Monday, August 01, 2011

The Medium is the Message

Nathan Jones quoted this famous Marshall McLuhan quote in his defence of film photography (link here). One of the things he said about film photography, was that it involved "[transferring] the responsibility for technically competent shots from the near infallible machine to the very fallible me."

And this was the first thing that came to mind when I read about (DPM) Muhyiddin's food stamps proposal. Whatever the merits, or otherwise, of this proposal may be, I leave to parliament--and the thousands of online forum theorists--to debate. What follows are just my wayside thoughts on the subject.

People like SooT believe that moving forward in politics necessitates a move away from the 'policy' framework we are so entrenched in.

I agree, and I believe this also entails a move away from dependence on political systems/parties, and towards a sort-of taking of things into our own hands. And nowhere is this probably more true than in agriculture. For all that SooT and I disagree on, we are agreed that it is probably a good idea to start small community--akin to subsistence--farming.

Have a need? Don't wait for government to meet that need. Transport woes? Get that bicycle out; don't wait for fuel prices to come down, because they won't. No government can stop the rise in prices of a commodity that is only getting scarcer by the day.

The medium is truly the message: long-term sustainability requires a complete overhaul of the way we are leading our lives. Those who know my environmental views intimately, know that I care very little for the Green Movement that is taking the world by storm. My position on the environment is very simple, and twofold: love nature, and live simply. But a simple life is not the way of the world, nor is appreciation for beauty that cannot be price-tagged in our money-driven society.

So regardless of how the Muhyiddin move works out, I'll still have my bicycle. And I'll still be shooting film.

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