March 28, 2005

Marshall McLuhan: the wayback way forward

I have a B.A. in English, but I'd never heard of Marshall McLuhan until recently, when I read an old magazine interview with him for a master's-level class I'm taking. My bachelor's program was centered on literature rather than communications, so perhaps that's part of the reason I missed his work.

"The medium is the message." I'd heard the phrase -- but never really thought about who might have said it or what it was supposed to mean. All I can say is, this guy rocks. He's hard to get sometimes. And for some of his work that I've read, I can't decide if I just don't get it, if he's totally missed the mark, or something else entirely.

But it definitely seems relevant today, even though it's forty years old. More on the mark than a lot of the talking heads. Even P Diddy recently quoted him, natch.

1 comment: said...

I've never heard of McLuhan either! (oy!). You should read some Baudrillard. He's got some nutty stuff, such as the way we first worlders are always museumifying third world cultures. what are you getting your masters in? English??