A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

Marshall McLuhan: Cult Hero

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Corinne, look at this!

Look at what, Marshall?

This new book, Representative Men: Cult Heroes of Our Time.  I’m a cult hero.

A what?

A cult hero.  I quote – “the hero is an exceptional person who maintains authority over average people and seeks to realize an ideal.  In the pursuit of this ideal, the hero demonstrates certain characteristics.  He is a courageous, active social man whose passions are more intense than the people he represents; he is a man willing to dive, to take chances; he is someone  finally who sees more deeply into the experiences of the average man.”

Is that what you are?

It appears so.  But then who knows how long as my 15 minutes will last

Me (June 2010, age 57)   Yesterday and today

A book like Representative Men, which was published in 1970, reveals the extent of Marshall McLuhan’s fame and influence in the late 1960s.  Who made the list?  Just to read some of the names is to get a sense of high Marshall McLuhan flew in the 1960s and how far he has fallen in the public’s estimation today:  JFK, Jacqueline Onassis, J. D. Salinger, Malcolm X, Frank Sinatra, Arthur Miller, and Martin Luther King.

Certainly in the 1960s Marshall McLuhan was seen as someone who “sees … deeply into the experiences of the average man.”  A man who had the answers.  Whether he will ever be seen again as the man with the answers is doubtful.  But, as I hope this blog shows, whenever you turn to McLuhan insight and answers are possible.

More tomorrow

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Representative Men: Cult Heroes of Our Time, edited by Theodore L. Gross.  New York: The Free press, 1970.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Culture, Vol. 1 No Comments

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