in society – they perceive possibility long before the slow and dull. For those of us who make up the slow and dull it can be painstakingly difficult to catch up.

Today I saw. Watching a news report on the encampment of “Twi-hards” awaiting the opening of the final installment of the Twilight saga, I got the impression this was a spontaneous gathering of fanatics (including folks from Europe who gushed about how nothing like this happens over there), easily passing the time doing frenetic zumba-style workouts, laughing at one another’s impersonations of the stars and just having a wonderful time at their week-long endurance test. However, as the report progresses, the curtain is pulled back to reveal that this was a carefully crafted promotion of the movie, complete with on-site large screen reviews of previous screenings and interviews with the stars.

Marshall McLuhan, in the 60’s, coined the phrase “the medium is the message” and tried to raise awareness that the content of media was not the thing to be concerned about, but rather the medium itself and how it impacts attitudes and actions. By manipulating the senses through instant awareness of the whole, informing factors such as sequence, values, priorities, perspective, and alternative outcomes are abandoned for the intended “psychic formation”; all done neatly at electrifying speeds.

I stopped to see a friend who owns a small-town car dealership. He purchased the business from his father-in-law who built the business many years ago. My friend is in the midst of a very stressful renovation of his antiquated building. “I want to retire in a few years,” he said soberly, “but now I’m guaranteed to work for the next ten just to pay for this.”

“Why did you do it?” I asked.

“GM. They said you are either out or you’re in. They want us to create an ‘experience’ for the customer by providing a modern look: clean bathrooms, child-play area, wireless connection and cable TV.”

Carefully crafted imagery. It’s no longer on your TV screen. But corporate America knows how the American mind has been lulled to sleep and craves experience over logic and reason. It’s why, I believe, today’s youth will not accept persuasive argument unless they “see” it on the internet, no matter how brazen the lie is behind the imagery. It is a top-down, corporate world devoid of individual freedom.

McLuhan explains that graphic technology is “the most radical attempt to stamp out ambiguity and to enforce one reading of the picture – that of a man-made construction, a colored canvas.”

Remember, he was issuing this warning in the 60’s!

“The electric technology is within the gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind, and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology, on and through which the American way of life was formed. It is, however, no time to suggest strategies when the threat has not even been acknowledged to exist. I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible, and quite unrecognized by them. Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. For the ‘content’ of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as ‘content.’ The content of a movie is a novel or a play or an opera. The effect of the movie form is not related to its program content. The ‘content’ of writing or print is speech, but the reader is almost entirely unaware either of print or of speech.”

Today, it is not merely “inside the gate,” it is the gatekeeper!

As we look for “reasons” why we got what we got in the elections, it may well be time for us to catch up with the “seers” of the 60’s and awaken to the fact that crafted imagery is now becoming the reality we must confront. Let truth be our banner!

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we can be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans and First Responders, and for their families.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.