“Carved out a topic virtually by naming it”

“Thanks to television, Theodore White explained, ‘one sees the event in the now… the cop beating the rioter over the head… There is a jazz to the immediate news which is unsettling, and this jazz dominated the last weeks of July and early August 1964.’ Instant information. The jazz that White experienced had been theorized by Professor Marshall McLuhan in his Understanding Media. McLuhan, as one bemused colleague explained in The National Review, had ‘carved out a topic virtually by naming it.’ Just as Isaac Newton identified gravity, McLuhan pointed out the so-self-evident-as-to-be-invisible organizing principle of the cultural universe: Media.”
J. Hoberman, 2003, The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties

hoberman

Advertisements