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.
Me (February, 2011, age 58).Â How could I have got it so wrong!
Last year, I posted a blog in which I imagined Marshallâs pleasure at the prospect of the word âMcLuhanismâ appearing in the Oxford dictionary.Â However, apparently, I underestimated the later McLuhanâs paranoid tendencies.Â According to the journalist Barbara Rowes who wrote a profile on McLuhan for People Magazine in 1976, which I have only recently run across, far from being pleased âMcLuhan considered the prospect sourly.â
Marshall McLuhan (September 20, 1976, age 65).Â My exact words, if I remember correctly were âŚ
âI can just imagine what that word is going to mean.â
Cordially, Marshall and Me
P.S. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines âMcLuhanismâ as âThe social ideas of the Canadian writer H. Marshall McLuhan (1911-80), such as that the effect of the introduction of the mass media is to deaden the critical faculties of individuals.â
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.