3.6.09

Speechless: Medium is Message (Sacred Sex Addendum)

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Addendum to my previous post;
"You see, Dad, Professor McLuhan says that the environment that man creates becomes his medium for defining his role in it. The invention of type created linear, or sequential thought, separating thought from action. Now, with TV and folk singing, thought and action are closer and social involvement is greater. We again live in a village. Get it?"
The New Yorker Magazine 1966 - "The Medium is the Massage"



Speechless
Medium is Message

The music began with the lights low, near pitch. Against the dark, a woman's curved hips and shoulders are revealed, bathed in spotlight, dancing slowly behind a big blue pair of lips. Her arms snake out from her sides in slow waves, mimicking wings.
She slides over the top couch-lip as seductively as possible, [round, shimmering] ass first, followed by long legs and high heels... all spotlit in blue, she slides her rear into the mouth between the giant pair of lips. The lights go up, and Beyonce begins to sing...

medium message mother mouth

For my previous pattern post, I had to do a little soul searching. The pattern of symbols and themes in this bizarre line of research (starting with the(Bee)yoncé(Know)les) has become more complex than I'd anticipated, but once the pattern began to paint Beyonce as a whore, I had to take a step back. Were the connections telling a story, or was I searching for meaning in something meant to be fluff? Fortunately, an impromptu analysis from my brother Husan helped clarify my uneasiness. The writing on the facebook wall;
Husan: Just remember to stick close to the core thesis, there is room for conspiracy theorists, but ...

Toure: How would you define "conspiracy theorist"?

Husan: Conspiracy Theorist is connecting so many dots they loose the forest for the trees. I think a conspiracy theorist falls into this trap: While the connection from x-to-y is valid, x-to-y is not relevant to the actual point; it does not further the essential thesis.
Herein lies the curiousity of the pattern. Husan states here that connections alone don't validate a thesis unless those connections prove relevant. What if the pattern itself is the thesis? The connections are the point. Perhaps one can always find meaning in the pattern because meaning is the pattern. Too easy, right? Let's come back to that.






red message, blue medium

In Gnosis/Hypnosis/Hypocrisy/Heresy and Know/Now/No/Gnosis/Hypnosis, I toyed around with the ideas of hypnosis, possession and meditation as they related to the sacred feminine, and the concept of the Medium. A medium relays a message by channeling spirit through trance, and in films like The Messenger, Stigmata and Constantine, the messenger and the message got mashed together as the star actresses became allegorical characters representing the concept of spiritual rebirth through gnosis a la the metaphorical phoenix fire. This particular pattern appeared to have left my radar as I got caught in the web of synchs surrounding Beyonce and Ciara (and their robots), but soon enough, both artists revealed themselves as both hypnotizers and hypnotized in their own words, and it became clear that they also represented the medium. In Ciara Learns Hypnotism, message and messenger were again mixed as Ciara, who admits to hypnotizing her listeners, became a message of pattern confirmation.








Herbert Marshall McLuhan keeping one eye on the medium


In my study of the concept of a Medium, I came across the work of H. Marshall McLuhan (raised in Winnipeg), the communications theorist who coined the term Media when describing popular culture news and entertainment. In the aphorism he is now famous for, he postulates that The Medium is The Message. Think about that for a second [I did].
"...the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived."


There is much depth to be explored within this concept, but basically it means this: when you hear music, your brain registers the message of the song lyrics, but subconsciously, you know you're hearing music, and knowing that affects how you interpret the message (think of the difference between reading and hearing song lyrics). On the surface, the message is embedded in the medium, but underneath, the medium is embedded in the message. The avenue by which you receive the imagery of pop culture not only affects your understanding of that imagery, the two (imagery and avenue) become entwined, reflexive.


The reflexive property of mathematical equality
If a = b then b = a.
(if medium = message then message = medium)


In the performance video above for the song "Speechless", Beyonce gives arguably her most sexualized performance to date without even standing up. In a related post at You Dare To Dream Really Do Come True, my new favorite blog, author 48lawsndreams brought my attention back to the lip sofa by proposing that there was more to this imagery than lazy choreography and a thinly veiled reference to oral sex.

"As this chair is most likely modeled after the Dali design of Mae West's lips as a sofa, we must wonder what it means to literally sit on Mae's face, and Beyonce being a female at that."

Immediately after reading, I felt that brain-splinter thing happening. I figured (due to previous pattern references) there was an allegorical angle besides the blatant sexual overtones, but in order to unlock the mystery of the Lips of Mary Mae, I needed the reflexive symbiosis of Mr. Marshall McLuhan. You may have already figured this one out, but I needed to draw it out before I did;

If
Beyonce = Medium
Beyonce's Song = Message

then
Beyonce's Song = Medium
Beyonce = Message


In McLuhan's most widely known book on the analysis of the Medium/Message dichotomy, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, he describes the content of the messages we receive as distractions from the effects the medium has on our minds. In this sense, the extreme sexuality of Beyonce's bejeweled, flesh-colored, face-sitting performance is revealed as the distraction we all [subconsciously] recognized it to be. How perfect it is, then, that the song "Speechless" was chosen for this particular pop-culture conditioning. Beyonce isn't "saying" a thing; her heavy-handed sexual innuendo are the distraction. She is being emitted -as voice personified- from the lips of Mary Mae West. She is the message.


In the Speechless vid, Bey plays the medium while portraying the message. But just what is that message that she...um...is? This was supposed to be a short piece (funny, right?), so I'll skip the blah-blah and let her image speak...

















For more depth, check my last few posts.


Defining Beyonce as both message and medium isn't really breaking new ground, but in the age of the internet, the effects of this symbiotic messaging deserve a second look. We all understand the idea of "role models" in pop culture; how a celebrity becomes the personification of certain concepts and ideals in the eyes of of the masses despite/due to what they portray in interviews or write in lyrics. I'm reminded of Disney's newest pedophilic pop princess, Miley Cyrus, and her alter-Ego, (how appropriate) Hannah Montana. While Miley's public image and lyrical content is technically quite wholesome, she relates a message with her private image that I wouldn't want my kids anywhere near. There was a time once when an artist could be praised for their shiny public performance while the dirty details of their private lives were disregarded completely. No more.



"...with TV and folk singing, thought and action are closer and social involvement is greater..."

Marshall McLuhan is also credited with coining the term global village. We use this term to describe the nature of internet society, but McLuhan was referring to the wider perspective of electronic technology in general and it's potential to erase our physical distances. How prophetic. In the internet age, tools like facebook give us instant access to one another via social networking, but in the context of the public/private persona of the celebrity, the line between medium (personal life) and message (public image) has become nearly erased. Artists like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus exemplify this; their personal lives (medium) have become their public image (message) due to the evolved access afforded by the internet. Rihanna will never escape the shadow of the "leaked" photos of her battered face, and Miley will forever be the doe-eyed teenager from the borderline kiddie-porn shots that were "leaked" just before her rise to super-stardom (Note the quotes; I don't think either of those incidents were unplanned, but that's a subject for a different blog).


Little Miss Miley as Medium and Message


Confirmation or Coincidence, this is our pattern...
I could write all day about such ridiculousness, but like McLuhan says, one must not become hypnotized by such well-crafted distractions. The overt messages (sex, sex, sex) have within them a pattern of meaning (divine cosmic union) displayed by the medium itself. The medium is the message, and the message of the medium is revealed by the pattern. Like the pattern, the medium is constantly evolving, and our understanding evolves along with it. By recognizing the evolution of medium, we can better control the growth of our global village, and spend less time hypnotized by the disarming intracacies of our pattern's message. The sacred feminine painted as a temple prostitute may shock our conditioned sensibilities, but a goddess is a goddess is a goddess, even when she is a whore. Respect her accordingly.




Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 6, "Babylon"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eteErs0GCBQ

Peace.

21 comments:

  1. As you said: <"The sacred feminine painted as a temple prostitute may shock our conditioned sensibilities, but a goddess is a goddess is a goddess, even when she is a whore. Respect her accordingly.">

    BRAVO!!! *claps* Your breakdown of speechless as Beyonce being the message emitted from Mae West's mouth was great-- I read that as: Beyonce, as carrying the torch of the virgin/whore-in-one-body that Mae West had passed to Harlow, Monroe, Madonna, Stefani, Aguilera, etc., is that inheritance of the message Mae West "started" of female liberation through unabashed sexuality (or even coy sexuality, the whole "i'm a wholesome christian one minute and sex kitten the next" that Britney Spears and Beyonce and Miley Cyrus are so known for)....so for her to, unspeaking/speechless, be in her BODY (not voice) the message Mae West's memory evokes of sacred sexuality, is for her to be the message dripping from (or spread across-- pun intended) Mae's lips as she sits on her face.

    I could also venture into Beyonce's own "lips" joining Mae West's in the ritual kiss (a la Madonna/Britney/Christina) as Beyonce being the next one to carry West's crown or role....her lips also "speaking" the message passed from Mae's own, as her lips are joined with Mae's as she sits upon them and she "speaks back" to Mae from those lips, or Mae's memory. Just my thoughts.

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  2. Loved it Toure. A little deep for my thick skull but it reminded me of Erik Davis' cult masterpiece. TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information.

    Its hard to avoid such distractions even when we have such powerful tools in mind. The female form is an engineered animated trance sculpture.

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  3. The Patternist wrote: "The sacred feminine painted as a temple prostitute may shock our conditioned sensibilities, but a goddess is a goddess is a goddess, even when she is a whore. Respect her accordingly."

    I agree. Western modes of thought on female sexuality and the inability to grasp the "contradiction-that-is-not" of the mother/whore/goddess archetype can be at times wildly prudish, whilst at the same time they fall down and worship at her feet. As you have detailed in the above post.

    But I still stand by the comment I made about "sacred whores" in response to your previous post on this subject:

    "The stories relating the original temple prostitutes elicits sympathy in me for the ones that were not so "comely", and had to wait years till a suitor would toss some shekels their way and release them from the temple grounds.

    Today even the best looking sacred whores can't leave the grounds unless they're completely spent."


    The whore/goddess/mother archetype, one of immense power, may indeed be used here coldly and cynically towards a result entirely at odds with any reverence for the female. The human psyche is a dirty little package, wrapped up as it is with the overwhelming biological imperative of the sexual drive, and the male can switch from goddess worship to whore f**k in a second (and it can be both at the same time of course). This inherent contradiction is a living breathing thing, and has most probably always been so.

    I just feel that whilst the medium may indeed be the message, both are owned (or at least heavily manipulated for commercial gain) by the those who shake that proxy money-maker like a puppet.

    The whore/mother/goddess and the yoni is sacred, yes. The money-men though are the pricks that penetrate it in the full negative, pejorative sense.

    Today's sacred whores still can't leave till they are completely spent, and ruined. Or are owned for life. This may indeed be the eternal and tragic tableau of life, and part of the theatre of the cosmos, but it still sucks.

    There again though is the contradiction, the moneyed pricks may indeed be part of the entire function of goddess worship. The temple is now a virtual one and the Holy-Rood techno-priests pimp the sacred whore/goddess out to the devoted. En masse.
    I know I'd worship in Beyonce's temple all day and all night (LOL. I wish). That's the truth of the matter. Go for the real thing though, not the virtual. Lay down with beside the whore/goddess of your choice and revere her.

    I've rambled on enough now, unfortunately the spirit took me.

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  4. Why she gotta be all that!?!? Beeyonce is a hot, diva, pop princess and nothing more! Why does it have to bee so deep? I just want to melt away and simmer in her hotness, is that too much to ask!?!?

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  5. but a goddess is a goddess is a goddess, even when she is a whore. Respect her accordingly.

    Brava! BRAVA! I want more of your writing, its fabulous.

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  6. 48laws: Thank you for inspiring me. The way this research feeds on the community perspective... it's a beautiful thing to experience.

    Layers upon layers, right? One mystery wrapped in another... ad infinitum. I was gonna suggest that you post that comment on your pt2, but I see you already on it ;] After writing this I started to see more examples of how one personality might be the "voice" of another. Ego is what makes us think that the voice is their(our) own. I suppose we all fall into that category to some degree. In a way, the voice is *our* own, right?

    Kidd: Thanks for that link! great stuff. I'm ordering that book...

    Sub: You read my mind. What I wanna know is, is this ugly/beautiful mom/pop balance something we should accept as the way of the age, or is it the duty of the informed to affect change? Is Beyonce (and her puppet-masters) playing the proper cosmic role, or is the pattern warning us of imbalance?

    Anonymous said...a trick. Exactly.

    hazel: Thanks for the love! More and more and more on the way. I'm just gettin warmed up... although I may need a Beyonce break. I've been lookin into Eva Mendes recently...

    ;]

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  7. The Patternist wrote: "Sub: You read my mind. What I wanna know is, is this ugly/beautiful mom/pop balance something we should accept as the way of the age, or is it the duty of the informed to affect change? Is Beyonce (and her puppet-masters) playing the proper cosmic role, or is the pattern warning us of imbalance?"

    It's a damn good question. I don't have an answer. I'll just study the pattern for a while methinks...

    For the Anony of a little while back who said:

    Why she gotta be all that!?!? Beeyonce is a hot, diva, pop princess and nothing more! Why does it have to bee so deep? I just want to melt away and simmer in her hotness, is that too much to ask!?!?

    Simmering in her hotness is the goddess worship right there. Doesn't have to be more complex than that. But your inclusion of the mispelled "bee" in Beyonce and be may just "bee" an indication of the players who manipulate this "simmering hot" archetype (or they just think that they do, the true power could be manipulating them.)

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  8. I really am grateful for the minds that comment here... you guys make me feel that positive energy that drives my optimism in the illogical righteousness of this whole crazy balance/imbalance contradiction we call existence... damn. did i just type that... I'm really not crazy, y'all. I'm not.

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  9. This is such a wonderful article,...

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  10. well..here is a different view. I think Beyonce and Jay-Z are just greedy, power-hungry, well-versed in the esotheric arts bums. I believe, they are not part of the Illuminati..but are just sensless copy-cats of the true craft. As u can see, the pattern is not well-developed with them and there is a reason for that, the messages are mingled together (not subtle) just to "convey" certain image to the true masters, who in turn let them be and allow these two pseudo-illuminati reap some benefits of fame. Thus, u find byonce running from one Illuminati symbology to the next, just to cover as many as possible. Same goes for Rhianna, now she wears a phoenix necklace ..wtf Jay-Z? Getting too over the top....(just look st his clothing line)..he is clearly a servant..and a symbolic impostor!

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  11. All Beyonce knows is $ signs and dressing little girls like hookers.

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  12. Beyonce is just a puppet.
    Have you ever listened to any of her interviews? Can you say airhead?
    I actually feel sorry for her because she is being used and when the industry is done with her she will be discarded like so many before her.

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  13. Little bit of ego and arrogance I notice. Who are "the informed" to effect change?
    Beyonce is just a singer. Not a very good one at that but she, like Madonna knows how to tittilate small minds and what they dream of.
    Goddess she sure isn't. Gods and Goddesses don't exist. So if we are going to get deep and meaningful, then lets stick to facts and not imagination.
    And, please don't put her and her ilk into the "arts bums" catergory, that demands creative imaginative ability.
    Sorry this was not an attempt to "character assinate" Beyonce but you used her image to poorly illustrate media and message. The only message going out here is women should act like Beyonce and men should see and treat women as hookers.
    Where is your point?

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  14. Other than that, great article, well illustrated and very well layed out. Now that is media!

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  15. "Little bit of ego and arrogance I notice. Who are "the informed" to effect change?"

    In the same way a school teacher helps bring the wisdom out of students, those of us who see the patterns, the code, can help others to see this.

    "Gods and Goddesses don't exist... lets stick to facts"

    Saying that gods don't exist is not fact.

    i use 'goddess' first in reference to symbolism, allegory, not some being in the sky, and second to describe the divinity of the sacred feminine. beyonce is a goddess in the same way that all women are goddesses. they are our literal creators, the divine vessels through which we enter this world.

    "The only message ... is women should act like Beyonce and men should see and treat women as hookers. Where is your point?"

    You may be looking for more than there is here. you got the message. the question is why? i expand on this in the previous article, Sacred Sex. this article isnt really about the content of the message, it's about how message and medium mix, how they affect each other.

    This point is underscored by the fact that you thought the article (the medium) was well illustrated and the content (the message) was poorly illustrated.

    ...and I've heard Beyonce sing, bruh, she can blow. Her talent, much like other 'chosen' artists (MJ, Madonna, Jayz), is one of the main reason she is spotlit. like Madonna and Mike, she puts on a good show, hence my focus on her hypnotic performance.

    "Now that is media!"

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  16. Justin: that link is timely. i smelled somethin funny about the new TNT show "Hawthorne" starring Jada Pinkett Smith, and i heard somebody connect the show to Hathor, reflecting the "mother" aspect of the trinity...

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