13 July 2007

Medium is the Message

Graphic, explicit with an excessive use of profanity...yes. But focus in: the message is still strong and considers the audience. Once again, from YouTube, we get a call to the audience Boondocks to "Read a *#$&%*@^%*# Book."

Or perhaps it really is for those that don't watch Boondocks but should.

WARNING: This video could be rated R for profanity. Hence, it is linked rather than embedded.

Thanks to Jessamyn for pointing it out.

I couldn't ask for a better example than this to illustrate the power of YouTube as a vehicle for social change. This is clearly quite different than the 802 boys but the use of repetition and animation creates a propaganda quality video but one that questions and criticizes, I think, the use of rap as propaganda. The content of the video is shocking but in large part because of the medium of the message.

Try the comparison: here is the same lyrics but without animation. The slideshow's barage of books that the rapper clearly thinks are necessary for his audience to be reading is still powerful but is it honestly as thought provoking as the one with animation? Or, would it be to young, black, urban youths?

Admittedly, I am reading McLuhan right now in preparation for teaching in the Fall. But as I try to think about how to make something like McLuhan as powerful for students, YouTube seems to have shown me again that its uses are endless.

No comments: