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 quest for identity

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  The importance of slang.

“Slang is verbal violence on new psychic frontiers.  It is a quest for identity.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Becoming the same?

That is the root meaning of identity, “absolute sameness.”  The use of slang identifies you as one member of a particular crowd.  You use it to declare your identity with that group.  The search for identity is a search for the group you are.  Which group are you?  Listen to yourself.  Listen to others.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 288.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Culture, Uncategorized No Comments

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