Professor Marshall McLuhan rose to stardom in the 1960s as a pop culture guru. In honor of the McLuhan centenary next week, WNYC’s Sara Fishko takes us back to McLuhan’s futuristic thoughts…in this edition of Fishko Files.
There was so much fascinating Marshall McLuhan material that we weren’t able to feature in this episode of Fishko Files.
McLuhan addressing the Books and Authors luncheon in 1966.
We were struck by one archival clip in particular, in which McLuhan discusses some discomfort with the modern world. He comments on the “simultaneous, instantaneous, all-at-once electric world” that he calls “Echo Land,” which sounds pretty similar to our world today. He also mentions the residents of Echo Land, the “Yippies and Hippies and Beatles who’ve crawled out from under things like Kafka’s bug in The Metamorphosis.” He begins these musings, though, by saying that he never makes value judgments, but instead “probes” and “pokes away, here and there” to see what he can find.
Below: Marshall and Corinne McLuhan at the University of San Francisco in October 1970.
McLuhan made several appearances on Tony Schwartz's "Adventures in Sound" radio program. Schwartz, a renowned master of electronic media in his day, created thousands of radio and television programs. Throughout McLuhan’s many appearances on “Adventures in Sound,” which ran on WNYC for more than 30 years, Schwartz and McLuhan discussed radio, television, technology, and the impact of these media on the world.
We’ve selected three excerpts of McLuhan from “Adventures in Sound.”
For more information on Tony Schwartz and "Adventures in Sound"
For more on McLuhan
==> A one-hour special "Marshall McLuhan at 100" airs on WNYC-FM on Thursday, July 21st at 8 PM.
Fore more from the speakers in this edition of Fishko Files
==> Cecelia Tichi is a writer and a professor at Vanderbilt University. One of her books, Electronic Hearth: Creating an American Television Culture, is available here. Tichi also appeared in another episode of Fishko Files: Cultural Glue.
==> Richard Kostelanetz is an author and critic living in New York. You can see his website here.
==> Douglas Coupland is a writer and artist. His biography about McLuhan, Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!, is available here.
WNYC Production Credits
Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister
Assistant Producer: Laura Mayer
WNYC Newsroom Editor: Karen Frillmann
Special Thanks: Matthew Barton, Library of Congress.