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SoCS: The Medium is the Message from Journalism, to Psychics, SciFi, and Faith

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is… “medium.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

When I read the prompt, I remembered something we learned in journalism class in the community college I went to before I decided to major in psychology. This was in the late 70s and I flirted with the idea of being a journalist. We went on a field trip to the newspaper and I was told that they better not hear of any of their journalists having their name on a petition, let alone, starting a petition, which I was known to do in my little community college where I got to be a big fish in a little pond. So I decided not to major in journalism because I might want to start a petition some time.

But back to the message which was, “The medium is the message.” That was a famous quote by Marshal McLuhan, probably in the early 70s or late 60s. When I saw the prompt and remembered the quote, I became curious and looked it up. That was at least an hour ago so I’m writing from memory in SoCS style and not breaking the rules. Not this time, anyway.

I now understand the quote, “The medium is the message,” a little better having read a brief summary that refreshed my memory. The message is made up of content and character. The medium of mainstream TV news, or even on-line news, has a sensationalizing character which affects the choice of words and content. Too much news can make us crazy. But we have a lot more control if we read the news, than if we watch one of the major networks at 6:30 PM. Oh, we can turn it off or change the channel, but reading or browsing gives us more choice about what we focus on. That’s why I try not to scroll on Facebook. Facebook is a medium which is part of media. Social media is plural. My FB page is a social medium.

Medium can refer to what type of substances I use to make art. I usually do acrylics, but have experimented with alcohol ink. Collage can be fun, then there’s mixed media.

Medium can be comfortable, an in between place on the thermostat or a setting on the stove. It’s the safest bet in most cases, unless you’re talking with a psychic medium.

I went to a psychic once. She said I had been imprisoned as a witch in a far ago past life, but that I was not a witch and never had been. I got this image of brick walls. I’d forgotten about that. It was like 15 years ago. There was a time when I thought I might become a Christian psychic. I bought this book about becoming a Christian psychic on my kindle but I seem to have lost it when I got my new phone. Never read it, but I’m still interested. I bet they (as in Christian psychics) recommend lots of preliminary prayers for protection. It’s not something I’d want to jump into without protection.

Maybe psychic ability is something science will be able to explain some day. There’s a reason why I can find a lost item (sometimes) when I shut my brain off and just tell my body to take me to it. We know stuff that we don’t know we know. Science feels safe when it can explain things. But some things do require faith. That reminds me of the movie, Contact, which is one of my very favorite movies.

In Contact, Jodie Foster plays a scientist who is an atheist. She has an experience with extraterrestrials but has no proof. Her friend and love interest is Palmer, a man of faith played by Matthew McConaughey. I love Ellie’s speech at 2 minutes into this clip. The movie (one medium) is based on a novel (another medium) written by Carl Sagan. Early in the story, they get a message from the extraterrestrials in another medium.

For more takes on medium, and the rules, visit our SoCS host, Linda Hill at: