Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Christian Theory of Communication: One of McLuhan’s Notes to Self in the Archives

[Handwritten note, no date, 2 pages]
p. 1) Get old Explor [explorations] bit on Mark

Luke 19: 22 talents…usury
John 5:37 Ye have neither heard his voice nor seen his shape
Acts 28:26 On blocking the sources via env (environment)
Matthew II 9:33-32 Scandalon
16:17 Tues letrus [sp?]
Luke 4:6 Devil owns world
6:38 Meas for Meas
I Cor 4:10 fools in Christ
4:15 Many instructors one Father
St. John 17:7-12 communicadoct [sp?]
20:31 these written that yea may believe (EOM)
7:40-3 Calf work on their own hands, 48 devils in temple not mode with hands
I Rom 11:17 branch of wild olive
18:22 darkening of hearts and senses also 11:7-10
Act 26:24 Grammata
Luke 8:18 heed how you hear

Fig/gd relation expl..
Seed and soil
I Rom 14 debtors to Gks and barbarians

p. 2) Heresies – to be a heretic – f/g special state of mind is necessary.

“The doctrine ceases to be a state of mind sooner than the user. Ergo Catholics discover Protestants to be much like themselves. Time was however when the Prot rebellion created a special state of mind by way of using up excess emotion. i.e. political and religious strife are the by-products of unemployed emotions that have been engendered by sudden change. When the change have passed and egos find new postures, the preceding strife seems unreal.”
. . .
“Sr St John told of a little boy with black eye. Dad asked “How did that happen?” “I said to hell with the Pope to the kid down the street.” “So what?” “Well, how should I know the Pope is a Catholic?”

The context for the note:
In a letter to Sheila Watson, Sept. 7, 1971 McLuhan notes:  “Forgot to mention a project of mine.  A big publisher is ready to back a series (edited by me) on The Theory of Communication of … (anybody) e.g. there are no studies of the Theory of Com. of Homer or Dante or Chaucer or Pound or Lewis or Newton or Giedion or anybody.  (Let’s use TOC as acronym for “Theory of Com.”)

TOC means: what did this man seek or envisage as an effect of his work for his time or culture.  The western world has had no place for effect, only for input or “content”/  The user is the content of any form of expression.

TOC study requires the notice of (a) the components available to the man, including the traditions and the problems of his culture (b) how did he shape these components? (c) what effect did he seek? e.g. Newton was seeking apologetic proof of existence of God via mathematics. That was the effect he sought.  The themes and traditions he had to work with are known, what he did to these is known.  The [?noticed?] effect depends on perception of his milieu and its top problems.”  

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