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Credited cast:
Marshall McLuhan ...
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2002 (Canada)  »

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The medium is the masseuse
5 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Fascinating clash of philosophy, classical studies and Pop Culture -- especially if you recognize the need to keep Pop Culture under scrutiny, instead of just letting it massage your brain like the narcotic it's designed to be.

The film capsulizes a number of McLuhan's conclusions about Media. Wittingly and unwittingly we've created and surrounded ourselves with this electronic environment -- but McLuhan also recognized that like any other tool (language included) it is an extension of our own physical selves. And like so many other tools we are also transformed by our own creations.

The important thing is to be cognizant of all this jive b.s. McLuhan began his public discourse on Media because his freshman students couldn't relate to Literature. I guess he began opening their eyes FIRST to the cacophonous culture they were blindly walking through, and once aroused *then* they became receptive to Wordsworth and Milton. (Though some were cheesed off that he didn't test them on Coca-Cola and Batman after spending so much lecture time on it.)

McLuhan spoke often in metaphors, which perhaps isn't a very clinical approach to codifying a new science. But it seems the man never forgot a thing he read or saw -- and thus Poe's "Descent into the Maelstrom" became symbolic for the dynamic fractured environment we've created for ourselves. It also has become a metaphor for his own career. Although his celebrity had fallen into obscurity, his ideas still influence those who've never heard of him or his Four Laws. I think his star will continue to rise again until -- *pop* -- look what's resurfaced outta that whirlpool.

McLuhan is more timely than ever, in an Age where what we experience is less and less an observation of the Real World and more and more an interface with manufactured concoction. I'm not convinced though -- need to surf the Internet a little more to look into this.

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