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.

Perseverance

Marshall McLuhan (1974, age 63).  I have doubts …

I don’t know perhaps it was late.  I was tired.  The Monday night seminar had just ended.  Eric was driving me home and I said to him:  “Is it worth it?  All this effort to alert people, when they just attack the bearer of news and do nothing.  Do I have the right to, am I supposed to, should I continue to keep investigating and making discoveries?  Why bother, if the West is being discarded and no one will do anything about it or even listen.”

Me (July, 2010, age 57).  But he never gave up

McLuhan had doubts about his ability to get through to people, to get people to think about, to comprehend, the power of media.  He would have been a fool not to.  His style insured him critics.  But he never gave up.  Today it is clear, as Douglas Coupland says, what with Google, Facebook, You tube, and everything else like this blog your reading on the internet, McLuhan “was right on the money four decades ahead of the biggest shift in human communication since the printing press.”

Am I getting through to McLuhan?  What can we learn from him after all these years?

Like McLuhan I too have doubts.  As we approach our 200th post questions come to me.  What was I thinking when I committed to 300 posts?  Should I keep going?  It’s been great, but why bother?  What good does it do to sieve through old ground?  Is the medium a barrier to the message?  But then occasionally there are discoveries …

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

W. Terrence Gordon.  Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding, 1997, p. 275.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, July 8th, 2010
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Communication, Culture, Technology, Vol. 1 No Comments

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