Monday, September 10, 2007

Basic McLuhan: Marshall McLuhan and the Senses

The article speaks of society not being unwilling but unable to imagine the future and things to come. This point I would agree with, people seem quite happy to sit in their bubble and enjoy the world around them, the world that they know, and not change it. Most people do not like change and would rather just embrace things the way they are. In order to shake things up and expand beyond the reality that we live in we have to pull things from outside the norm to get our brains flying high. He says that the creative, the "artists" of society live outside this boundary and embrace the unknown and this is true, people look to these kinds of people to entertain the rest of society, to remove us from our comfortable environment and dabble in the unknown. He speaks about all the different senses having to be involved to truly experience things. To physically touch and see the problem to perceive things instead of just conceptualizing things, where conceptualizing things runs the danger of just looking at an issue with a logical eye not the passion of feeling and experiencing the problem. This heavy difference between things as a concept or a perception makes a lot of sense to me, like society is quick to turn deaths into statistics to pull peoples emotions away from the fact that each death is a person and not just a number.

The impression I got from this article is that McLuhan didn't have time for current society. That he refused to allow people to live in their boxes. He wished to constantly keep people thinking and on their toes ready for anything, always expecting something around the corners. He didn't want society to get stagnant and wanted everyone to embrace new thought and ideas.

However reading this article has brought me to thinking that perhaps his ideas for society may not be feasible or realistic. Many people seem to have a need for stability, and do not embrace change well. These people may purchase art to decorate their houses, read frequently and be music lovers but still wish to stay the same. And while their minds may wonder, may expand with new ideas from all these creative mediums they will still wish to stay the same. Some people just don't want to change.

I find the article interesting I think he raises excellent points related to societies habit of seeing what it wants to see, but fails to take into account the role stability plays in a society. Radical thinking can be dangerous for a society, and while evolution of a society is always encouraged sometimes society is fine the way it. Who's to say that native peoples who have been living the same way for thousands of years are wrong and that they should broaden their horizons and change it up. I understand our society is not perfect but change must be taken slowly or society can de-stabilize. Somethings are better off just idea's in our minds for another day.

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