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 (1970, age 59).Â Bartlett proved it long agoÂ Â Â Â Â Â
In Remembering Bartlett, who was a donÂ in Cambridge, uncovered a remarkable fact.Â People donâ€™t remember things as they were; they distort them.Â And the farther back they try to remember things the more distortion there is. Â
Me (June, 2011, age 58).Â How much of what youÂ remember is a distortion?Â
Does this not explain the experience we all have that others memories are different from our own?Â And the necessity of telling family stories over and over again if the story is to be preserved?Â And the ultimate futility of the ritual: Â for unless the story is recorded in some way, on tape or in writing, it will change, and if it is recorded the story is not what you thought it would be.Â It is a re-membering, a distorting. Â Â
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 186.