A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.Â Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday,Â I present one of McLuhanâ€™s observations and talk about its relevance today.Â 300 ideas. 300 days.Â 300 posts.
Marshall McLuhan (February 27, 1962, age 50).Â TV!
Every familyâ€™s got a drop-out, magazineâ€™s like Life are in trouble, the auto industry is veering out of control, the textbook industry and our schools are being completely overhauled.Â Why do so few people see that these things and a great many more are directly attributable to the impact of TV!
TV is not the first medium to have entirely reshaped society and it will not be the last.Â But in many ways it is the most obvious.Â The book escaped me for years.Â I caught on to TV in seconds.
Me (February, 2010, age 57). Â What if heâ€™s right?
Marshall McLuhanâ€™s observation about TV suggests the connection between the rise of the internet and the decay of newspapers.
Extra!Â Extra!Â Read all about it!Â In Atlanta where I was early last month for a conference, the 5 star hotel I stayed in (thanks to the special deal the American Economic Association was able to arrange for its members) did not supply newspapers for its guests, as the big hotels do in Toronto.Â Their thinking being, I imagine that their guests would rather be on-line or in front of the TV.Â In Montreal the English language newspaper The Gazette is given away outside metro stations to commuters in the mornings and in the afternoons, but few appear to want to take a paper.Â Increasingly, the front page of the Gazette has become a showcase for advertisements, colour pictures and teasers about blogs and on-line stories.Â Some days, like last Monday, the lead story no longer leads on the front page.
The French seem to be lagging in the abandonment of the newspaper.Â The leading intellectual newspaper here is called Le Devoir.Â What English language daily would call itself Homework?
Are you more likely to get your news from TV, on-line, or from a newspaper? When the newspaper disappears, where will the radio morning shows get their stories?
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
The Montreal Gazette, February 1, 2010.