Marshall McLuhan

By: Joe Alterio
July 21, 2009

In his seminal works, The Mechanical Bride (1951) and Understanding Media (1964), the Canadian philosopher MARSHALL MCLUHAN (1911-80) offered astute, didactic examinations of how the public receives and processes media, and what advertising tells us about society. Currently the darling of every Film Theory 101 class, there was a time when McLuhan — whose seminars and books were laced with puns, typographical displays, and a rapid-fire delivery at odds with staid academia — was considered at best a dilettante and at worst a crackpot. The fact that he died just as our current media era (when each blogger has her own set of followers, comic books have been elevated to neo-absurdist cinema, and Twitter has transformed each random neural firing into a public announcement) was beginning is too bad. What would McLuhan think?


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: | Hart Crane |

READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).


HiLo Heroes, Paranoia, Theory