About

Marshall McLuhan, ora pro nobis.

This site’s raison d’être is to recycle, extend, and amplify neoreactionary rich media. At present, I do this mainly by rendering YouTube content into audio. I am not in competition with producers of NRx YouTube content; rather I seek to extend their reach and archive their content. I applaud those creators whose content makes full use of the video medium and thus cannot be rendered aurally without loss of substance. I respect this distinction, and I will not feature such content here.

Why, then, my specific focus on audio content? It’s very simple: faith comes by hearing the word. This is not blasphemy, but I’m glad it gave you pause. No, this project is not a Christian missionary endeavor. But it is my contention that this Christian soteriological principle is not only true per se, but also analogically, i.e., in the realm of true ideology. True ideas participate in, are heated by, the fire of the Logos. All truth, then, is a species of divine communication. Audio-phonic communication in particular carries a particular punch, for in it information is all front-loaded, all “right there,” so to speak (and so to be heard). Sound is more ineluctable than sight— it is much harder to close one’s eyes than one’s ears.

The foregoing may seem like a ridiculously high basis for producing a podcast. Let me bring it back down to the molten sphere:

Audio podcasts are the new radio, and radio is a hot medium. “There is a basic principle that distinguishes a hot medium like radio from a cool one like the telephone, or a hot medium like the movie from a cool one like TV,” writes Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Ch. 2, “Media Hot and Cold”):

A hot medium is one that extends one single sense in “high definition.” High definition is the state of being well filled with data. A photograph is, visually, “high definition.” A cartoon is “low definition,” simply because very little visual information is provided. Telephone is a cool medium, or one of low definition, because the ear is given a meager amount of information. And speech is a cool medium of low definition, because so little is given and so much has to be filled in by the listener. On the other hand, hot media do not leave so much to be filled in or completed by the audience. Hot media are, therefore, low in participation, and cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience. Naturally, therefore, a hot medium like radio has very different effects on the user from a cool medium… Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one, as a lecture makes for less participation than a seminar, and a book for less than dialogue. With print many earlier forms were excluded from life and art, and many were given strange new intensity. But our own time is crowded with examples of the principle that the hot form excludes, and the cool one includes.

The voiced proclamation of truth is an injection of divine fire. It’s hot, is it not? Eloquence increases the native immolating and animating power of speech. Thus McLuhan calls radio “The Tribal Drum.”

That’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but is this not regression? McLuhan wrote his magnum opus in 1965. Are we not much more advanced now? Is not our grasp of media much more intelligent, our ability to utilize them and wield influence through them more nuanced?

I would say “no,” though I am (obviously) not a skeptic vis-á-vis all cool media (in any sense of the word— I am cool enough to be on Twitter). The choice to render media down to audio is not regression. It is precision selection. It is amplification and aural dilation. Purity of heart is to will one thing, at least one thing at a time. Multitasking is overrated.

This truism bears repeating: “we” are not more “advanced.” Everyman’s grasp of media is weakened— of the media themselves and of their significance— for he has scant critical distance from them. Indeed, they grasp and wield him, more so than he grasps, wields them. Not only is oh-so-modern Everyman’s physical grip-strength weak, but his intellectual and spiritual grip-strength has never been more enervated. We all know this to be true.

“The hot form excludes, and the cool one includes.” I aim to exclude, sensorily and ideologically. Though I am no iconoclast, the project of NRxSyn is in fact to exclude extraneous sense perception (especially visual distraction) so that you can just listen— in your car, on the tram, while you’re cooking, while you’re filing, etc.

I also aim to exclude in the sense that the media featured here are curated. Not all NRx ideology is of the same quality. Not everyone is as eloquent…or even eloquent. There’s also the brass-tacks fact that I am not aware of everything going down in the world of neoreactionary media. Neither is it a goal of mine to become thus omniscient: I have a job and a life, the exigencies of which prevent me from ventilating my conscience experience through the NRx intranet. Besides, that’s just no way to live.

All of this is to say that I will certainly take input and suggestions for featured content, but I do not guarantee that I will feature everything that is suggested to me.

Currently I produce an audio podcast feed of P. T. Carlo’s Thermidor Podcast. I also have an Omnibus channel which features miscellaneous content from across the Reactosphere. As the name suggests, all featured audio from this site (including the Thermidor Podcast) is bundled into this channel. If you have content suggestions, or if you would like NRxSyn to produce or feature your podcast, please visit the Contact page. Yes, I can provide the web-hosting. I currently have no set fee or rate, and if I can distribute and cover costs with donations, that will be sufficient, though if there is sufficient interest I may implement a reasonable fee structure. That said, I will put all earmarked donations (plus any donations past my monthly cost-threshold) directly into advertising on social media. Helping me helps you.