The Lost Marshall McLuhan Tapes
A recently discovered interview shows media guru McLuhan is still topical, even prescient
Read the interview at Maclean’s
"Some of my fellow academics are very hostile, but I sympathize with them. They’ve been asleep for 500 years and they don’t like anybody who comes along and stirs them up."
"My interest in popular culture as an art form arouses uneasiness in many quarters."
"The successor to politics will be propaganda, not in the sense of a message or ideology, but the impact of the whole technology of the times. So politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favour of his image, because the image will be so much more powerful than he could ever be."
(Joker’s Wild) “The clown is really the emperor’s PR man, who keeps him in touch with the world that the emperor cannot reach. The clown interprets the emperor to his court or the public and indicates their mood.”
"The biggest job in the world will be espionage. Around the world, people are spending more and more of their time watching the other guy. Espionage at the speed of light will become the biggest business in the world"
"With increased espionage, the more you know about the public, the more they take over the show."
"The new human occupation of the electronic age has become surveillance. CIA-style espionage is now the total human activity. Whether you call it audience rating, consumer surveys and so on—all men are now engaged as hunters of espionage. So women are completely free to take over the dominant role in our society. Women’s liberation represents demands for absolute mobility, not just physical and political freedom to change roles, jobs and attitudes—but total mobility."
"Bureaucracy has no possibility of performing leadership. A bureaucrat can never be a leader. He would have to step right out of his ballpark to become a leader."
"The classroom is becoming obsolete. The education thing is completely up for grabs. Compulsory education will disappear. It’s meaningless. Why should people be compelled to become educated? The right-hemisphere kid, who is a classroom problem, tends to know more about the media than his teachers. But literacy has become a sort of privilege for cranks and elites. The first people who learned to write and to read were the workmen who carved the inscriptions on monuments. Literacy came at the workman level before it came at the reading level."