A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.

Archive for March, 2011

Amazing isn’t it?

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Skilled sniffers!    

“Many native societies rely on the services of skilled sniffers to arrange marriages between the boys and the debs.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  What are we to make of this tidbit of anthropological lore?

Marshall says we can understand our culture better by looking at it in contrast to other cultures.  Notice I said “look”.  Marshall would have thought this “revealing” of my visual bias.  Visual cultures, he says, try to reduce the influence of smell, for example, by using deodorants.  And this bias affects our behavior.  Consider this clip in which you can see what happens to the way people behave when the influence of sound and smell are increased.  And see too how you are affected.    

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSXt5O-QWI

 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 188.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, March 17th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture No Comments

The deadliness of TV

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  What happened to Miss America?    

“Miss America was killed by TV along with the Hollywood star system, and the political parties.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Is there anything TV didn’t do?  

In the thinking of Marshall McLuhan TV is the joker.  Why is Vietnam happening or not happening?  Why are students rioting or not rioting?  Why is anything happening or not happening?  The eager follower of Marshall McLuhan knows that TV is probably to blame.  And in our time the modern Marshall McLuhans have a new joker card to play – the internet.  I wonder what the internet is up to today.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6admq2EJt1Q

 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 174.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture, Technology No Comments

The dark resolute vision of Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Folly, pure folly!    

Alan Watts “is mistaken in thinking that ‘if all man-made machines are simply an extension of man, they cannot constitute a threat.’  This is the folly of Alan Watts in his approach to human identity.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  The threats are all around us.  

Cities are an extension of our bodies and minds.  They can allow us to reach the highest expression of who we are and they can destroy us.   The most important thing as McLuhan taught is to keep on trying to understand what is happening. 

 

 

 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 148.

Michael Hinton Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Technology No Comments

Marshall McLuhan on the present state of TV

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Service as a matter of crisis    

“At present, TV is a service only during a crisis.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Providing the lights don’t go out.  

  

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 104.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, March 12th, 2011
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Marshall McLuhan on pay TV

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  You become your own programmer    

“Subscription TV means audience participation in programming without benefit of ratings or sponsors.  Instead of a package deal, the viewer will get service.  Service as a matter of course and not a matter of crisis.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  What do you want?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vXFJpjyEsc&feature=related

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 104.

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Michael Hinton Friday, March 11th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture, Technology, Uncategorized No Comments

The far-seeing Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Unbelievable?    

“Surely, it is not unbelievable that decision-makers are totally out of touch with the world they live in?”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Surely not.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P88FAtAhbcY&feature=relmfu

 Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 104.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Management, Politics No Comments

The power of the media

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  The medium is the message.

“The media tycoons have a huge stake in old media by which they monopolize the new media.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  For example?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVV6kxoDuqk

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 104.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Culture No Comments

The mystery of it all

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Just an observation.

“Whodunits as process (not narrative) still hold up on TV.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Do they still?

It would appear so:

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 100.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture, Technology No Comments

Consider yourself one of the family

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  What’s new?    

“The new age of electric software and information involves everybody in a single human family once more.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  And what a family!

And getting disfunctionaler:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV1zul2aCM8&feature=related

And disfunctionaler:

 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 94.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, March 5th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Culture, Technology 1 Comment

The cool of color tv

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Watch and learn.    

“Color TV is the coolest possible mythic medium.  In the hands of the old movie gang, it is used for hot effects of more intense realism.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Have a look

TV color:

 

Movie gang color:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDF0at7sC0M&feature=related

 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 86.

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Michael Hinton Friday, March 4th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Technology No Comments