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.

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.    



Cordially, Marshall and Me



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

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