“Self-Portrait” — Image by kenne
This week’s Presidential election has reminded me of Marshall McLuhan’s trademark, “The Medium In the Message.” From it, I recall his belief that we go through life looking through the rear-view mirror, and becoming aware of our environment only after we have left it and that what is communicated doesn’t count as much as how it is communicated.
Of course, the medium that exists today is much different than that of the sixties, they still alter our sensory life, therefore what we know. As a result, our society is like the driver who sees neither ahead to the future nor outside the side window to the present but looks only to the past in the rear-view mirror — “Make America great again.”
McLuhan believed that education must serve as a defense to the media fallout. He likened our society to the mariner in Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “A Descent Into the Maelstrom.” The mariner is caught in a whirlpool, but he figures out the relative velocities of currents and saves himself. The question remains whether, as a society, we are educated enough to save ourselves.
“TIME FOR MORE ACTION”
January 17, 2003, Peace Demonstration In Houston, Texas — Photo by Joy
In some ways, I feel as if I may have been in a trance these past eight years, kind of a passive free feeling. It’s now time to stand. Social justice, like art, requires an effort. It’s time for those who have half a heart for poetry, half for life to stand for truth. Those who have continued learning and have been sharpening our weapons by night to clear their throats and stand, becoming the voices of truth.