Friday, September 10, 2010

A Little Ode to Innis

I have a professor this semester who throws around Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan on a first name basis like Madonna and Cher so I thought I would post on Innis is his honor. Innis picked up on emerging communication monopolies and are no doubt alive and raging today. What is most interesting about Innis is how well he picked up on the effect communication has on culture. I like to think he would agree that the United States is- “unofficially”- attempting to achieve cultural domination, through our McDonalds and through our monopolization of some of the most important communication systems. Reading about Innis, and combining him with Mrs. Mead’s thoughts on what to do with a new introduction to a culture, just makes me think of Stockholm syndrome.
Are we bonding with our captors in order to survive? Technology is a captor. How many people say they are slaves to their machines? And it’s also made way for a band of new captors for the non western world to “bond” with. The spread of American culture by means of increasing communication… Has the rest of the world embraced our McDonalds because they enjoy the dollar menu or because we put them there to stay, whether anyone likes it or not?
Stockholm syndrome may be stretching things a little too far, but Innis knew what he was onto with communication monopolies and how closely tied they are to culture and politics. He with biggest monopoly wins. The West dominates the rest. I would develop Stockholm syndrome if I were them.

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