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 (January 4, 1964, age 52).Â The McLuhans at the breakfast table.
â€śMarshall, listen to what Tom Easterbrook has to say about you in the Weekend Magazine.â€ť
â€śAnd what is that?â€ť
â€śHe,â€ť thatâ€™s you, â€śchurns up the atmosphere.Â I think heâ€™s aware of doing it, but he does it for shock effect.Â He goes at his adversaries until they become numb.Â But he has zest â€“ heâ€™s full of fun.Â He conveys a marvelous feeling of being alive.â€ť
â€śWhat do you think?â€ť
“Dear old Tom.â€ť
Me (May, 2011, age 58).Â Being alive.
Tom Easterbrook was McLuhanâ€™s oldest friend and a colleague at the University of Toronto.Â As Easterbrook suggests for McLuhan the important thing was to shock people into thinking.Â If you worry too much about whether McLuhan is right or wrong you will get very little out of reading him.Â Slow down and enjoy the rush of life.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 177.