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 (June 16, 1975, age 63).  My first memory.

I am in Edmonton.  I can’t be much more than two years old.  I’m looking out the window of a street car and  I see horses on the river bank.  I remember thinking they look so small they could fit in my nursery.  Such is the magic of visual perspective.  To me the horses in the distance not only looked small, they were small.  I was a very perceptive lad.

Me (July, 2010, age 57).  Too good to be true?

Philip Marchand writes in his biography of McLuhan that “in view of McLuhan’s later obsession with visual perspective as an invention of the print era and his almost visceral rejection of that perspective – in later years, the painter Harley Parker recalls, McLuhan seemed actually to believe that ‘things became smaller as they receded into the distance’ – the memory is almost too pat.”

Who can say?  My first memory is from the time I was two or three.   I’m in a long hallway.  I look around and realize that I’m lost.  Given that this blog in a way is an exercise in both discovery and self-discovery, a way of finding my way home, intellectually, perhaps this first memory of mine is also “almost too pat.”

What is your first memory?  Does it reveal something significant about you?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Philip Marchand.  Marshall McLuhan:  The Medium and the Messenger, 1989 p. 8-9.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
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