Message, meet Medium

It’s one thing to say “The Medium is the Message.” It’s another to see it being played out. Here’s a few examples:

Picked up a copy of the book Twitterture at one of those outlet wholesalers. It’s a book that takes literature classics and boils them down to Twitter form, 140 characters at a time. For example, here’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet (source)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare
@OedipusGothplex

My royal father gone and nobody seems to care.

Mom says to stop wearing black.

STOP TRYING TO CONTROL ME. I won’t conform! I wish my skin would just … melt.

I’m too sad to notice that Ophelia’s so sexy and fine. And mother also looks rather fair despite all her struggles.

AN APPARITION! This shit just got HEAVY. Apparently people don’t accidentally fall on bottles of poison.

Why is Claudius telling me what to do again? YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD! In fact you killed my real dad. 😦

2bornt2b? Can one tweet beyond the mortal coil?

I wrote a play. I hope everyone comes tonight! 7pm! Tickets are free w/ great sense of irony.

Uncle just confessed to Dad’s murder.

I had a knife to that fat asshole but bitched out. Now he’s alive and still taking to bed with that beautiful wo— … er, my mother.

Gonna try to talk some sense into Mom because boyfriend totally killed Dad. I sense this is the moment of truth, the moment of candour and –

WTF IS POLONIUS DOING BEHIND THE CURTAIN?

I just killed my girlfriend’s dad. Does this mean I can’t hit that?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are here, up to their shenanigans. YAWN.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Anyone miss them? Didn’t think so.

The gravedigger’s comic speech isn’t funny at all. It’s heavy and meaningful. Just send me YouTube vids instead, pls. I am so borrredddd.

Ophelia just pulled a Virginia Woolf. Funeral is on the morrow.

Laertes is unhappy that I killed his father and sister. What a drama queen! Oh well, fight this evening.

Anybody want a drink? Uh-oh. That went poorly.

@PeopleofDenmark: Don’t worry. Fortinbras will take care of thee. Peace.

Now, taking literature is one thing, but the Bible? That’s what Cincinnati’s Jana Reiss is doing. One verse at a time. For example, here’s her take on 2 Chronicles 2:

Here’s the New International Version.

Well, converting text from one form into another doesn’t fully reah the implications of a “medium-is-the-message” moment. For that, I’d like to introduce Puppy Tweets.

Yes, it’s a way for your dog to communicate with you via Twitter (insert Elmer Fudd shaking head in bewilderment here).

1 saw this at Target the other day, and am still trying to figure out exactly the point. I mean, wasn’t it enough that they were sniffing butts in private? Now they have to tweet about it? I can see it now:

PuppyMcLovin: @RexRocks totally had chicken last night. His butt it totally Foghorn Leghorn.

Now, at last, we’ve found a way to take the pet-owning experience to the next level … which, I guess is more virtual than real.

And I guess that’s what makes it so Message is the Medium. When a technology begins to take over, it takes over for everything: not just our talk with each other, but our whole life experience is somehow squeezed into whatever dominant medium runs the day.

When our dogs weren’t tweeting, we were shooting videos of them.

When we weren’t shooting videos of them, we recorded their barks.

When we didn’t record their barks, we took pictures.

And on …

Oh Marshall McLuhan … if he were alive today, what would he tweet? Maybe this:

GetaMcLuhan: Yo! Message=Medium. If you can’t say it in 140 chars keep it to yourself.

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