[Air-L] A Sunday morning curiosity: Marlon Brando and Medium Theory in 1953?

Ben Morton benallenmorton at gmail.com
Mon Aug 26 06:15:10 PDT 2013

The Cinema Dreams Its
2006) is a book that deals with the film medium's fear of new or
emerging media. The argument is not that this 'medium panic' is part of the
larger culture, but that TV challenged film to differentiate itself from
the new audiovisual kid on the block. In other words, claims for 'moral
panic' come from particular cultures with particular goals, values, and

In the early history of any new medium (I like your critique of the *
Phaedrus*, Charles, but it is still a type of 'medium panic,' even if for
theatrical reasons) we can find claims for 'medium panic' from users,
professionals, academics, or, in the case of *The Wild One*, those working
in an older medium (for a more recent example, think about the Recording
Industry's reaction to mp3 distribution on Napster during the early days of
the Internet).

Good Weather,
Ben Morton
Communication Studies
The University of Iowa

On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 2:50 AM, Anders Sundnes Løvlie <anders.lovlie at hig.no
> wrote:

> > the fear that
> > a new medium will totally displace older ones, including speech itself
> Plato put forward an argument of this kind, arguing that the medium of
> writing was inferior to the spoken word in dialogue, and believing that the
> act of writing made people loose their capacity for memorizing and ability
> to speak well (or something along that line). This is in "Phaedrus" and one
> of the letters I think.
> Now, whether or not Plato is the cause for Jimmy's medium panic in 1953, I
> couldn't say…
> Regards,
> Anders Sundnes Løvlie
> Gjøvik University College
> english.hig.no
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