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.


Kids need new kinds of teachers

Marshall McLuhan (March 3, 1959, age 47).  The electric age creates a demand for new teachers.

“As we extend our educational operation by television and videotape we shall find that the teacher is no longer the source of data but of insight.”

Me (February, 2011, age 58).  With Google the demand for the new teachers increases.

What is needed, says Marshall, are “more and more profound teachers.”  That is “Two or more teachers [in each class] in dialogue with each other.” But are we still trying to do things the old way?

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. 10.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
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Who is doing the teaching?

Marshall McLuhan (1951, age 40).  The ad men.

“The thoughtful observer will find some cause for dismay in the disproportion between the educational budget of the advertising industry and that for the education of the young in school and college.”

Me (January, 2011, age 58).  And what are they teaching?

This for instance.

Cordially, Marshall and Me


Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride, 1951, p. 72.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, January 15th, 2011
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The problem with teachers.

Marshall McLuhan (1951, age 40).  Americans don’t respect them.

The fundamental problem with American education is that teachers are looked down upon in the community because they have turned down the opportunity to earn the high incomes their education would have allowed them to in the private sector.  The assumption is that teachers are weak or anti-American or incompetent.

Me (January, 2011, age 58).  So what?

What hope is there for the education of our children if parents view teachers as failures?  Here is one teacher’s view of the problem today.


Cordially, Marshall and Me


Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride, 1951, p. 126.

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Michael Hinton Friday, January 14th, 2011
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Here comes the sun.

Marshall McLuhan (Summer 1958, age 46/47). California here we are

Hugh Kenner persuaded me to take over teaching his courses at the University of California at Santa Barbara this summer.   So we packed up the old Dodge station wagon, piled the kids in the back and Corinne drove us out to the coast.  The sand, sea, and sky has warmed every part of me.  I’d trade Toronto for this any day if I didn’t have to work for Kenner.  Tonight it’s Joe’s Café on State Street. Is there any place you can get a better martini?

Me (July, 2010, age 57). Enjoy  …

On this hot summer’s day let’s join McLuhan in California.  For the full effect please turn your speakers OFF!  For added effect pour yourself a martini. 

Is there anything that won’t keep for another day?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Philip Marchand.  Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger, 1989, p. 144-45.


Michael Hinton Saturday, July 10th, 2010
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