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.
Marshall McLuhan (September 20, 1976, age 65).Â To set the scene.
I admit it, Iâm a creature of habit.Â Up at 4 am to read the New Testament in Greek, Latin, French, German, or English in my green bathrobe.Â On the white kitchen wall phone a bit after 5 to discuss new breakthroughs in media studies with a colleague, today itâs Barry Nevitt.Â Shocking to realize it, but do you know no one in media studies realizes itâs not possible to prove anything?Â You can only disprove things.Â âItâs really quite enraging that nobody has ever thought of this before.âÂ Back upstairs for a quick catnap.Â Then dressed (Hawaiian shirt and slacks) and down to the kitchen for breakfast at 8.Â My custom at table was to read the New York Times while Corinne rustles me up either a beefsteak, rare, or an egg on whole wheat toast with honey – depends on the day, I like to alternate – when one day I realized I was spending too much time reading the bloody newspaper.Â You see âthe complicated lay of the Times is 19th-century.Â To get through the whole damn thing would take at least a week.Â In the electronic age people want information quickly.âÂ Thatâs when I made my move.
Me (February, 2011, age 58).Â What did McLuhan do?
He switched to the Toronto Globe and Mail.Â There are, you see, many ways to time travel.
Some of them quite exhausting.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Barbara Rowes, âIf the Media Didnât Get Marshall McLuhanâs Message in the â60s, Another Is on the Way,â People Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 12, September 20, 1976.