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King James Bible as a catalyst (The Monitor's Editorial Board, April 12, 2011, CS Monitor)
Ironically, the king, as head of the Church of England, commissioned a translation that gave the people a direct connection with the Bible – and made a priesthood (and a national church) less necessary. Faith became more individual. Americans found the word choices brought out the Bible’s original emphasis upon Christ as sovereign king. This led them to a greater sense of what it is to be governed by God, and to be self-governed under the laws of God.

By the time of the American Revolution, the colonists proclaimed they would have no king but Jesus. The translators rendered Paul’s words: “[W]here the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

America would go on to become a beacon of freedom. A fine Bible translation had touched humanity.

So I just read Douglas Coupland's short and appropriately idiosyncratic biography of Marshall McLuhan, the gist of which seems to be that McLuhan is most interesting for being incredibly similar to Mr. Coupland himself. McLuhan had a variety of pathologies, from some level of Asperger's/autism to hyper-sensitive hearing to clinical or casual ADHD to actual strokes and brain tumors. As a result his lectures and writings were notoriously scatter shot, obscure and contradictory. Moreover, since his intent was to provoke listeners/readers he confessed that even he didn't believe many of the things he said. So it's an exercise in futility to analyze his "thought" seriously. For every seemingly profound or prescient statement there's a matching one that is grotesquely wrong and not infrequently the latter undercuts the former. But such is the nature of aphoristic philosophers that they only need to nail a few good sound bites and they will be mistaken for great minds. McLuhan scored his with "the medium is the message."

As Mr. Coupland explicates it, what was meant is that the manner in which we communicate matters more than the content of our conversations and that manner effects certain changes in us (he's less clear here, as his subject was.) For all that McLuhan became a cult hero in the computer world, Mr. Coupland shows that he was not celebrating new media but warning us about it. He was something of a Luddite and longed for the days when communication was simpler, less of an assault on the senses. One of his favorite stories was Edgar Allan Poe's Descent into the Maelstrom, the narrator of which escaped the eponymous predicament. McLuhan saw this as a metaphor for his own work, which was about trying to keep your head above water in the midst of modern life.

Here's the thing though, while the medium has changed over the past 600 years, the message has stayed the same. Our advances in media have just served the wider broadcast of Judeo-Christianity/Western Civilization, allowing it to triumph globally. Indeed, one of McLuhan's other coinages is "the global village", but globalization represents nothing but the triumph of Western--specifically Anglo-American--values.

Roman roads were ultimately the conduits via which Christianity was spread to barbarian Europe. Gutenberg's press was used to print the Bible in the vernacular, the King James translation ending up in nearly every home in early America. Newspapers and coffee houses became focal points for the revolutionaries and when they wrote the Declaration they were able to rapidly spread it throughout the former colonies. Its message: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Radio, especially the BBC, and television, mainly American, diffused our culture across the world. Whatever life may have been like outside your door, in your living room you were part of Anglo-American families. The psychic tension of Apartheid South Africa embracing the Cosby Show is an exemplar of how the message could not be contained for long.

When Boris Yeltsin and his allies thwarted Gorbachev and the coup-makers of the USSR they communicated with the world via fax machine. When protestors gathered in Tiananmen Square we saw them on our tv screens, but they were gathered around their own Statue of Liberty. The current Arab Spring is being texted, tweeted and facebooked, but all of those media are just different ways of spreading the same message, that the people have a God-given right to consensual government.

Well might we say that the medium is significant only to the degree that it allows wider dispersion of the Message. The former changes. The latter doesn't. McLuhan need not have worried so much.

And what's odd is that Mr. Coupland reveals that McLuhan was a devoted Catholic convert, having been influenced by that great aphorist, G. K. Chesterton. So McLuhan accepted Christian certitudes about eternity and the overarching direction of our lives, yet fretted about trivia like the specific media we were using to communicate with each other, never recognizing that the message being shared was basically the faith he'd found.

One of the complaints of those, unlike McLuhan, who are opposed to Western civilization and the way it has become globalized is that it is a disease. Certainly it is as contagious as one and we could view it epidemiologically and show that it has spread like one. But no one would ever say that "the vector is the disease," would they?


Grade: (B)


See also:

Douglas Coupland Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Douglas Coupland
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Douglas Coupland (IMDB)
    -EXCERPT: Inside McLuhan’s head: An exclusive excerpt from Douglas Coupland’s biography of Marshall McLuhan (March 17, 2010, Macleans)
    -ESSAY: Dork Talk (Douglas Coupland, 22 March 2008, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Company by Max Barry (Douglas Coupland, NY Times Book Review)
    -INTERVIEW: Douglas Coupland on Marshall McLuhan (James Atlas, Paris Review)
Did you see him as a prophet of the revolution in global communications?

No. Like most people, I only knew his three clichés: Medium equals message, global village, and the scene from Annie Hall. I’ve found that most people truly would like to know more about the man, but it’s almost impossible to do. His language is a universe unto itself and is astonishingly dense and hard to navigate. He died the year I started art school [1980], and his stock was at an all time low. His name never came up.

    -INTERVIEW: Ask the author: Novelist Douglas Coupland who brought us Generation X and Microserfs (The Telegraph, 04 Jun 2006)
    -PROFILE: Douglas Coupland: Playing with the Google generation: The novelist defines a new breed, and its world of video gaming, grow ops, Internet obsessions -- and one nasty Ronald McDonald (KEN MACQUEEN | May 08, 2006, MacLeans)
    -INTERVIEW: Feeling frail: When Nicholas Blincoe met Douglas Coupland, the novelist complained of jet lag and a hangover, and described the autism that shapes his dazed, precise prose (Nicholas Blincoe, 17 Oct 2004, The Telegraph)
    -INTERVIEW: Hip to be square: It's ten years since Douglas Coupland wrote his ineffably cool first novel, Generation X, and defined the world of 'slackers'. Lewis Jones talks to a subversive cynic about pop art, cultural meltdown and his new book (Lewis Jones, 05 Sep 2001, The Telegraph)
    -INTERVIEW: A flash in the pan who ran and ran: Douglas Coupland has emerged from the Generation X hype as a serious novelist. (Jeremy Ettinghausen, 09 Mar 2000, The Telegraph)
    -INTERVIEW: with Douglas Coupland (Linda Richards, January)
    -INTERVIEW: Dreaming of a White Olympics (Deborah Solomon, 2/07/10, NY Times Magazine)
    -PROFILE: Douglas Coupland: the writer who sees into the future: In his new world, people don't do anything any more, but merely cut and paste from the past (Decca Aitkenhead, 7 September 2009 , The Guardian)
    -PROFILE: Coupland's Moment: In his new book, the author who gave America `Generation X' embraces a new point of view (Sam Whiting, SF Chronicle)
    -PROFILE: A post-ironic future: He coined the term "Gen X' and has another campy novel out, but Douglas Coupland says he's got lots to learn (Sam Hurwitt, April 13, 1998, SF Examiner)
    -BOOK CLUB: Guardian book club: week three: Douglas Coupland on how he came to write Generation X ( The Guardian, 26 September 2009)
    -ARTICLE: Songs of ourselves: A new book series takes on the lives of Canada's boldest (LIANNE GEORGE, March 19, 2008, Macleans)
    -ARCHIVES: Douglas Coupland (CBC)
    -ARCHIVES: Douglas Coupland (The Guardian)
    -ARCHIVES: Coupland, Douglas (NY Times)
    -ART REVIEW: "Douglas Coupland: Atelier" at Clark + Faria, Toronto, June 18 – July 26 (Bill Clarke, ArtInfo)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Canada in a Coma (Jefferson Faye, Autumn 2001, American Review of Canadian Studies)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan by Douglas Coupland (Mark Tremblay, National Post)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (David Carr, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Nicholas Carr, New Republic)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Alex Good, Toronto Star)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Ellen Wernecke, AV Club)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Michael R. LeGault , Globe & Mail)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (David Propson, WSJ)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Emily Wall, Press +1)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Thomas Larson, The Rumpus)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan (Jay Aubrey-Herzog, North Coast Journal)
    -REVIEW: of Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (Jay McInerney, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Microserfs (Sam Hurwitt, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Microserfs (Michael Stern, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland (Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Hey, Nostradamus (Alfred Hickling, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Hey, Nostradamus (Chuck Leddy, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland (Jennifer Reese, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of All Families Are Psychotic (Kevin Smokler, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of All Families are Psychotic (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland (Alastair Sooke, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby (Katie Owen, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby (Nora Seton, Houston Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby (Emily Nussbaum, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby (Heather Havrilesky, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Eleanor Rigby (Reagan Upshaw, SF Gate)
    -REVIEW: of Jpod by Douglas Coupland (William Brett, Spectator)
    -REVIEW: of JPod (Sam Leith, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of JPod (Mark Sanderson, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of JPod (David Itzkoff, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of JPod (Linda L. Richards, January)
    -REVIEW: of JPod (David Daley, USA Today)
    -REVIEW: of Polaroids from the Dead by Douglas Coupland (M. G. Lord, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland (Tom Jones, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Gum Thief (Jonathan Gibbs, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Gum Thief (Dan Coxon, spike)
    -REVIEW: of Gum Thief (Katy Guest, Independent)
    -REVIEW: of Gum Thief (James Lasdun, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Gum Thief (Marcel Theroux, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland (Laura Miller, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Girlfriend in a Coma (Patricia Holt, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A by Douglas Coupland (Edward King, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Stephen Abell, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Richard Salvatore, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Toby Litt, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Art Winslow, Chicago Tribune)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Kevin Canfield, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Generation A (Ryan Villareal, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland (Newley Purnell , PopMatters)
    -REVIEW: of Miss Wyoming (Tom Shone, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Miss Wyoming (Jennie Yabroff, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of Player One by Douglas Coupland (Matt Thorne, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Player One (Ian Critchley, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Player One< (James Urquhart, Independent)
    -REVIEW: of Player One (Metro)
    -REVIEW: of Player One (Scarlett Thomas, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of LIFE AFTER GOD by Douglas Coupland (Dan Geddes, The Satirist)

Book-related and General Links:
    -WIKIPEDIA: Marshall McLuhan (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980)
    -WIKIPEDIA: The medium is the message (phrase)
    -WEB SITE:
    -Marshall McLuhan Center on Glonbal Communications
    -FAN SITE: Marshall & Me
    -ESSAY: What If He Is Right?: suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since newton, darwin, freud, einstein, and Pavlov what if he is right? (TOM WOLFE, 1965, The New York Herald Tribune)
McLuhan has developed a theory that goes like this: The new technologies of the electronic age, notably televi sion, radio, the telephone, and computers, make up a new environment. A new environment; they are not merely added to some basic human environment. The idea that these things, TV and the rest, are just tools that men can use for better or worse depending on their talents and moral strength-that idea is idiotic to McLuhan. The new technologies, such as television, have become a new environment. They radically alter the entire way people use their five senses, the way they react to things, and therefore, their entire lives and the entire society. It doesn't matter what the content of a medium like TV is. It doesn't matter if the networks show twenty hours a day of sadistic cowboys caving in people's teeth or twenty hours of Pablo Casals droning away on his cello in a pure -culture white Spanish drawing room. It doesn't matter about the content. The most pro. found effect of televi sion-its real "message," in McLuhan's terms -is the way it alters men's sensory patterns. The me dium is the message-that is the best- known McLuhanism. Television steps up the auditory sense and the sense of touch and depresses the visual sense. That seems like a paradox, but McLuhan is full of paradoxes. A whole generation in America has grown up in the TV environment, and already these millions of people, twenty-five and under, have the same kind of sensory reactions as African tribesmen. The same thing is happening all over the world. The world is growing into a huge tribe, a . . . global village, in a seamless web of electronics.

These are McLuhan metaphors. He started out as an English literature scholar. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in Canada and then got a doctorate in English at Cambridge in England. He wrote his dissertation on the rhetoric of Thomas Nashe, a sixteenth-century English playwright and essayist. In it he led up to Nashe with a massive study of rhetoric from the Greeks on up. He got interested in the way different kinds of speech,

written and oral, affected the history of different civilizations. Gradually his field expanded from literature to the influence of communication, all kinds, all the media, on society. He started doing research in psychology, even physiology, sociology, history, economics everything seemed to come into it. McLuhan was sort of like John Huizinga this way. Huizinga is a historian, Medieval history, chiefly, who discovered "the play element" in history. He ended up with a rather sophisticated sociological theory, in the book Homo Ludens, that in many ways is a precursor of the mathematical "game theory" that so fascinates Pentagon war strategists today. McLuhan worked on his communications theory. For about thirty years he was pretty much in obscurity in places like the University of Wisconsin, the University of St. Louis, and the University of Toronto. He published The Mechanical Bride in 1951, then The Gutenberg Galaxy in 1962, and with that one the McLuhan Cult really started, and what if he-?

As McLuhan sees it-in the simplest terms, here is his theory step by step: People adapt to their environment, whatever it is, with a certain balance of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. If something steps up the intensity of one sense, hearing for example, the other senses will change intensity too, to try to regain a balance. A dentist, for example, can practically shut off pain-sense of touch-by putting earphones on a patient and pouring intense noise into his ear-sense of hearing.

Every major technology changes the balance of the senses. One of the most explosive of these technologies was the development of the printing press in the fifteenth century. Before that, people's senses still had pretty much the old tribal balance. That is to say, the sense of hearing was dominant. People got their information mainly by hearing it from other people. People who get their information that way are necessarily drawn closer together, in the tribal way. They have to be close to each other in order to get information. And they have to believe what people tell them, by and large, because that is the only kind of information they can get. They are interdependent.

They are also more emotional. The spoken word is more emotional than the written word. It carries emotion as well as meaning. The intonation can convey anger, sorrow, approval, panic, joy, sarcasm, and so forth. This aural man, the tribal man, reacts more emotionally to information. He is more easily upset by rumors. His and every body else's emotions-a collective unconscious-lie very near the surface.

The printing press brought about a radical change. People began getting their information primarily by seeing it -the printed word. The visual sense became dominant. Print translates one sense-hearing, the spoken word-into another sense sight, the printed word. Print also converts sounds into abstract symbols, the letters. Print is or derly progression of abstract, visual symbols. Print led to the habit of categorizing-putting everything in order, into categories, "jobs," "prices," "departments," "bureaus," "specialties." Print led, ultimately, to the creation of the modern economy, to bureaucracy, to the modern army, to nationalism itself.

People today think of print as if it were a technology that has been around forever. Actually, the widespread use of print is only about two hundred years old. Today new technologies-television, radio, the telephone, the computer-are causing another revolution. Print caused an "explosion"-breaking society up into categories. The electronic media, on the other hand, are causing an "implosion," forcing people back together in a tribal unity.

The aural sense is becoming dominant again. People are getting their information primarily by hearing it. They are literate, but their primary source is the radio, the telephone, the TV set. The radio and the telephone are obviously aural media, but so is television, in McLuhan's theory. The American TV picture has very low defini tion. It is not three-dimensional, like a movie or a photograph, but two-dimensional, like a Japanese print or a cartoon. The viewer fills in the spaces and the contours with his mind, as he does with a cartoon. Therefore, the TV viewer is more involved in the TV image than in the movie image, he is so busy running over the image with his eye, filling in this and that. He practically reaches out and touches it. He participates; and he likes that.

Studies of TV children-children of all social classes who are used to getting their information primarily by television-studies of this new generation show that they do not focus on the whole picture, the way literate adults do when they watch a movie. They scan the screen for details; their eyes run all over the screen, focusing on holsters, horses' heads, hats, all sorts of little things, even in the fiercest gun battles. They watch a TV show the way a nonliterate African tribesman watches a movie

But exactly! The TV children, a whole generation of Americans, the oldest ones are now twenty-five years old-they are the new tribesmen. They have tribal sensory balances. They have the tribal habit of responding emotionally to the spoken word, they are "hot," they want to participate, to touch, to be involved. On the one hand, they can be more easily swayed by things like demagoguery. The visual or print man is an individualist; he is "cooler," with built-in safeguards. He always has the feeling that no matter what anybody says, he can go check it out. The necessary information is filed away somewhere, categorized. He can look it up. Even if it is something he can't look up and check out-for example, some rumor like "the Chinese are going to bomb us tomorrow"-his habit of mind is established. He has the feeling: All this can be investigated- looked into. The aural man is not so much of an individualist; he is more a part of the collective consciousness; he believes.

To the literate, visual, print man, that seems like a negative quality, but to the aural, tribal man, it seems natural and good. McLuhan is not interested in values, but if anything, he gives the worst of it to the literate man who is smug in the belief that his sensibility is the only proper one. The tribal man-the new TV generation-is far more apt at pattern recognition, which is the basis of computers. The child will learn a foreign language faster than a literate adult because he absorbs the whole pattern of the language, the intonations and the rhythms, as well as the meaning. The literate man is slowed down by the way he tries to convert the sounds to print in his mind and takes the words one by one, categorizing them and translating them in a plodding sequence.

In formal learning, in schools, that is, the new TV-tribal man is at a great disadvantage, however, given the current teaching methods. As McLuhan sees it-if people think there is a bad drop- out problem in American schools today, it is nothing compared to what it is going to be like in another ten or fifteen years. There will be a whole nation of young psychic drop- outs-out of it-from the wealthy suburbs no less than the city slums. The thing is, all these TV-tribal children are aural people, tactile people, they're used to learning by pattern recogni tion. They go into classrooms, and there up in front of them are visual, literate, print-minded teachers. They are up there teaching classes by subjects, that is, categories; they've broken learning down into compartments -mathematics, history, geography, Latin, biology-it doesn't make sense to the tribal kids, it's like trying to study a flood by counting the trees going by, it's unnatural.

It's the same way with these cities the print-minded rulers keep on piling up around them, more skyscrapers, more freeways pouring into them, more people piling into them. Cities are still based on the old idea of using space efficiently, of putting as many activities into a single swath of ground as possible to make it easier for people to move around and do business with each other. To the new drop-out generation and the drop-out genera tions to come, this idea of lateral space and of moving people around in it doesn't seem very important. Even visual people have begun to lose a little of the old idea of space because of the airplane. When somebody gets on a jet in New York and flies to San Francisco in four hours, the time is so short, the idea of the space, the three thousand miles, loses its meaning. It is just like taking a "horizontal elevator," McLuhan says. In Los Angeles, with everybody traveling by car on freeways, nobody talks about "miles" anymore, they just say "that's four minutes from here," "that's twenty minutes from here," and so on. The actual straight-line distance doesn't matter. It may be faster to go by a curved route. All anybody cares about is the time.

For that matter-the drop-out generations will even get rid of the cars, says McLuhan. The car is still largely tied to the idea of space, but the TV-tribal kids aren't. It even shows up in their dances. The new American dances, the twist, the frug, and all that, ignore the geography of the dance floor. The dancers stay in one place and create their own space. They jerk, spasm, hump, and bob around in one place with the sound turned up-aural! tribal!-up into the hot-jolly hyperaesthetic decibels. Eventually, says McLuhan, they will use the same sort of pattern in the way they work. They will work at home, connected to the corporation, the boss, not by roads or railroads, but by television. They will relay information by closed-circuit two-way TV and by computer systems. The great massive American rush-hour flow over all that asphalt surface, going to and from work every day, will be over. The hell with all that driving. Even shopping will be done via TV. All those grinding work-a-daddy cars will disappear. The only cars left will be playthings, sports cars. They'll be just like horses are today, a sport. Somebody over at General Motors is saying-What if he is right?

Whole cities, and especially New York, will end too just like cars, no longer vital to the nation but . . . just playthings. People will come to New York solely to amuse themselves, do things, not marvel at the magnitude of the city or its riches, but just eat in the restaurants, go to the discotheques, browse through the galleries-

    -ESSAY: What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message? (Mark Federman, Chief Strategist, McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology)
Thus we have the meaning of "the medium is the message:" We can know the nature and characteristics of anything we conceive or create (medium) by virtue of the changes - often unnoticed and non-obvious changes - that they effect (message.) McLuhan warns us that we are often distracted by the content of a medium (which, in almost all cases, is another distinct medium in itself.) He writes, "it is only too typical that the "content" of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium." (McLuhan 9) And it is the character of the medium that is its potency or effect - its message. In other words, "This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology."

Why is this understanding of "the medium is the message" particularly useful? We tend to notice changes - even slight changes (that unfortunately we often tend to discount in significance.) "The medium is the message" tells us that noticing change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium. With this early warning, we can set out to characterize and identify the new medium before it becomes obvious to everyone - a process that often takes years or even decades. And if we discover that the new medium brings along effects that might be detrimental to our society or culture, we have the opportunity to influence the development and evolution of the new innovation before the effects becomes pervasive. As McLuhan reminds us, "Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force."

    -ESSAY: Divine Inspiration: How Catholicism made Marshall McLuhan one of the twentieth century’s freest and finest thinkers (Jeet Heer, July/August 2011, The Walrus)
    -ESSAY: Marshall McLuhan: "The Medium is the Message" (Todd Kappelman, Probe Ministries)
    -ESSAY: Marshall McLuhan Is Back From the Dustbin of History; With the Internet, His Ideas Again Seem Ahead of Their Time (ALEXANDER STILLE, October 14, 2000, NY Times)
    -ESSAY: McLuhan perferred form to content. So does the Internet -- to its sorrow. (Edward Rothstein, June 09, 1997, NY Times)
    -THEATER REVIEW: McLuhan's Old Message, As the Medium Mutates (BEN BRANTLEY, May 17, 1994, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan The Medium and the Messenger By Philip Marchand (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Marshall McLuhan: Escape Into Understanding: A Biography by W. Terrence Gordon (Mark Edmundson, NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY: Marshall McLuhan and the divine message: He was a devout convert to Catholicism. And religious thinking is essential to understanding his entire work. (FATHER RAYMOND J. DE SOUZA, 7/19/11, National Post)
    -ESSAY: THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE, 50 YEARS LATER: Five decades on, what can Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media tell us about today? (PAUL HIEBERT, JUN 14, 2017, Pacific Standard)
    -ESSAY: Bitter Fruit: Marshall McLuhan and the Rise of Fake News (Graham Majin, 18 Jan 2022, Quillette)