While this cartoon from the June 22, 2009 Issue of the New Yorker
is funny - it is also a great image to explore Marshall McLuhan's famous quote, "the medium is the message." McLuhan believed that any medium (as defined as an extension of the human body or the mind) "exerts its most potent effect by changing the form scale and speed of human relations and activities." (Gordon, 2003). So the question this cartoon forces us to think about is the difference between the "message" of the the guitar vs. that of the iPod.
From here, it is easy to think about other situations where re-mediation occurs. This clip from “Guitar Queer-O” (Season 11, Episode 1113, Airdate Nov 7, 2007) explores the same issue as the cartoon above. If it weren't for the inappropriate use of the word "gay," this South Park
clip would be usable in a 7-12 classroom...
If you've got extra time you can watch the entire South Park
at Comedy Central.
Thinking about McLuhan's ideas, what are the implications of these different media for you as an educator? What are the different messages you must contend with as you integrate media/popular culture into the classroom?