Shower Revelations

9 Sep

You know, I think I can attribute these lazy days to my night classes. The days just seem to meld one into the other- working 24/7 promoting and booking Still Time. Oh sure I take naps every now and again, but if I had a morning class to spur me into action, where I couldn’t just walk in wearing my PJs… I’d be able to punctuate my days rather than perpetuating this… my current state…

So yes, another lazy day. Granted, for being such a lazy day, I accomplished a good many things: sending off a few follow up emails, getting in touch with some radio stations and their music directors, researching possible opening acts, updating and creating wikipedia entries (I do despise unlinked material)… you know… carrying on with yesterday’s unfinished business.

After hunting a few scouting roaches, I decided it was a good time to take a shower. After battling roaches, it’s hard to stop yourself from cleaning everything you own inside and out. So after my successful campaign I took a shower – and it was during this shower that I finally let myself mull over the thoughts that had been brewing in my mind for the past few days.

I thought about the concept of power and control in the media, namely in reference to Walter Ong’s “Orality, Literacy, and Modern Media” (read for Media Concepts). I was musing over my class’s online discussions and realized how we skirted about the readings and their relation to our class. I was trying to deflate our postings into more concrete, everyday examples.

I thought of my post about instant messaging and realized that, while it was a good start, still didn’t get to the core of what we read. As I was washing my hair, it hit me. No, not the shampoo bottle. The TV! The readings all suddenly clicked in my mind. Protoliterate societies, Literate specialists, Secondary Orality, Power, Control.

In an unmediated, oral environment a message is sent to a receiver, who receives said message, and can respond. The exchange is made upon relatively neutral grounds and each individual has comprable power, each message has the potential to be just as effective. (This is overly simplified… but… work with me here)

However once you introduce literacy, the sender/receiver relationship alters drastically. Interaction between the two is not necessarily external, but internal and there is hardly an immediate response time between sender/receiver (unless it’s instant messaging… but then the context of the conversation is different, and indeed the content is altered as well… but focusing here!)

So I was taking a shower… and I realized that TV has one of the largest, if not largest, disparities between sender and receiver. Indeed what can you do to alter the message as a viewer? Change the channel? Call the hotline? Still these options are regulated, mediated by TV corporations who set the standard. Send the message. Our only option is to turn it off – or watch community TV which is just silly.

The traditional music industry is dead, a chicken with its head cut off. Running around on muscle memory. Independent channels and entrepreneurs are redifining the way in which we listen to and consume music. Until the indepent and community TV channels can replicate this ingenuity, we’re stuck with bad TV controlled by some corporation with dollars on their mind…

And that was one of the best showers ever.

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