A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.Â Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday,Â I present one of McLuhanâ€™s observations and talk about its relevance today.Â 300 ideas. 300 days.Â 300 posts.
Me (September, 2010, age 58).Â Marshall to the rescue.
Yesterday I asked for solutions to the Pastor Terry Jones problem.Â Here is some more specific guidance from Marshall McLuhan.
Marshall McLuhan (September, 2010, age 99).Â Jokes!
I hesitate to involve myself in earthly matters, however, you seem to be in need of help.Â I recall Walt Pittman asking me for a solution to the shameful “Paki” joke problem in Toronto in 1978.Â You may recall these racist jokes that blanketed the city at that time. Â (What do you say to a Pakistani with a Ferrari?Â Stop thief!)Â My solution was the obvious one â€“ but the Metropolitan Toronto Council did nothing with the idea – launch a PR campaign to cover the city with a new brand of “Paki” jokes.Â Jokes that portray the Pakistani as a wholesome colourful character.
Jokes, I submit, are the easiest and most effective way of dealing with the Pastor Terry Jones problem.Â Simply cast him as an archetypal idiot by re-cycling sure-fire Newfie jokes. Â For example:Â Â What did Pastor Jones study at Harvard Medical School?Â (Nothing, they studied him.)Â Whatâ€™s written on the bottom of Pastor Jonesâ€™s beer bottle?Â (Drink from other end.)Â Whatâ€™s written on the top rung of Pastor Jones ladder?Â (Stop here.)
While weâ€™re at it, one more, knee-slapper:Â How many preachers does it take to burn the Koran?Â Â Not a one.Â The media are capable of burning the Koran without anyone actually burning anything.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
See McLuhanâ€™s solution to the Paki joke as recalled by Walter Pittman in Who Was Marshall McLuhan? pp. 112-113.