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.


Why is the news so hard to understand?

Marshall McLuhan (March 3, 1959, age 47). The news is coming at high speed.

“When the news moves slowly, the [news]paper has time to provide perspectives, background, and interrelations for the news, and the reader is given a consumer package.  When the news comes at high speed, there is no possibility of such literary processing and the reader is given a do-it-yourself kit.”

Me (February, 2011, age 58).  Are you surprised?

Perhaps, as Marshall suggests, you don’t understand because you need to find new ways to understand.

Pattern recognition for example.  At any rate, is it a surprise you don’t when you keep expecting the consumer package and what your given is a do-it-yourself kit?


Cordially, Marshall and Me


Marshall McLuhan, “Electronic Revolution:  Revolutionary Effects of New Media,” address to American Association for Higher Education Conference, March 3, 1959, in Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews, 2003, p. 8.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication 1 Comment