Friday, November 10, 2006

The Maltese Falcon, 1941. America In The World- A Review Of

This film is about a new consciousness that America has gleaned from it's collective experience in the First and now the impending reality of the Second World War.

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade plays the American, the democrat, a thread the world hangs on to, their only hope in a world plunging towards a Second Great War. As the Conscience of Humanity, he finds the himself at the centre of the power plays and greed of Empires and powerful interests, played in their various characters.

Mary Astor as Brigid O'Shaughnessy an apparent love interest, but in the larger sense the British Empire; Kasper Gutman as the German Imperialist, not evil but logical, focusing on his ends, justifying his means; and Peter Lorre playing the French Colonial Interest as Joel Cairo the man "capable of Anything" in Gutman's opinion, he is amoral self interested.

Sam Spade returns to Gutman's Apartments for a discussion of the price to deliver the Falcon; in this scene Gutman promises a World in riches - he talks of the myth of the Knights Templar - perhaps contained with-in the shell of the Maltes Falcon. He's tempting Sam, as a metaphor for American Democracy, with the powers of World Empire. Drugged, something in his drink, Spade(America?) passes out; the tables have been turned, Gutman has milked Spade for information - and given nothing in return.

In the final scene of the movie at Spades Detective Office, Sam has covered all his bases. In the end his play wins, he can have the Falcon, the girl, anything he wants. Yet he knows, through his experience of real freedom, the there's only one option. He chooses the Democratic path, The Rule of Law and calls the cops.

As always in Hollywood, a happy ending... .


Saturday, September 2, 2006

Air Conditioning as McLuhan "Warm Bath"

"People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath."


"The price of eternal vigilance is indifference."

(Indifference/avoidance disorder?)

"All advertising advertises advertising."

(Brand-New Brand Branded-Branding Tool?)

"The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy."


"When a thing is current, it creates currency."


"When you are on the phone or on the air, you have no body."


...Air-Conditioning as a McLuhanist "Warm Bath"

When you are in air conditioning, the difference between ‘are’ and ‘body’ disappears. Your not just bathing in media, you are the media; the cold turns on your furnace. Pretty soon you’d rather not go out, you’ve warmed to the bath water.

The bodies ability to cool itself diminishes if it's ability to deal with normal temperatures is not constantly tested, diminishing over the summers, and further reinforcing the behavior to stay inside, physically binding us to the media.

When you’re bathing in any media the universe becomes this subjective place.

When you read a book bathed in light, the reflection of light waves from the page activates neurons; the brain translates the icons into meaning… or where you think you are. One becomes, "swept away" with the story.

Thus, one could imagine a post modern future with advertising like,

On The Special Tonight: Visible light!

And on Reality Great Channel, It’s Gravity Fields!
Your Reality the way YOU want It!


Or as REM put it:

"That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane,
Lenny Bruce is not afraid"

Sources: Artist REM, Album: Document, Song: "It's The End Of The World As We Know It."

The estate of Marshall McLuhan, to ensure the integrity of his name and legacy.