Spread the News

Commentary by Lightning Rod - RIP 2/6/2013
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Lightning Rod
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Spread the News

Post by Lightning Rod » November 2nd, 2008, 12:51 pm

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Spread the News
for release 11-02-08
Dallas, Texas
by Lightning Rod

The poet or the troubadour was the earliest representative of the Fourth Estate. This was before Gutenberg and the printing press, before anyone could spread the news in print and before most people could have read it anyway. So the news was spread in songs and stories spun by town criers and minstrels. No commercials.

Gutenberg didn't have a clue what trouble he was about to start when he printed the first multiple copies of the Bible. For the first time the laity had access to The Word. which had thus far only been known to them through the interpretation of the Church. Soon after that we had the Protestant Reformation and wars and persecutions that went on for centuries.

Then came the pamphlets and the broadsheets and eventually newspapers. This put the town crier and the troubadour out of business in much the same way that the internet is about to replace the paper press. The Fourth Estate was being born.

When Louis XVI, under great political pressure in 1789, convened the Estates General, it was composed of three 'estates.' The First Estate was the clergy, The Second Estate was the aristocracy and the Third Estate was the commons or bourgoisie. But there was a Fourth Estate. These were the writers and thinkers and the pamphleteers who were spreading the word using Gutenberg's new gizmo, the ones who broadcast the news and framed the debate.

They were unnamed at the time. Not until years later when Edmund Burke addressed the House of Commons in England was the term Fourth Estate coined. Looking up at the press gallery in Commons he said, 'Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.'"

He was referring to the fact that those who spread the news can also frame the agenda. They have great power. They are the bankers of public opinion. They set the interest rate.

Now we refer to the Fourth Estate as the 'Media.' Media is the plural of Medium. And as McCluhan reminds us, 'The Medium is the Massage."

The Poet's Eye sees a job opportunity. Poet's and troubadours are coming back. The electronic media are returning us to aural space. With twenty-four hour cable TV and YouTube and broadband internet, the circle is being closed. The Fourth Estate will once again become poets and video bloggers and wandering minstrels talking face to face with their audiences.

Gonna stand on a mountaintop
and spread the news
that you take my breath away
--tuck and patti
"These words don't make me a poet, these Eyes make me a poet."

The Poet's Eye

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stilltrucking
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Post by stilltrucking » November 8th, 2008, 10:17 pm

He was referring to the fact that those who spread the news can also frame the agenda. They have great power. They are the bankers of public opinion. They set the interest rate.
Excellent writing clay.

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