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 3)

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

“The ‘missing link’ created far more interest than all the chains and explanations of being.”

Me (May, 2011, age 58).  Here’s your chance to try and think like McLuhan. 

What do you think McLuhan would say is the explanation for greater interest in the missing link than the great chain of being?  See Tuesday’s post for the answer.  Meanwhile this may help inspire you to solve this mystery.

Cordially, Marshall and Me


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


Michael Hinton Saturday, May 21st, 2011
Permalink Communication, Culture 1 Comment

1 Comment to Have you ever noticed? (Part 3)


    I left my meerschaum pipe at home so not super sleuthing today. Nonetheless, McLuhan seemed to realize that people liked being caught up in mystery much as he himself. Looking at the “great chain” McLuhan saw from his beginning treatise on the trivium that the great chain was really every age implementing its own tech and thereby its own effects (ideas). The missing link was provided to McLuhan without any of that. His epiphany provided him the missing link to creation. His sign from God. That was the mask he donned every day at Mass. Though he spoke of the electronic age as the age of Lucifer. So if ads fit better in the “content stew” that’s the fallen hand directing man to distraction. Attraction to Distraction!!! But behind all of this super age of information/distraction comes the longing for something more; hence, missing link time.
    Colasso in his book The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony relates the enigma:
    “Take the most famous one of all, the Sphinx’s: “What is the being that has but one voice and yet sometimes has two feet, sometimes three, sometimes four, and is progressively weaker the more feet it has?” Oedipus answers: “Man”. But if we think about that answer, we realize that precisely the fact that “man” is the solution to such an enigma suggests the enigmatic nature of man. What is this incongruous being that goes from the animal condition of the quadruped through to the prosthesis (the old man’s stick), all the time preserving a single voice? The solution to the enigma is thus itself an enigma, and a more difficult one”
    This story tells us that the missing link is forever compelling the human journey!
    Michael if this isn’t the right answer, I have another. Nice to talk to you again.

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