Marshall McLuhan: Chewing Bubblegum & Kicking Ass

The media profit Marshall McLuhan described the way media, the various mediums by which we receive information, is ultimatly more important that what is actually being said:

The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb

The new edition of his famous The Medium is the Massage is designed by Shepard Fairey, whose art often conjures notions of the powerful using draconian propaganda to control the masses. Indeed, Fairey’s “OBEY” campaign is a direct reference to John Carpenter’s great They Live (1988), which shows society stufied, passified and controlled via advertising and consumer culture. Special sunglasses reveal the rich as aliens and ads to actually be commanding viewers to “obey,” consume” and so on.

The union of Fairey’s propoganda pop-art and McLuhan’s prophetic theory is apt. The time is right for McLuhan, once a popular public intellectual, to make a comeback as we reconcile how this new medium of Facebook has us so tied to various electronic screens.

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