Does anyone study Marshall McLuhan any more? He was all the rage when I was in high school and college, even making a famous cameo in “Annie Hall.”
I never really got him, even though I was first exposed to his work in high school and am pretty sure I had to read him as a media major in college. I vividly remember sitting through a film of “The Medium is the Massage” in 10th grade English — even though that Wikipedia entry in the link seems unaware that such a film ever existed. It did. I could not make up anything as surreal as I remember that film being. I remember walking away feeling perplexed by the pun in the title and quotes from Buckminster Fulle and the sight and sound of the cellist used to illustrate some of McLuhan’s descriptions of “hot” and “cool” media.
And now that my memory of that film has been challenged, I will probably spend the rest of the night down the Google rabbit hole, looking for evidence that the film did indeed exist.
I’ve digressed a great deal from what I wanted to talk about when I decided to name this post after McLuhan. You see, even though I didn’t take to McLuhan’s theories, the phrase “the medium is the message” actually did stick with me, 44 years after I watched that film.
I think of that phrase all the time when I am writing, because I feel the media I use to record my thoughts has a huge effect on my process and the resulting work. I write differently with pen and paper than I do with a word processor…
…and tonight’s NaBloPoMo post is a particular challenge, because I waited until the day was done and I am attempting to write this using an app on my iPad.
And I’m afraid that the results are going to be lacking, which is too bad, because if I am going to get through 30 days of daily posts, I expect at least half will be composed this way.
Perhaps I’ll come out of this exercise a better writer on the iPad. Or better yet – a better writer overall.
Anyway: today was a good day.
REVISED: I did not imagine the film – someone else remembered it too, and it looks like it’s available on YouTube. I may have to watch and see if I appreciate it more than I did at 14.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad