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.

Politics

What is truth?

Marshall McLuhan (March 25, 1974, age 63).  Good old Agatha Christie!    

“Was it Hercule Poirot who, when asked ‘what is truth?’ replied: ‘Eet ees whatever upsets zee applecart?” 

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  Perhaps it’s time to upset some apple carts? 

Why not?  You have nothing to fear but the apples.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 492.

Philip Marchand, Marshall McLuhan:  The Medium and the Messenger, 1989, pp. 249-50

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Is TV hurting the Liberal’s and NDP’s chances in the election campaign?

Marshall McLuhan (April 24, 1979, age 67).  Yes!

“We have an election underway here in Canada and the issues include separatism, as well as jobs and inflation.  All of these are hot issues.  That is to say, they are completely unsuited to the TV medium.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  The McLuhan strategy.

And today we also have an election underway.  And while the issues have changed, Marshall’s observations remain relevant.  If TV is unsuited to the selling of hot issues then the party that avoids the issues on TV is most likely to win.  Not surprisingly, McLuhan had another idea, too: hot issues could be pushed on a hot medium like radio.  If McLuhan is right, this could be what is required for a Liberal or NDP victory. Hot sell on radio, cool engagement on TV.  But can any of the opposition leaders beat the Harper stare?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 545.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Communication, Politics No Comments

The new threat?

Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).  The new.    

“As the most completely book-minded people in the world, North Americans would seem to be moving into new orbits of experience for which their bookishness has not entirely prepared them.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  What is to be done?

Continue to explore.  To discover how media as media work.  Bring understanding to the rescue.  That I imagine is what Marshall would do.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969, p. 99.

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Who put the fire into the fireside chat?

Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).  Radio!

“The radio and public address microphones killed off political oratory.  You can’t orate into a microphone.  You have to chat.  …  Roosevelt was the first to master the microphone as artillery fixed at the fireside.  The home becomes the firing line.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  TV is not radio.

Unless radio makes a comeback the fireside chat would appear to be dead.   As you can see:

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969, p. 72.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Politics, Uncategorized No Comments

Elections in the electronic age

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Don’t ask and you will receive.    

“In the cool TV age, the office must chase the man, as in the pre-railway days of Jefferson and Washington.  Anyone seeking office is far too hot for the new cool electorate.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Is Canada no longer in the electronic age?

There seems to be an awful lot of seeking going on in Canadian politics right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXlmQ2OutCE&feature=relmfu 

 

 Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 60.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Politics, Uncategorized No Comments

Will TV elect our next Prime Minister?

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Meet the new NBC and CBS.    

“NBC and CBS could easily become the political ‘parties’ of the future, just as the New York Central and the Pennsylvania railroads were once the political parties of the nineteenth century.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  The future is here…

CTV, Global, and the CBC are hard at work in the current Federal election in Canada.  And so are the more traditional political parties with a little help from TV.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 52.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
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It’s all happening here

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  The sorcery of TV.

“TV means that the Vietnam war is the first to be fought on American soil.  Parents can now see their sons killed in living color.  All sons become ours on TV.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Today, with what’s been happening …

In Japan, Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere our TV family has never been bigger or more stricken with tragedy.  It is possible that this experience of a seemingly unending TV cooled string of hot conflicts and disasters may well prove today to be as McLuhan said about the experience war on TV in the sixties “unbearable.”

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 52.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Politics, Technology 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