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.

The death of the handshake.

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Ortega y Gasset saw it going.

‚ÄúOrtega y Gasset saw the handshake as on its deathbed.¬† Since TV in the United States, people tend to seize both hands and buss one another.‚ÄĚ

Me (May, 2011, age 58).  Chalk another one up to TV.

This is classic McLuhan.  Discover an apparent change in culture and attribute it to TV.  Then move on and let someone else sort it all out.  Not always easy to see how this one has played out.  As this clip shows, today the handshake is back.  Or maybe not.

Cordially, Marshall and Me



Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 109.


Michael Hinton Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture, Technology 1 Comment

1 Comment to The death of the handshake.

  • Daniel Poliquin says:

    M. Hinton,

    In your opinion, who is the current-living Marshall McLuhan?. Who in 50 years, will be recognized as the heir to Marshall McLuhan?.

    Who do you “follow” today to better understand what is happening today and how things are changing at the subtle level?.

    Thank you


  • Leave a Reply