October 17, 2004

Marshall McLuhan, the Man and his Message Canada's CBC presents several archival radio and television clips of Marshall McLuhan and discussions about the man and his ideas. [Clips are embedded Windows Media]

Following the publication of his first book, The Mechanical Butterfly, in 1951, McLuhan became most widely known for his argument that the medium is the message and for coining the phrase "global village". His ideas are as relevant today as they were during the birth of the mass media in the 1950s and '60s. He certainly had a way with words and was by all accounts an interesting character.

  • I love the CBC archive, great stuff, thanks :)
  • Marshall McLuhan was a skeptic, a joker, and an erudite maniac. He read too deeply from Finnegans Wake, had too great a fondness for puns, and never allowed his fun to be ruined by the adoption of a coherent point of view. He was dismayed by any attempt to pin him down to a consistent analysis and dismissive of criticism that his plans were impractical or absurd. His characteristic comment during one academic debate has taken on a mythic life of its own. In response to a renowned American sociologist, McLuhan countered: "You don't like those ideas? I got others." Me thinks he'd have made a good monkey. neat post
  • Heh, yes, he'd've made a fine monkey. But I take exception to the phrase "read too deeply from Finnegan's Wake". Impossible to do so. And just what is so great about a coherent point of view in a world of change, anyway? Jerry, these are fine links! Don't hear much these days about him. His ideas certainly influenced everyone in my generation.
  • "read too deeply from Finnegan's Wake" I'd like to see PF on these pages again soon, but life's not always amenable to these things.
  • From PF's profile: Last visit: 05:27 AM on September 29 I miss PF's voice, too.
  • Great post, Jerry, thanks a lot. I'll throw in a couple of books: Escape into Understanding, A Biography by Terrence Gordon, and The Book of Probes, designed by David Carson (sample pages here).
  • What I wouldn't give for a large sock filled with manure!
  • I didn't have much exposure to Marshall McLuhan until my wife loaned me a few books of his to read. He was way ahead of the curve in identifying, analyzing and dissecting the media as an entity, a creature as distinct as a termite or an elephant. Perhaps my favourite McLuhan experience is in the book he compiled with Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage (An Inventory of Effects). Near the end of the book is a photograph of six elderly women working on a quilt which displays the phrase "Keep in Circulation the Rumour that God is Alive".
  • teevee mantra note: remind myself no matter how they ramble on a bog is still a mirror for a swan
  • *applause*