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.

That rock and roll music!

Marshall McLuhan (December 19, 1973, age 62).  Impossible!

Impossible, that is, in any other language than English.  As I wrote to Mr. Ronni Fiedler, the editor of Harper’s Magazine, in a letter which for some reason he chose not to publish, “For many reasons, which need not be cited here, both jazz and rock are forms of music which have made English a world language, since these forms cannot be sung except in English.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  Hail the conquering hero comes!

This was an idea McLuhan also tried out on his fellow guests and the audience – not to mention the host – of the Dick Cavett Show in December 1970 with baffling effect.  Truman Capote utterly rejected the notion.  But then McLuhan was never very interested debating ideas and he soon moved on to another subject.  If you’re still in doubt, perhaps Elvis will help you make up your mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5JALwwaASg&feature=related

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 484.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, April 16th, 2011
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Culture No Comments

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