Political Summary starting with McCluhan’s predictions from "Understanding Media, the Extensions of Man” (c.1960)
January 17, 2012
In response to an image on Flickr which depicts a forest scene with a TV floating in the air with an image of the same forest on the screen:
I love the implication here, TV has become "the truth"; even to the point that when we are in a natural environment, we "believe" the TV before we believe the environment that we can and are experiencing with our own senses in the present. This is a perfect example of what Marshall McCluhan (a Canadian futurist at McGill) predicted in the late 50's. His main work was "Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man".
McCluhan points out, as bicycles, cars, and airplanes are extensions of our feet; electronic media( TV, radio, computers )are extensions of our nervous systems to the point that the inputs far overwhelm, on a daily basis, our evolved capacity to cope with such massive amounts of mental stimuli. Thousands of generations of homo sapiens lived their entire lives without a single new bit of information. That is until methods of mass communication began with writing about 10,000 years ago; and, then exploded with the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Gutenberg, which made extraordinary (for that day and time) a one hundred fold increase in the ordinary persons' acsess to new information.
McCluhan's main point is about mechenasms that we use to cope with this overwhelming onslaught of data. This is to ignore or block most of it out by primitive defense mechanisms like denial and avoidance. Being unconscious of this process makes us very vulnerable to unconsciously make poor choices about what data we avoid or deny. It is clear that in the past forty years this is exactly what has happened. The weary family returns home from an overly stimulating environment at work and school. They all plop down on the couch and "tune in to whatever is on the TV". Truly, TV is, in effect ,a narcotic for the masses. They ignore each other and stop or avoid helping each other with their problems.
It's no wonder that politicians with devious and nefarious ambitions have been able to take complete control of the government from county/city to Congress, as the majority of people who used to pay attention to politics are now totally distracted by fantasy programs on TV. Now, as we awaken from our unconscious denial and avoidance, we find that the superrich and control freaks (anti-social personality disorder) have completely taken away our constitutional rights and freedoms, and left us with a system based on fear, greed and corruption.
Our new "rulers" now arrogantly assume that they are in control; and ,there is nothing the middle class (the one major factor preventing their total unopposed power) will not allow them to do. (they can ALMOST do that now). But the Lion (the rebellious spirit that is fully alive and potent) in us is waking up. The so called “99%” that have been abused and neglected for 2 decades are seeing the direction we are going. They are disturbed and furious at what they see.
The internet that makes all knowledge available to anyone at any time or place, has opened the world's eyes to the plot to destroy our democratic republic and replace it with a midievil type aristocracy, with 3% of the superrich residing over the remaining 97% who will become wage slaves. The 99% is furious to see the future from the Radical Eyes of the Radical Right whose main goal is to overthrow the Government at every level and turn it into a fundamentalist Theocracy. This plan as endorsed by several radical “Christian” groups, would be a nightmare for generations to come. Such religious rigidity and persecution was the main reason many of the Founding Fathers ancestors immigrated to the infant colony at great risk and with uncertainty. That is why the founding Fathers put so much emphasis on Separation of Church and State.