Past as Content of the Future

A cultural schematic...

The medium does things to people and they always completely unaware of this. They don’t really notice the new medium that is ruffing them up. They think of the old medium because the old medium is always the content of the new medium. As movies tend to be the content of TV and as books used to be the content, novels used to be the content of movies. So every time a new medium arrives, the old medium is the content and it is highly observable, highly noticeable. But the real roughing up and massaging is done by the new medium and it is ignored.
Marshall McLuhan spoke these words in 1967 on his NBC television special, The Medium is the Massage. They’re as relevant now as they were then. McLuhan was using this insight to analyze the procession from High Culture to Pop Culture underway in the 20th century. Next week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how this insight can help us understand the transition from Pop Culture to Internet Culture.
If novels are the content of movies, pop music is the content of TikTok…