Marshall McLuhan

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Marshall McLuhan is the greatest prophet if all the things we’re experiencing today. I’ve read Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clark,  Orwell, Huxley and Asimov – no one comes close to the influence McLuhan is to my life and to this society. Of course, McLuhan was a theorist, not a fiction writer, but still, books like 1984 had a major impact in the way we foresaw life and society some decades ago, so I guess the comparison is valid. Global village, the medium is the message, the concepts of archetypes, and even the famous 15 minutes of fame, wrongly credited to Andy Warhol – it all came from him.

I discovered McLuhan relatively late in my life – I was 16, 17. It’s probably the only important author that the library my father left me was missing. And he was incredibly important to me, particularly this book, The Medium is the Massage (an invetory of effects). Not a typo, it’s Mass-age alright, see? It made me understand some disorganized feelings and theories I had about people and life, besides pointing me to several interests like Semiology and Media. Obviously, it has a magnificent typography composition, with blow-up images – some of them created with letters. I remember being so excited about this book that I started reading it again after finishing it for the first time.  McLuhan became an obsession for a few years, I was calling bookstores all over the planet to find second hand copies of the titles I haven’t read yet. Folks, there was no Amazon.com at that time ok? And then, one night, I was watching late movies on the telly when Annie Hall started. I’ve always been a fan of Woody Allen, I was excited. Halfway through the film he cites McLuhan and invites him into the story. Glorious moment that was – everything made sense. Viva McLuhan.