A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

The downside of celebrity

Marshall McLuhan (March 23, 1967, age 55). Adulation can be a drag.

I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the attention but sometimes the adulation can be overwhelming.  The problem is that some people will not leave it alone.  Last night the phone started ringing at 6 p.m. and didn’t stop until I took it off the hook at 8.  People seem to think they have a right to talk to me whenever they like and sound shocked when I tell them I don’t have the time to talk to them.

Me (April 2010, age 57).  Marshall McLuhan had far more than the usual 15 minutes

A celebrity it is said is someone who is famous for being famous.  In this sense Marshall McLuhan’s fame began – according to Tom Wolfe – in the summer of 1965 and lasted until the fall of 1970 – according to Philip Marchand – when the New Yorker published a cartoon in which a couple are leaving a party and the woman says to the man “Ashley, are you sure it’s not too soon to go around parties saying, ‘What ever happened to Marshall McLuhan?’”

How well would you handle public “adulation”?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 343.

Tags: , ,

Michael Hinton Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Vol. 1 No Comments

Leave a Reply