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.
Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).Â To give but one example
â€śNobody seems to know much about why the paper-back book flopped in the 30â€™s and succeeded in the 50â€™s.Â But it is a fact which probably has some relation to TV …â€ť
Me (April, 2011, age 58).Â What else?
TV heÂ suggests inÂ one shotgun blast of speculation in Counterblast may also explain â€śthe unexplained popularity of highbrow paperbacks,â€ť the strange ability of â€śthe young [to] â€¦ respond untaught to rock-andâ€“roll,â€ť the new importance ofÂ â€śthe quick briefing by experts [in business] or the making of deals at lunch,â€ť as well as the rise of â€śthe roundtable, the frequent conferences and group brainstorming.â€ťÂ To McLuhan, it would seem, anything new in the late 50s and early 60s was probably the result of TV.Â His critics threw their hands up in dismay.Â His fans rifled through Understanding Media for explanations.Â And McLuhan?Â What did he do?Â He went on to dream up more things TV could be doing without our knowing and left the explanations to others.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969, p. 98-99.