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McLuhan.

Twitter and facebook status posts are examples of people relating to written text in an ephemeral way. Before this digital moment text was a permanent affair. This phonemic break-down of verbal flow sat forever on a page, waiting for an eye to cross it. Now many words are thrown up on twitter without the expectation of an observer. This pulls the ephemerality of spoken conversation into the arena of the written, phonemic alphabet.

McLuhan says “Electric circuitry is recreating in us the multi-dimensional space orientation of the ‘primitive’.”

The textual form of communication adopting key principles of verbal communication is an example of this new (or old) orientation being revived.

This excerpt best describes the sociale feeling this digital moment fosters:

“The cell for citters to cit in.”
The idea of detention in a closed space as a form of human punitive corrective action seems to have come in very much in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries – at the time perspective and pictorial space was developing in our Western world.The whole concept of enclosure as a means of constraint and as a means of classifying doesn’t work as well in our electronic world. The new feeling that people have about guilty is not something that can be privately assigned to some individual, but is, rather, something shared bye everybody, in some mysterious way. This feeling seems to be returning to our midst. In tribal societies we are told that it is a familiar reaction, when some hideous event occurs, for some people to say, “How horrible it must be to feel like that,” instead of blaming somebody for having done something horrible. This feeling is an aspect of the new mass culture we are moving into-a world of total involvement in which everybody is so profoundly involved with everybody else and in which nobody can really imagine what private guilt can be anymore.

This new interconnected digital territory comes with one key difference from the connectedness of a tribe. That is, anonymity.

The digital arena allows for a type of communicative platform that lets people relate to each other in a way that is in a sense more honest, as the participants are masked. Oscar Wilde said, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll tell you tell you the truth.”  There are several of sub-cultures that have cropped up online that became a powerful force in the real-world. This strengthens the communal/tribal bond between these strangers. A good example of this is the internets communal revolt against Scientology, due to Scientology law-suite happy way of dealing with problems. It can be read about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_versus_the_Internet

Another example of the Global Village at work:

Reddit is a website with a lot of of sub-cultures. They tend to randomly do some randomly amazing things. The latest random thing they did all stemmed from one comment:

Link To Comment

I’ve had a vision and I can’t shake it: Colbert needs to hold a satirical rally in DC.

submitted 19 days ago by mrsammercer

I was woken in the middle of the night by this(along with the sound of my cat getting ready to pee on the rug).
Think about it. It’ll be just like Colbert’s mockery of GW Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, but 500,000 people will be able to participate with him. We’ll all stay totally in character as teabaggers. The kid with the microphone that interviews all the idiots at these things can come by and we’ll ramble into his microphone.
This would be the high water mark of American satire. Half a million people pretending to suspend all rational thought in unison. Perfect harmony. It’ll feel like San Francisco in the late 60s, only we won’t be able to get any acid.
I know you’re out there somewhere, Stephen, watching LOLcat gifs along side us. We need you. There’s no way to have a logical public discussion with the teabaggers. The best we can do is to mimic them. Show them a mirror and hopefully some will realize how ridiculous they actually are… Or maybe they won’t even realize that they’re being mocked, which could be even more awesome.
Note: This is a repost. First one never popped into New.
EDIT(Finally): The response to this post has blown my mind. I really did jump out of bed at like 5AM and type this thing up. Then I checked from work and it’s front page and there’s a Facebook page and people are emailing one of the Executive Producers. I was just hoping some people would get a laugh out of it, and now it has over 6,800 upvotes? It’s like I cracked the best joke of my life in a public place. 😀
But to be fair, both pugsworth and hobbit6 posted the general idea before me in that Jon Stewart thread. I just fleshed it out a little bit. Anyway, I don’t really know what to do or say about actually trying to make a Colbert Rally happen. I’d sure as hell be there, and I think I’d opt for the “Go back to the rug store with the rest of the Afghans” sign.
I just wanted to say that I’m really happy that so many people got a kick out of it. And the thought of Colbert himself actually maybe seeing this is probably the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me so far in life.
EDIT 2: vinhboy has created a wikia page… http://www.colbertrally.com/ Nothing up on it yet, though. Please feel free to change that!


Reddit.com members wanted to convince Stephen Colbert to host this rally. Stephen is a board member of a non-profit called DonorsChoose.org. Reddit have so far donated $264,622 to DonersChoose. Hillary Clinton has been campaigning to raise funs for this charity since 2008 and Reddit beat out her total current amount raised in 8 hours  ($29,945).

Stephen Colbert and John Stewart are holding a joint-rally on october 10th 2010.

Silly thoughts like that, that someone had at 5 in the morning, can only survival and become something in this digital period. Being more connected makes the world smaller.

3 Comments

  1. Kknight wrote:

    Great examples, Alex. Not only does the Colbert rally illustrate the possibilities of the Global Village, but it is also an enactment of humor as anti-environment. It will be interesting to watch the digital trails of this 5 a.m. brainstorm from afar…

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  2. What’s even more brilliant is that there is talk of two rallys: Jon Stewart’s “Restore Sanity” and Colbert’s “Keep Fear Alive”. I love both shows they provide a platform that promotes critical thinking and the exchange of ideas to a wide audience.’m still suspect that this event will actually happen, but I have friends in D.C. who are planning to attend both. I think it’s an interesting twist in our political perceptions, especially the idea of bringing satire to the Hill. What rally would you likely attend?

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  3. alexboots wrote:

    @helloyouhellome I think its brilliant, bring satire there. I have no idea which one i’d attend.. i’m sure they are both great. I bet they do a side-by-side deal, so they can play off each other =). Hopefully!

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink