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.

Have you ever noticed? (Part 1)

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  You may have wondered why …      

“Ads are more interesting than essay articles.”

Me (May, 2011, age 58).  Now that you mention it. 

McLuhan says the reason why is that ads fit better with the electric world in which we live.  In the electric world of TV, radio, movies, and, now, the internet, e-mail, texting, facebook, and twitter, everything is coming at you at once, squeezing out narrative and points of view.  Ads unlike the narrative essay that goes from past to present to future exist in “an inclusive present.” This may or may not be bumph.  But you have to wonder as you flip through a magazine or watch TV why the ads are sometimes more interesting than the main attractions.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 112.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, May 19th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture No Comments

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