Saturday, May 28, 2011

PROBE: " We're Starring in a B Movie"

" Before Television, nobody knew the calibre of the clowns governing the country."

In the mid-sixties, McLuhan presaged that TV would prompt politicians to become entertainers as style and image dwarfed substance while "the news" turned into an entertainment package. McLuhan noted that "a four-year stint in the White House is no longer easily distinguishable from something arranged by a booking agency." Furthermore, said he, given the direction of show-biz politics, an actor could very well become President inside of two decades. Ronald Reagan moved into the Oval Office in 1980.

"When Sputnik went around the planet in 1957 the earth became enclosed in a man-made environment and became thereby an "art" form. The globe became a theatre enclosed in a proscenium arch of satellites. From that time the "audience" or the population of the planet became actors in a new sort of theatre. Mallarme had thought that "the world exists to end in a book." It turned out otherwise. It has taken on the character of theatre or playhouse. Since Sputnik the entire world has become a single sound-light show. Even the business world has now taken over the concept of "performance" as a salient criterion." -- McLuhan, "Roles, Masks and Performances"

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