More McLuhan Remembrances


There were dozens of remembrances of Marshall McLuhan published during this past week, which included the 100th anniversary of his birth July 21, 1911. The following, plus the ones I’ve previously posted, seem worth noting…….AlexK

Photograph (rear view) of Marshall McLuhan adjusting his university cap, January 21, 1967, by Yousuf Karsh

Photo credit: Karsh of Ottawa, January 21, 1967

Happy birthday, Marshall McLuhan

Thu, 07/21/2011 – 7:25am — jmcdaid

Today marks the 100th birthday of the media theorist Marshall McLuhan, and while most of the centenary blurbs will note he coined “the medium is the message,” his profound insight into communication theory is much better represented by his notion of the “unified sensorium.” For McLuhan, every technology was an extension of some aspect of humanity, from simple things like the wheel (as a foot) and the gun (as a fist). His insight, in his groundbreaking book Understanding Media, is that when we extend some part of ourselves, it creates an imbalance. And just as the wheel leads to the fractured physical world of ities and suburbs, the imbalances created by extensions of our higher faculties lead to mental and social dislocations. We often forget — in the same way that fish are not aware of water — that writing is a technology. All human cultures have spoken language, but not all externalized that into a written representation. Many theorists have investigated the shift from oral to written culture, but few have envisioned the impacts as clearly as McLuhan.

Marshall McLuhan’s Media Mass Age And The New Media Mess Age…

July 22, 2011 – Tom Foremski

You may have noticedthat the media loves to cover the media — it’s a narcissism that is not unique to the profession but certainly more visible because of its ready means of expression. It’s partly media’s fascination with itself, that there is a lot of
media this week about Marshall McLuhan: the philosopher prince of the media world. It’s the 100 year anniversary of his birth, July 21. Mr McLuhan came to fame in the 1960s thanks to the boom in television, which propelled his image and voice into many millions of homes, and also provided the source material for his insights into the nature of a nascent, but increasingly powerful media technology.

Son of a Luhan

By David Warren, Ottawa Citizen, July 24, 2011

McLuhan was accused of sometimes stating the obvious, in a cryptic way. It is necessary to find ever-new ways of stating the obvious. In this case, I am trying to bring home, as I think McLuhan would have done, the profound and unavoidable fact of existence, often misplaced in our “virtual” environments. The past really happened. It is ineradicable. My Catholic Christian faith, and Mc-Luhan’s, rubs our noses in this (often unpleasant) reality. The past will not go away, any more than the future will
go away, and so has to be dealt with. One of the ways we deal with things is by trying to understand them.

Happy 100th, Marshall McLuhan

By Marty Gervais, The Windsor Star, July 21, 2011

You can’t help but think of it when you pass by the old Assumption College at the edges of the University of Windsor. You can’t help but think of it when you run up the stairs at Dillon Hall. If Marshall McLuhan were alive, he’d be turning 100 today (July 21). Some may not realize that he taught here. Some may not even know whom I’m talking about, but they certainly will recognize the phrase, “The medium is the message.” It was McLuhan who coined it.
(where McLuhan taught 1944-46)

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