McLuhan: Fish’s medium was water, ours is media

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March 17, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

fish-tank-rectangular-shapeMarshall McLuhan
By Ainslee M.

Out of all of these Marshall McLuhan quotes one really stood out to me and that was “A fish does not realize its medium until that water changes through the adding of ink or poisons”.
To me this quote is basically saying that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. You cannot value the things you have until they are taken away from you. McLuhan is saying that we always take advantage of things and don’t tend to realize their true importance or value until we cannot control them anymore. Just like the fish taking advantage of the clean, non-polluted water, we do that in our everyday life. Whether it is us taking advantage of our resources, money or even people, we do it on a daily basis and I agree very strongly with McLuhan in this case. To me he is hitting the nail right on the head when it comes to this quote, and being honest in a way most people are not.

This quote relates to media studies because the fish and the water is just a metaphor for taking advantage of things. This can be related to media studies by saying that we as a society took advantage of good media.

Growing up I had show’s to watch that actually had good values and taught lessons as opposed to now when things on television are just garbage with no point to them. The fish are just like us and the media is what is being poisoned. You cannot leave your children alone watching TV in the evenings now because God only knows what they will see or hear. The amount of profanity, nudity, sexuality and negative messages that are in the media now are just sickening. We took advantage of being able to watch TV, listen to the radio or even read magazines and be able to actually enjoy what we are viewing and laugh at things because they were actually funny. Media now is full of sexual innuendos and poor value messages and most of the time you are laughing because you are prompte by a laugh track. Just like the fish, we took advantage of what we once had and now we have to live with the consequences.

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