Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Thousand Words On Coupland And McLuhan

[From The Little Red Umbrella]. This year marks a century since the birth of Canadian media and communications explorer Marshall McLuhan (MM), author of The Mechanical Bride, The Gutenberg Galaxy, and Understanding Media, University of Toronto professor, and patron saint of Wired Magazine, popularly known for such aphorisms as “the medium is the message” and coinages such as “global village”. An overwhelming number of commemorative events are taking place worldwide in celebration of the centenary year. Most of the MM100 events have “embodied” and “discarnate” components in obvious salute to the McLuhan oeuvre. Mainstream events range from symposia and conferences on nationhood and communication (University of Bologna), to internet and prayer (University of Manitoba), to cinema and early media arts (The Marshall McLuhan Salon at the Canadian Embassy, Berlin). Independent or “fringe” events include a year-long conference with the acronym MoM (McLuhan on Maui).

MoM, the most inclusive and satirical (thence most serious) of all happenings on offer, is a leading contender for MM100 primacy. It is, after all, the self-proclaimed “first, longest, and last” of the centenery conferences and celebrations worldwide. MoM may well be the alpha-male of McLuhan and para-McLuhan studies forums simply for attempting to dig us out of the annihilating boredom of footnotes, archives, and academia. Well at least that’s its alias and alibi.

The lighter and darker side of McLuhan studies is that it is rife with gate-keeping, gate-crashing, tail-gating, idiolects, paranoia, misogyny, disinformation, misinformation, psychopaths, pissing-contests, and biographical wars. At the end of the day, a lot of pre-school sandboxism exists. It amounts to embarrassing “I know Marshall better than you do” cockfights between the ancient first-wave disciples and the more recent converts, academics and laymen, MM insiders and the DNA Family/Estate. The MM100 year as it unfolds is testimony to the accuracy of Lord Acton’s witty backhander: anything can be forgiven the founder of a school, except his school. There are many, many Peters fighting for the keys, as it were, to bind and loose the life, times, works, and effects of Marshall McLuhan. All to say that if the Canadian definition of “apotheosis” is, as Marshall McLuhan once observed, abdicating in favour of your own legend, McLuhan is right now among the gods laughing his ass off with a kind of superior horror. [
Article by Jen Reid. The context and full text of the article continues here...]

1 comment:

quantum retrocausality said...

tOo fumSwaYup !