Al Gore vs. Ron Rosenbaum

“Then he tells his rapt Red Herring audience: ‘Now let me take the metaphor to a slightly higher level.’ (Fasten your seatbelts –- Al Gore is gonna take you on a trip, man. A wild ride into the ever-more-stratospheric heights of his mind.) And what do we find on this ‘higher level’? Marshall McLuhan! I swear, Al Gore is still quoting, with uncritical reverence, the wisdom of Marshall McLuhan as if it were freshly-minted revelation:

‘Look at how this transformation played out in history in relation to new iterations of commonly available technology. The print revolution -– or as Marshall McLuhan called it, the Gutenberg Galaxy –- distributed an enormous amount of civic information widely throughout national language groups and helped to focus the definition of the nation-state… Now, computer networks multiply by manyfold the amount of information available to the average citizen, thereby empowering the average citizen to play a larger role’ (empowering the average citizen to download more child porn and neo-Nazi propaganda, too).”

Ron Rosenbaum, Al’s Screwy Scrawlings Can’t Pass for Intelligence, New York Observer, 11/06/00 12:00am