Premium Essay

The Man Behind the Message

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jdi49
Words 1347
Pages 6
Marshall McLuhan “The Man behind the message” A professor from Winnipeg, Marshall was one of the world’s most innovative thinkers. His theories about mass media turned him into a media guru. Arguably most famous for his quote “The medium is the message” Many would consider Marshall to be a brilliant man; others would say they don’t understand a word he is saying. I wonder how much thought his skeptics have put into what he had to say. I will agree that some of his theories are not clear at first but once dissected you begin to understand the man behind the message.
“The message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure. This happened whether the railway functioned in a tropical or northern environment, and is quite independent of the freight or content of the railway medium. (Understanding Media, NY, 1964, p. 8)
What McLuhan writes about the railroad applies with equal validity to the media of print, television, computers and now the internet. “The medium is the message” because it is the “medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” (E. McLuhan) Now, some may be thinking that they don’t understand the message of the preceding paragraphs, and they are not a lone Marshall sure had have his share of critics. For example, “Dwight Macdonald calls McLuhan's books "impure nonsense, nonsense adulterated by sense." Leslie Fiedler wrote in Partisan Review "Marshall McLuhan . . . continually risks sounding like the body-fluids man in "Doctor Strangelove." (Kostelanetzk) According to New York Times writer Richard Kostelanetzk"...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

My Take on 12 Years a Slave

...YEARS A SLAVE IT HAS A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE, AN ESOTERIC CONNOTATION BEHIND IT THAT MOST MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. THIS OF COURSE, IS MY VIEW...AND THIS OF COURSE DOES NOT GUARANTEE IT TO BE TRUE. HOWEVER TO THE EXTENT OF WHICH I AM TO EXPRESS MY OPINIONS ARE BASED ON MY OWN STUDY, IN WHICH THAT STUDY IS BASED ON THE INFORMATION OF SCHOLARS AND EXPERTS IN THE SUBJECT MATTER. ALTHOUGH MY INQUIRY INTO THE SUBJECT TO BE DISCUSSED IS IN DEVELOPING STAGE, I ASK THAT THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE TO WATCH IT AND TELL ME WHAT THEY THINK. THIS MOVIES IS ON THE SURFACE TELLS THE STORY OF A FREE MAN WHO WAS TAKEN BY TWO WHITE MEN AND SOLD INTO SLAVERY. IT DESCRIBES THE HORRORS IN WHICH HE ENDURED, AND OTHERS IN THE SAME PREDICAMENT HAD ENDURED ALONG WITH HIM. BUT THIS IS NOT THE LEGITIMATE MESSAGE OF THE MOVIE. WHY HAVE SOLOMONS STORY BEEN TOLD BEFORE NOW? ALTHOUGH IT IS SAID TO HAVE A HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL IMPLICATIONS WE MUST REMEMBER THAT ALL MESSAGES ARE CODED, AS ONE TALE THAT MEANS ONE THING ON THE SURFACE AND SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BENEATH IT. THIS MESSAGE IN THE MOVIE IS DIRECTED FOR THE MASONS OF AMERICA. NOTICE, THE MAIN CHARACTERS NAME IS SOLOMON.SOLOMON IS THE TEMPLE IN WHICH THE MASONS ARE PREPARING TO BUILD. SOLOMON IS BEFRIENDED BY TWO WHITE GUYS WEARING "TOP HATS", INDICATIVE OF MASONIC IDENTITY. HE WAS INTRODUCED TO THESE WHITE GUYS BECAUSE HE PLAYS THE VIOLIN, WHICH IS REFERRED TO AS THE FIDDLE". THE FIDDLER IS THE MAN WHO PLAYS THE TUNE THAT......

Words: 1041 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Sexism in Advertising – Essay Sample

...was the message that advertisements both trivialize and romanticize violence against women. Kilbourne also suggests that advertising is America’s pornography; sex is used to sell everything. She also believes that our culture’s qualities are consistently divided into masculine and feminine, with feminine qualities being devalued or de-humanized. Advertising tells us who we are and who we should be, and what is most important about women is how we look. Given this state of affairs, failure is inevitable because we all have flaws. Beauty is equated with being powerful, but that power is short-lived because we all change as we age. The connection between advertising and women’s body image is that advertising presents powerful messages to women, beginning when young girls reach puberty and are taught through commercials that, as one ad said, “the more you subtract, the more you add.” The covert message in that statement is that the more weight one loses, the more one gains in prestige. In other words, also, the less noise one makes, the better it is, ultimately. Advertising communicates to women that they should be passive, as indicated by the many advertisements that were shown in the video where women’s hands were literally covering their mouths, with captions suggesting that the less the women say, the more desirable they are to men. Regarding that last statement, advertisements also suggests that the most desirable outcome for any woman is being associated with a man.......

Words: 1007 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Tartuffe

...Appearance vs. Reality Moliere’s Tartuffe is a play whose message is of religious hypocrisy however; it also deals with disguise and appearance versus reality. Within this play, Moliere created a character, Tartuffe, who claims to be a man of the cloth. In reality, he is a con man. Tartuffe hides behind his so-called piety and uses this mask to conceal what he truly desires; money and power. Moliere makes Tartuffe transparent enough so that the audience (and the rest of the cast) can easily see through his shenanigans. Nevertheless, the protagonist, Orgon, cannot see through the false appearance. One source that I read suggested that Orgon’s blind obedience to Tartuffe is the true moral of the play. He observes that “dupe and deceiver—and which is which?—are seen to be partners in the same enterprise” (as cited in Men and Masks, 1963). It is his opinion that Orgon basically didn’t care if Tartuffe was truly religious, Orgon just liked to revel in the obsequious attention given to him by Tartuffe (Mills, 2011). Moliere toys with us while expounding on this theme of appearance and disguise. At one point in the play, Orgon angrily disinherits his son, Damis because Damis voices his disgust of Tartuffe. Tartuffe makes the pretense of speaking up for Damis by saying to Orgon, “Believe his story; the boy deserves your trust. Why, after all, should you have faith in me? How can you know what I might do, or be? Is it on my good actions that you base your favor? Do you......

Words: 537 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Text Analysis Provides Some Insight Into Media Messages but Only a Critical Political Economy Approach Can Adequately Explain How the Media Work Today

...into media messages but only a critical political economy approach can adequately explain how the media work today * * Whoever Controls the media, controls the mind. This is an interesting quote by Jim Morrison that shows the power of the media and its messages at the present day. Media has played a huge role in the cultures it inhabited. Starting from the Printing Press, and then evolving into the radio, the television till the World Wide Web. The evolution of the mass media took many different shapes and with this evolution, it shaped our cultures and understandings differently, which caused its effects to be more influential. Throughout the history the mass media molded our ideologies by its messages and changed the way we look at things around us. “When we consume mass media, there are a lot of physical and mental activities going on” (Fourie, 2001, p.283). At the present time when we decide to sit and watch a movie, there are millions of messages being interpreted to us as audiences that shape how we speak, dress, and behave. It is believed that the media determines what we should know and how we should think. But the vital question is who controls the media and controls its messages, and how does the media work today. This essay will therefore attempt to discuss the different approaches that are used to analyze and evaluate media messages, and how these various approaches operate. Firstly, there are different methods to analyze the different media messages......

Words: 2372 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

...Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Spiritual Connection Between “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and the Holy Scripture. Donald McCoy Liberty University September 15, 2014 Many authors attempt to convey some sort of message in their writings, whether it be that of Romances’ by Shelley, the plight of women in the writings of Wollstonecraft, or the political satire behind Jonathan Swift’s works. It can even be said that some essays have been written to bring across a moral lesson to the reader. Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”, in which the main character is rescued by the Greek gods and then embarks on a journey to return to his homeland, all the while facing obstacles that test his faith, loyalty, and solidify his virtues and beliefs. Few authors have had the success Homer gained in his grand tale featuring the main character, Odysseus. Arguably, even fewer authors have tried to emulate the Christian faith within their works with much success. Mr. Samuel Taylor Coleridge is one such author. Coleridge’s lyrical ballad “The Rime of an Ancient Mariner” is one in which numerous religious themes are adequately complimented. Most notable of the comparisons is that of the Albatross and how it symbolizes Jesus Christ. In the ballad, Coleridge writes, At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God’s name. (Mariner, Line 65). In the ballad, the men on the ship had become lost, with mist, snow, and ice......

Words: 975 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Nansgement

...receiving a warning from my Office. The man was a good member of the staff before this case came up. He was always dedicated to his work always trying to do the right thing for the company. He was also very creative when it came to finding a solution to a challenge in the company. Due to his character we created a good rapport with him trying to involve him in some of my issues that I thought he could be of importance. The good rapport between us made me feel reluctant in taking crucial action which would disadvantage him like suspension or firing. One of his fellow head of department felt that I was doing a little in solving the issue even after the several reports he brought to me about the man. He decided to report the matter to the director of the company. After providing enough proof, the director summoned me and ordered me to fire the head of the department. The decision was tough but I had to do it. I summoned the head of the department to explain to him the situation and issue him with his dismissal letter. After explaining to him, he gave me the reason why he was making those unpermitted absenteeism. He told me that his wife was diagnosed with cancer create at least 6 hours for at least two days a week to be with her as advised by her doctor After confirming that what he told me was true, I could not dismiss him. I had to get back to the director and convince him to spear his job. I got it right in convincing the director and the man was given a leave to attend fully......

Words: 1042 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Mickey Mouse Monopoly

...Mickey Mouse Monopoly The Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary reveals the obscure social messages behind the animated films created by the Disney Company. Although we are conditioned to believe that these movies are pure forms of entertainment, further examination has proved that there are hidden messages concerning gender, race and class that Disney is instilling in the minds of children. The speakers in the documentary argue that Disney is extremely political and hides its ideas behind innocence, magic and fun. When masked by features that are appealing to a younger audience, it is difficult to realize these ideas without taking a closer look. One of the main controversies discussed in this video is the way that Disney portrays women in its productions. The way that females are shown is similar across all Disney films, even animal characters. They are shown having a seductive or entrancing way about them, large eyelashes, attractive bodies and large breasts. Doctor Carolyn Newberger, a psychology professor at Harvard University, pointed out the scene from Aladdin when Jasmine seduces Jafar to distract him while Aladdin tries to rescue her. This scene suggests to viewers that women can use their bodies to manipulate men in order to get what they want. Other ways women are portrayed in these films are vulnerable, weak, and always needing to be rescued by a male. Aside from gender, race is another issue that is often misrepresented in these productions. One example in......

Words: 660 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Visual Analysis

...visual analysis is to demonstrate my understanding of how the visuals communicate its messages and meanings to me. I broke the visual pieces into parts and analyzed each source of dialogue. I can offer my insight of what I believe each piece means. Context that I am looking for referring to the circumstances of the environment where a piece of communication takes place. Sometimes the author has a measure of control over context, like whether or not the topic relates to the audience that the visual is for. Other times, a topic is specifically made for an audience to encounter their own emotions. Context clues are an important source of the rhetorical situations into the visuals and can easily make or break the effectiveness of...

Words: 771 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Demonstrative Communication

...August 27, 2012 Instructor Name Demonstrative Communication From the beginning of time, man has used demonstrative communication as a way of communicating with other people. In the day of the caveman, nonverbal gestures were a normal way of communication. As time evolved and man became more civilized, he maintained his ability to communicate nonverbally. This paper is a look into the types, effects, and elements of demonstrative communication, highlighting both positive and negative elements of this type of communication. According to Phillips (1998), the adage “It’s not what you say, it is how you say it, that counts, is a true statement.” A person in a leadership role must be aware of how he communicates non-verbally to ensure they are projecting the appropriate meaning into their message. According to Flowers and Daley (personal communication, February 1, 2012), company X, a fierce competitor of company Y, called simultaneous meetings to announce a merger of the two businesses, both companies used the exact presentation materials. The location manager for each location delivered the news to his respective employees. The manager of company X delivered the message by greeting employees by name as he or she filed into the conference room; he made prolonged eye contact with employees and stood tall during his delivery. The manager of company Z delivered the message standing behind a lectern, looking at the PowerPoint presentation on the screen and rarely looked......

Words: 825 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Demonstrative Communication

...Demonstrative Communication From the beginning of time, man has used demonstrative communication as a way of communicating with other people. In the day of the caveman, nonverbal gestures were a normal way of communication. As time evolved and man became more civilized, he maintained his ability to communicate nonverbally. This paper is a look into the types, effects, and elements of demonstrative communication, highlighting both positive and negative elements of this type of communication. According to Phillips (1998), the adage “It’s not what you say, it is how you say it, that counts, is a true statement.” A person in a leadership role must be aware of how he communicates non-verbally to ensure they are projecting the appropriate meaning into their message. According to Flowers and Daley (personal communication, February 1, 2012), company X, a fierce competitor of company Y, called simultaneous meetings to announce a merger of the two businesses, both companies used the exact presentation materials. The location manager for each location delivered the news to his respective employees. The manager of company X delivered the message by greeting employees by name as he or she filed into the conference room; he made prolonged eye contact with employees and stood tall during his delivery. The manager of company Z delivered the message standing behind a lectern, looking at the PowerPoint presentation on the screen and rarely looked at his employees. The......

Words: 811 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Explication of “Dulce Et Decorum Est”

...important message. A message that war is not glorious and noble and should not be portrayed this way. The speaker is a soldier in the army who describes the true horrors of the war and how young men believed it was an honor to die for your country. The poem is written in a simple regular rhyme scheme. Owen uses graphic imagery to show what the war was like. The similes and metaphors he uses give you a clear picture to describe the ugliness of the war. The tone is very harsh and he speaks very direct. He uses words that will shock you and leave you with a sick feeling. In the first stanza, the first two lines of the poem are, “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks/Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge”. This represents the men bent over carrying their belongings through the mud. They are being compared to as old beggars & hags, (miserable ugly old women). However, these men were young. In the third and forth lines, “Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs/And towards our distant rest began to trudge”, represents the tired soldiers heading back to camp. In the fifth and six lines, “Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots/But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;” this shows how tired the men were as if they were marching in their sleep. Many have lost their boots and their feet are bleeding. In the seventh and eighth line, “Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots/Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped......

Words: 857 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

What’s Life Really All About?

...Life Really All About?” Our Lord Jesus wants us as believers to have faith in Him and place our lives totally in His loving hands. Jesus wants to use our lives for the cause of Christ if we’ll let Him. Jesus does not want anyone to die lost (unsaved) and He reaches out to us from His Word today and tries to reason with our hearts and minds with a clear statement about our life, how the Gospel message pertains to us in it’s importance, with the things in life that Satan will use to get us as human beings to not think about our soul, and says to us: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:35–37 KJB) For an illustration to the importance of using our lives for the cause of Christ, and a person knowing the Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord there was a famous missionary to India named “Henry Martyn” who lived from 1781 to 1812, he was a brilliant man. A Cambridge University student, Martyn’s gift for mathematics was seen early in his life when he was honored at only twenty years of age with the highest recognition possible in that field. Yet Martyn (a...

Words: 1239 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Importance Of Communication In Communication

...Cognate Strategies sounds like a pretty difficult subject to understand, at first glance. However, it actually refers to methods used to promote understanding when addressing your message to the audience, in written or spoken form. In business communication, having your audience understand your message is vital to success. The strategies that are being focused on are: Clarity, Conciseness, Credibility, Tone and Reference. Clarity is a big part of communication as it enforces understanding within the message. In other words, it allows for communication to flow naturally, and be understood easily. Without clarity, an audience may be thinking about something you said (such as a word, that they aren't familiar with), rather than thinking about what your message is about. In the past, I have used clarity to help describe a problem to a customer, rather than using difficult “trade terms” for them. Here's an example: “Look at the back of your TV, and you will see three cables. They are red, yellow and white colored.” That sentence is much easier to understand than “Look at the input...

Words: 874 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Life

...is no criminal mastermind. He saves lives but isn't a doctor. He has bullet proof protection but don't confuse him for the wimpy FBI. Fighting for the red, white, and blue he is living symbol for freedom, but don't confuse him with the president. Captain America- despite him being a super soldier- provides idealistic life and morality: he is a strong role model for americans and always views things on the bright side, while being a great leader. He is not only the best superhero ever but gives hope to everyone and provides a positive message on never giving up. He started from the bottom of the pit and never gave up; he became the best “man” he could, even though he had a little help from science. Transforming his life to be accepted, volunteering to become a super soldier, accepting his new reality, Captain America never gives up. People look up to him because he started off not accepted by societies view; he was a scrawny malnourished man that got rejected multiple times. Even though he had the help of military science, the olympic athlete abilities and physical attractiveness gave people hope that if they never give up they can succeed at anything they want. He is still human though. “ But we are also human beings, with feelings and emotions.” (page 59 Our Superhero Ourself) says Captain America, this shows people that even though he has this special ability he can relate to how humans feel and how tough it is to over come that specific standard. People can relate to......

Words: 1018 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

If and Vitai Lampada Comparison

...‘If’ and ‘Vitai Lampada’ Essay The poem “If-“ is about making possibilities into realities. A good example of this is a boy turning into a man, with the father making a guide to success. "If-" contains a multitude of characteristics deemed essential to the ideal man. They almost all express stoicism and reserve – the classic British "stiff upper lip." It is a didactic poem in the form of a dramatic monologue from the father. The three main ideas behind the poem defining a man are: Patience, Determination and risk-taking. The poem was written in 1895 by Rudyard Kipling, the same time as the Jameson Raid happened in South Africa against Paul Kruger’s Transvaal republic. He states in his 1937 autobiography that this war was the main drive behind writing this poem. We can infer from this that the poem was written as a form of hope after the British failed they’re raid against the Boers. The first theme I will be discussing is patience. The father provides didactic advice to his son to encourage him to remain patient: “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you” Kipling uses the second person pronoun to direct his monologue to the audience in question, his son. The poet asks us to patiently wait for our efforts to reach fruition because all good things take time: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk......

Words: 980 - Pages: 4