UbuWeb’s Expanded Marshall McLuhan Audio Library


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“The World is a Global Village,” May 18, 1960  (click on titles to activate audio)
Medium: Television
Program: Explorations
Episode: Teenager
Broadcast Date: May 18, 1960
Hosts: Alan Millar, John O’Leary
Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan
Duration: 8:44

The book is no longer “king,” says Marshall McLuhan, a professor at the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College. McLuhan studies the effects of mass media on behaviour and thought. In this CBC report on the teenager, he discusses how our youth facilitate the global shift from print to electronic media. Television has transformed the world into an interconnected tribe he calls a “global village.” There’s an earthquake and no matter where we live, we all get the message. And today’s teenager, the future villager, who feels especially at home with our new gadgets — the telephone, the television — will bring our tribe even closer together.

McLuhan Predicts World Connectivity
Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: April 1, 1965
Hosts: George Garlock, Paul Soles
Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan
Duration: 3:25

We waste too much time racing from home to office, says Marshall McLuhan, an English professor at the University of Toronto who’s becoming known internationally for his study on the effects of media. Society’s obsession with files and folders forces office workers to make the daily commute from the suburbs to downtown. McLuhan says the stockbroker is the smart one. He learned some time ago that most business may be conducted from anywhere if done by phone.

McLuhan’s prescient knowledge: In the future, people will no longer only gather in classrooms to learn but will also be moved by “electronic circuitry.”

A Pop Philosopher
Medium: Radio
Program: Other Voices
Broadcast Date: June 22, 1965
Host: Jim Guthro
Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan
Duration: 5:26

The world’s first expert on pop — the culture of mini-skirts and hula hoops — discusses his theories on “hot” and “cool” media. Marshall McLuhan adapted these references from the TV jargon “high” and “low definition.” High definition means well-defined, sharp and detailed visually, such as a map. Low definition refers to indistinct images scanned by the eye, with which the viewer is left to fill in the blanks, such as a sketch. McLuhan says television is a cool or low definition medium, offering little information but the user participates with most of his senses. He explains that a book is a hot or high definition medium, presenting the user with lots of information at a level of lower sensory participation. Another of McLuhan’s pop idioms “the medium is the message” borrows from the era’s abstract artists who place the highest importance on the medium with which they work.
According to McLuhan, television is the canvas for a new environment of all human association and perception.

McLuhan for the Masses
Medium: Radio
Program: Speaking of Books
Broadcast Date: March 12, 1967
Host: Robert Fulford
Guest(s): Dennis Braithwaite, Robert Gray, Thelma McCormack, Dean Walker
Duration: 8:00

In 1967, University of Toronto English professor Marshall McLuhan publishes a book entitled The Medium Is the Massage. McLuhan, a punster who is comfortably self-mocking, makes a play on his own phrase “the medium is the message.”

The famed phrase was first published in his 1964 book Understanding Media. But his critics call the work a cop-out, simply a consumer version of the earlier publication.

Toronto Daily Star columnist Robert Fulford (pictured left) disagrees, saying the book is very much in McLuhan’s style. “You don’t need to read all of it. You read bits and pieces. You [can] start in the middle of his book and go to the back.”

The Destroyer of Civilization
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Monday Evening
Broadcast Date: July 8, 1974
Hosts: Malcolm Muggeridge, George Woodcock
Duration: 1:33

British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and Canadian historian George Woodcock (pictured left) discuss civilization and literature tonight in Vancouver. Does television mean the end of the book? Immediately, Marshall McLuhan’s philosophies are brought into the discussion. They speak of McLuhan’s theory that literature is finished. Muggeridge and Woodcock suggest that disseminating this idea contributes to the demise of the book and that McLuhan is an “actual destroyer of our civilization.”

Growing up at the McLuhans’
Medium: Television
Program: 90 Minutes Live
Broadcast Date: Dec. 13, 1977
Host: Peter Gzowski
Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan
Duration: 6:59

In Peter Gzowski’s undergraduate days, freshmen slipped copies of Marshall McLuhan’s The Mechanical Bride under dormitory doors. The fascination was with the raunchy title, says Gzowski, because the book published in 1951 was more about advertising and less about sex. Gzowski is an adoring interviewer today, having much respect for the professor who is the only academic in the world right now studying the effects of media. They speak about politics and Gzowski attempts to find out whether McLuhan failed grade six.

Plus these others: It’s Cool Not to Shave  ;  Homage to the Runner  ;

Understanding McLuhan  ;
                                   Terence McKenna on Marshall McLuhan  ;

                                   The Medium is the Massage: 1. Side A   2. Side B 

All available at: http://ubu.com/sound/mcluhan.html

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