Too lazy to categorize

Where do you find the time?

It’s been two weeks since I have last been able to write anything here? I said to myself, I’ll have to write two blog posts to catch up, but I won’t to lie you, I’m not. Carrying on from my last post, in the past week that I heard on the radio. It was an interviewee on the Radio New Zealand Saturday Morning programme.

The professor being interviewed referenced him in a weird way I thought. Saying that the protestors of the Occupy movement were using their very presence, their bodies were the message as I extrapolate, occupying the places they were protesting. And sadly once they left the message was gone, evaporated.

While that is true, the occupiers are gone, the message was conveyed. It still has the same meaning now that they have left the premises. The protesters in Hong Kong are what sparked that conversation, so to some extent they are carrying on the discourse between state and resistance. Futile may it be someone has to have it.

Which brings me to the discourse, or lack thereof, that you will find on platforms like WeChat. Particularly, reviewing the comments on a typical China Daily political post you will only find the commenters echoing and supporting the party agenda. It’s quite chilling and you think to yourself, what would happen if I posted a challenging comment? Would it be censored? Would my handle be put on some watch list? I don’t really want to find out, but the answer is: yes, it would.

A BBC article on this topic:

The next 30 years are not looking like a very comfortable place to live in. And this will span the last portion of my life. So there is work to do. There is writing to do. The question is when to do it? Better be quick because there is not that much time left for it in the day.

Media Theory

The medium is the message.

What does the medium of a personal blog on the Internet say…

What would Marshall McLuhan think about the Internet? The obvious place to launch this inquiry:

Interestingly he crept back into my consciousness the other day watching an episode of The Sopranos. Which is sort of a circular pattern here. Currently I’m binging through the six season run of this television series. When it originally aired starting about twenty years ago I was not able to watch it. This was because I was busy with other things and watching this television series as an entertainment really wasn’t an option for me. Even when it became available as a DVD set or whatever, the cost would have been a factor in my passing over. Now I am in a position to acquire a copy of all the episodes and finally have the opportunity to watch it. Voilá, a blog topic.

A Google search for “marshall mcluhan refernce sopranos” and we are back to Wikipedia:

So we live in a world now where not only are these references made in the media, they are documented on the Internet.

One of the nurses in the hospital laughs at the U.S. Marshal sent to fix an electronic bracelet to Junior’s ankle when he mentions his last name is McLuhan. His professional name is therefore Marshal McLuhan, similar to the name of Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. retrieved the date this blog post was published, duh.

So that grabbed my attention. And my first thought goes to a Woody Allen movie, which maybe I can embed or link here, surely there is a clip on YouTube:

What a great scene. But what do these references in film and television mean, when they invoke McLuhan? In both the Woody Allen movie and the Sopranos they are used for comedic effect. Why had this Canadian philosopher become a punchline in a joke? This is one of those Canadian things right? I’m making fun now, but it is very difficult to put your finger on it. It’s very common to make some particular nationality the butt of a joke, but I don’t think that is what is going on here. Still it’s interesting since one of the main themes running through the Sopranos is the issues around portrayal of stereotypes. Italian Americans as gangsters front and center obviously. So maybe there is some underhanded sarcasm here.

So where was I going with this. The act of me writing and publishing on the Internet, the activity of watching a television series, and having that refer to one of the godfathers of media theory. What does it all mean? I don’t really know but I would like to keep exploring this.

Now it occurs to me what the difference is between a category and tag. I might create a category of media theory and write several articles there, but The Sopranos is not a category for this blog. It’s something I’ll write about again, so if I apply the tag “sopranos” to it, then I can link the various articles which may or may not fall into various categories other than media theory. I’m not sure if I am even comfortable with media theory as a category here, but I’ll give it a go.