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Musings regarding Marshall McLuhan*

December 30, 2016


*(1911–80), Canadian writer and thinker; full name Herbert Marshall McLuhan. He became known in the 1960s for his phrase “the medium is the message” and for his argument that it is the characteristics of a particular medium rather than the information it disseminates that influence and control society.

Sitting in my overstuffed armchair, Gunther on my neck keeping me warm.  He is quiet now that he has dropped the bit of rawhide he had been chewing.  I hear Fred Child’s “Performance Today” playing in the kitchen.  Ours is a bungalow, built in 1925 when my lost uncle was two years old.  Funny how I relate everything in the past 100 years, or so, to him.  Could it be a symptom of a mental derangement?  Dementia?  Actually, I don’t care if it were, as long as I am free to express myself.  For me, death will come when I can no longer express myself.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “Everyone is in the best seat.  Stay where you are.”  I take this as an admonition to relax, to open the senses, to appreciate things as they come.

On the other hand, he said, “I don’t necessarily agree with everything I said.”

Oh, there are the intense longings of my heart for those absent ones I love.  Then there’s the intense fondness I have for my dog, Gunther.  This morning when we walked briskly around the end of the block for him to drop his load o’shit, I didn’t leash him.  I’ve found that if I speak quietly to him, employing my favorite words for him, “good dog,” he is apt to stay close enough so he can hear me.  If he starts to go out into the street I slap my hands and demand that he stay out of the street. So far, so good.  Time will tell if these methods work to keep him under control without the leash.  I hope I am onto something.

McLuhan said, “Publication is the voluntary loss of privacy.”  I recommend a computer search of Marshall McLuhan’s pithy sayings.

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