There is not much we can do about Media but understand the water we swim in. Electronic Media is an evolution of collective consciousness. We have created a new reality that is interactive. Everyone is a player, the seer and the seen here. It is very exciting. It also has side-effects, unintended consequences, as all new realities have. The unintended consequences may be terrorism, this terrifying random intentional death. Random death is always with us. We die by random accidents, unexpected consequences of our choices and behaviors. But no matter what we do or how good we live, death finds us in unexpected ways.
But terrorism is death by Media. Ten people are hit by a van in London and we react at home. Build a wall, shut down the airports, and in our own living rooms our blood pressure spikes, and minds get anxious and we think the end of the world is coming. Historically,—objective death‚unless it is someone close to you—is objective. It’s not personal. People die all the time, often in great numbers. But Media Death is Subjective Death. A media death is MY death, a threat of death to me right here in my home town. In our new Media Reality everything is Subjective and Personal. News comes with emotions. News is an emotional delivery system. News comes with feeling. And feeling makes us watch the news.
News paper news is visual and distant. TV News is emotional and present. In India people have learned to live with cobras. In Texas. you learn to live with rattle snakes. Every environment has its snake and deadly dangers. People learn to live in the environment that is given. What you can’t fix or remove, you accept. If you don’t accept what you can’t remove, you go crazy. Out, Out this damned Spot!
So we believe we can remove terrorism. But it comes back with ritual rhythms every couple of weeks. It’s like a play that won’t stop recurring. Same action…sudden death, the visuals on media, the alarms bells, the outrage, and then the parade of victims and the stories of witnesses…as if we can’t drink enough of this cool-aid. Terror fixes our mind on the TV. Terror fixes the collective mind like a soccer game fixes the eyes of the fans. Terror creates a global unity of emotions and mind, a ritual like a wedding or funeral that we all participate in no matter what our religion our background.
Terror creates the sacred spaces where flowers are laid. Terror creates the memorial of heroes and martyrs, those who die trying to stop it. Terror makes us brave. Terror gives us resolve. Terror unites us. Terror is our new blood sacrifice. Terror is where the innocent die to heal the fragmentation of modern life.
The Medium is the Message said Marshal McCluhan. What is the message of terrorism as it occurs in rhythmic succession in our global media: the Medium is the deliver system. The delivery system is the message; the content, which is when, where, how, who, is secondary message. The primary message is the delivery system or carrier wave of the content. That is what is unconscious. We are only conscious of the content of the message, not the system that delivered the message. We are unconscious of Media. because all we see is the content of media. The soup is unconscious of the cup.