I write another blog in another forum called "The Medium is the Message" where I try to relate issues back to what Marshall McLuan had said years ago. I'll introduce a blog with a similar theme today. My thoughts tend to wander but I will try to stay focused on the Medium as the Message. Although I may wander, when I finish, I will have you reaching for your check books.
So let's talk about the big five subjects that have been making headlines...namely meat bikini's, burning the Qur'an, ground zero mosques, Russian torpedoes, and the new Google Instant Search algorithm. All of them are to some degree publicity stunts aimed at gaining media coverage. Let's take care of the easy one first--meat bikini's. In case you missed the story Lady Gaga wore a Meat Dress to receive her eighth VMA of the evening at the MTV Awards ceremony. It's not clear whether or not it was an actual meat dress, it sure looks like one. But it didn't look as realistic as the meat bikini she wore on the cover of the Japanese Vogue Magazine a few weeks ago. Clearly a publicity stunt. Whether Lady Gaga thought too deeply about blow back from the revulsion some of us surely feel when we think about what she is actually wearing, or whether she was just trying to obtain more camera clicks than anyone else...the medium by which entertainment and stardom is most surely judged...I doubt we will ever know. There is no deeper meaning here. Content is completely and unequivocally without importance. Lady Gaga wins the picture clicking contest hands down thus the medium is the message...Gaga rules the industry.
Next award for best publicity stunt of the year goes to Pastor Terry Jones for yelling fire in a crowded movie theater. Shouldn't we be arresting this guy rather than following his every move? Once again the content here is of no importance. There is no content derived message at all. Terry Jones needed a publicity stunt for his wounded ego and chose to insight a riot. If he walked out of his Church wearing a meat bikini nobody would have noticed him. If he would have said his prayers in the privacy of his Church and burned his Qur'an's in the privacy of his Church, nobody would have noticed. We can only hope in our own prayers that had he carried out the planned fire the conflagration would have raged out of control and burned his sanctuary to the ground. Did I say that out loud? That might have made the local headlines in Florida. I doubt it. Florida residences seem to have a fairly high incidence of burning down their own homes... despite the fact that we don't have fire places. It simply isn't news worthy unless the whole family dies...which unfortunately all happens frequently down here. But the medium here isn't the press coverage or the photography. The medium here is the national security incident. It's within all of our potential, free citizen's living in free society, to yell fire in a crowded theater and thus create panic...we don't do it. It's actually easier to pick up the phone and call in a bomb threat...we don't do it. It's not too much more difficult to create an international incident...we don't do it. Choose something controversial, call the news desk, and hope it's a slow day. It works. The only thing left to decide is whether or not this little publicity stunt was a crime. It reminds me of my favorite Nicholas Cage quote from the movie Raising Arizona, "Awh Hi...it's not armed robbery if the gun isn't loaded". The medium is the message...doesn't matter if it's loaded or not.
I could write for days on the Ground Zero Mosque...which isn't at ground zero, and is also not a mosque. The medium here is loud and clear. Fear. Fear based on ignorance primarily with the some bigotry thrown in. Nobody wants to call it by it's real name. There can be no content in this message because the content is wholly fabricated. Then politics took over. Fear is one of our primal mediums...it protects us from the saber tooth in the tall grass. Should we ignore it? No. Should we use it to fan our political aspirations? I can't discuss in this blog without violating one or two of our policies. Shame on us.
Stay with me and keep your checkbooks handy. I will now move on to the subject of Russian torpedoes. Creating an international incident is what Terry Jones would do if he was the dictator of his own Country. KJI has the benefit of his own Country to create these situations. Do we think KJI intentionally wanted to kill 47 South Korean's? I think his little demonstration got out of hand. Had he sunk the ship and all the sailors got off with their lives...you bet he would have stood up for the sovereignty of North Korea. This is like chopping down a tree in the forest and hoping that it doesn't make a sound...or only annoys those living in the tree...only to find out the tree fell over the only creek providing cooling water to a nuclear power plant...BOOM! Once again we have the medium of the international incident. The only question is why doesn't the international community want to recognize it for what it really was and how it happened? Easy. The only sound louder than an international incident is an act of war. Terry Jones can't commit an act of war no matter how hard he tries. KJI can. When he want's to he will. I don't think he was ready to declare war and certainly the international community doesn't want to either. KJI has tried to erase the medium...it's neither an international incident nor act of war if he didn't do it. Too bad they found the torpedo.
So let's talk about one last thing...if you're still with me. Google Instant Search. I loved it from my first two letters typed into the search box. It will easily save me the five plus seconds that Google suggests it will save me per search. And the thought of saving hundreds of hours world wide...that's an incredible feat. Some of what I've read says it's only a gimmick. It's not a gimmick if it works. Google's desire to organize the world's knowledge just took one step closer. Since it's now easier to type in an "a" to bring up "AOL", I never have to book mark my AOL URL again. I only have to type in an "f" to bring up FaceBook. The medium here is one or two letter's leads us to our thoughts or what we were thinking. That's really powerful. And as cool as it is, it will rapidly aide the Assimilation I spoke about in a recent blog. Google has reduced us in their quest to organize the world's knowledge to the 26 letters of our alphabet. Whether we are searching for it or not, "a" now means "AOL", "b" means "Bank of America", "c" means "CraigsList", "d" means "Disney", and so on. Keep going, "e" means "Ebay", "f" means "FaceBook", "g" means "Gmail". Ok you get the point. The problem is clear. In our winner take all world, these winners will simply grow more and there is nothing we can really do about it. Google has given the seat of honor to these websites. It's a brand new medium but this medium unfortunately has room for only 26 entries. Our world is shrinking, it's not growing. Just like our vocabulary is shrinking. LOL, OMG, etc. We should have seen it coming. I use Google for it's simplicity. Simplicity is our enemy. We cannot evolve without diversity. The medium is the message. The message can be found by typing the letter "g" into your search box.
So now grab your check books. Immediately invest in the company's that appear for each letter. If someone hasn't created it yet there should be a mutual fund that only invests in the top company of each letter of the alphabet that shows up in the Google Instant Search. Try it. I went through the alphabet already. Now I wish I had some cash.