“In her own sweet worldPopulated by dolls and clownsand a prince and a big purple bearLives my favorite girl.Unaware of the worried frownsThat we weary grown-ups all wear.In the sun she dancesTo silent music-songsThat are spun of goldSomewhere in her own little head.Then one day all too soonShe’ll grow up and she’ll leave her dollsAnd her prince and her silly old bear.When she goes they will cryAs they whisper good-byeThey will miss her I know.”but then so will I. –Lyrics From “Waltz For Debby” by Bill Evans Hot and Cold Media By Donnie Chase
“In the century of Jazz, we are likely to overlook The Waltz as a hot explosive human expression…” -Marshall Mcluhan As technology progresses so do the means of expression and involvement. Depending upon that involvement, that expression is typically put into one of two categories. Hot or Cold.
Hot Mediums Cold Mediums Photography Cartoons Radio Telephone Phonetic Alphabet Hieroglyphic Cinema Television
Hot Medium: Very little involvement from the participant with a large amount of information. Almost everything that is needed is provided, leaving only a small portion for the participant to interpret. Cold Medium: Much involvement from the participant with a very little amount of information. The basis is provided, but the rest is left up to the participant to interpret.
Mechanical, Uniform Repetition. Hot mediums are known for being consistent. When going to a movie or stage performance, you buy a ticket from a booth, walk in, a person greets you and takes your ticket, they tell you where to go, you sit. Eventually The lights will dim, you’ll hear music, and the show begins. This is consistent at any type of movie or play. The mood is provided.
Organic, Irregular, and Sporadic Cold Mediums are typically somber and fluid. Unlike going to the theatre, television at home is not normally routine. It can be interrupted by an emergency broadcast, it can be watched anytime. The sound and picture varies and is not as clean as in a theatre. It takes more on the behalf of the viewer to complete this experience.
The unhindering, blatentimages brings a hotness to the medium. The lack of ideas and emotions is what brings a coolness to the medium. “The effect of Hot Media treatment cannot include much empathy or participation at any time.” – Marshall McLuhan
We see in a shot from a movie what a car wreck is. Because of being a Hot Media culture we see this as being The model of what cars do in an accident, forgetting what actually happens when two cars meet. “…any intense experience must be forgotten, censored, and Reduced to a very cool state before it can be learned or assimilated.” -Marshal McLuhan The cooling censorship is a tool to learn and process intense situations. To protect our values and our physical bodies. The problem with this is we take the censored version of things as the truth.
The introduction of a Hot medium to a hot, literate culture is viewed as entertaining and inviting. It is even used as a means of social gathering. But the introduction of a Hot medium to a cold, non-literate culture has an adverse effect. Violence often comes in it’s wake.
“Numbness is the result of any prolonged terror.” - Marshall McLuhan Because of our hot culture viewing hot mediums as entertainment, we compare ourselves to characters and become the hero of our own story. In doing so, we become detached from the world around us and forget that we are not the main character in reality. Though hard times come, everything may not be Ok in the end.
“…What we consider entertainment or fun in our media inevitably appears as violent political agitation to a cool culture.” - Marshall McLuhan “We’ll still be waiting for something stimulating because in the end all you sold us was boredom.” -Andrew Schwab “Wake up and realize the dream you've lived was set up by the liar.” -C. Espevoll “You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. “ - C. S. Lewis “The Hotting-up of one sense tends to effect hypnosis, and the cooling of all Senses tends to result in hallucination.” - Marshall McLuhan