Pity poor Marshall McLuhan.
The man achieved greatness and inadvertently thrust greatness upon generations of would-be intellectuals proud to parrot his words of wisdom. Alas, though celebrated and admired during his lifetime (if not so much for his hippie musical-comedy project The Medium is the Massage), the philosopher experienced a death that was not all it could have been. See, the media guru chose to leave this world Dec. 31, 1980. And, as writers, editors and readers alike well know, it is accepted practice for public figures to expire no later than mid-December. Deadlines being what they are, celebrities owe us at least that much; to hang on longer is to tarnish the hard work that goes into compiling those year-in-review magazine and newspaper features. Continue reading