I mentioned Marshall McLuhan when I was considering entering the Converged Communications program at FSCJ and was told he was “no longer relevant.” Since then, I entered said program and have encountered him as official program material in each of my two semesters. He was briefly discussed during the first semester, and then an excerpt from one of his books, “The Medium is the Massage”, was given as assigned reading during the first week of my second semester. The introduction to the book only confirmed his “relevance” to 1997, so let’s take a look at some quotes from the book and try to figure this out:
“The medium, or process, of our time – electric technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted. Everything is changing—you, your family, your neighborhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to ‘the others.’ And they’re changing dramatically.” Relevance: Check.
“It is impossible to understand social and cultural changes without a knowledge of the workings of media.” Relevance: Check.
“Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know.” Relevance: Check Check.
“The family circle has widened. The worldpool of information fathered by electric media—movies, Telstar, flight-far surpasses any possible influence mom and dad can now bring to bear. Character no longer is shaped by only two earnest, fumbling experts. Now all the world’s a sage.” Relevance: Check Check Check.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Besides, I wouldn’t want to rub it in or anything…