Thursday, July 21, 2011

happy birthday Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan was born 100 years today.Everything from lecture series to walking tours, many articles & retrospectives, special edition books are out.

One of the phrases that McLuhan was known for was "The medium is the message." When the book by the same name came out, there was a misprint in the title: "The medium is the massage." McLuhan insisted on keeping that, seeing it add yet another layer to his thinking.

Some more of his sayings or McLuhanisms:
  • Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
  • Art is anything you can get away with.
  • Affluence creates poverty.
  • Tomorrow is our permanent address.
  • If it works, it's obsolete.
  • Ads are the cave art of the Twentieth century
At the peak of his popularity in the late 60's and early 70's he was quoted everywhere, interviewed by many magazines including the Playboy essay. McLuhan became less popular by the late 90's and the first part of the this century, but there is an increasing recognition that this man has shaped, or at the very least, marked out for us the factors that shape our thinking in our world.

Happy Birthday, Marshall.

Here's a clip of McLuhan on the World as a Global Village
Then, of course, there is the classic McLuhan in Annie Hall

walking tour [Toronto walking tour with Nora Young & Marshall McLuhan]

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