You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

Uh-oh, for post #98 got once again:

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
Steven Wright

update: acknowledgement of the current post #99 is back on track

Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

While I’m on the MM subject, let me open up a space here to jot down a few ideas about 2012, which will be the 101st year of McLuhan’s birth.

For one thing, his work deserves to have the attention of the public, as the centenary year revealed a major gap in the epistemic imaginary. I’d say, ANY kind of “McLuhan 101” format would be quite appropriate. For few are those who can really reach to the core of the concept “The medium is the message,” and just as few would know that the “global village” in his repertoire was not about a global “brotherhood” of nations but about humanity “going tribal” through electric/electronic technologies. Or that he said that the West is going East [in that tribal sense] and the East is going West [I’d say, from today’s p.o.v. in the sense of going the trodden, polluting path of industrialization].

One can find a UofT student, born and raised in Toronto, who has just defended a master’s thesis on new technologies and is clueless about MM. I have.



Back in the summer, when dropping off leaflets about centenary events, I was presented with a wall of puzzlement when approaching younger people with all kinds of berry and pad gadgets. MM witnessing did NOT go well.

How about “going McLuhan” instead of “tribal”?

By learning to look at and see the “ground” (i.e., technologies that are being taken for granted, with their effects cavalierly overlooked) and shaping our understanding and life accordingly? Which WAS McLuhan’s own project.

So, I’ve been considering “McLuhan 101” events. [as in “basics,” educationally]

Still to work out the vision, scaled to available interest…

Missed only most of day 1 upon return from Europe. This is how tiny and manageable my flight back looked on the monitor on the plane, but felt veeeery different, as always since the accident all those years ago.
Over the remaining 3 days, took tons of notes. November 7-10 was my 7th conference for 2011, and the first one ever to attend w/o a presentation of my own. Big difference in pure-delight levels 🙂 !!!

Logically, chose to take photos of the panel on education, convened by Alex Kuskis, with the participation of Kathy Hutchon Kawasaki, Eric McLuhan, Bob Logan, and Norm Friesen. FYI, Kathy and Eric co-authored with Marshall McLuhan a book, City as classroom: Understanding language and media, collecting in it experiences from their respective teaching practice, K12 in the former case, college [in the Canadian sense] in the latter.

Panel, left to right: Alex Kuskis, moderator, Norm Friesen, Kathy Kawasaki, Eric McLuhan, and speaking Bob Logan.

A view of the main conference hall:

BONUS links

An interview with Bob Logan on the MLN blog, Dec. 15, 2011: “Bob Logan Reminisces on Marshall McLuhan: Who Invented the Alphabet?”

Bob’s collection of McLuhan’s prophetic quotes re the future we are all living now: July 2011 presentation at OCAD University, during McLuhan Centenary conference.

And here came post #95 acknowledgement by WP with:

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
Steven Wright

update: post #96 acknowledgement

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.
Marsha Norman

update: post #97–repetitionnnnnn!

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
Steven Wright

McLuhan plaque ceremony photos. Fed Gov’t event announcement

In the audience you’ll discover several of Prof Marshall McLuhan’s grandchildren, professor Dominique Sheffel-Dunand, MPCT Director, MLN founder professor Bob Logan, MLN blog publisher professor Alex Kuskis…

On stage: speaker=biographer Philip Marchand; to his left Prof McLuhan’s youngest son Michael, a Gov’t official; to his right Faculty of Info, UofT, Dean Seamus Ross, other UofT dignitaries

Text of the plaque itself. Click img to expand (47 MB, unedited–for photo collectors):

All photos taken Oct 14, 2011. Creative Commons License copyright by Ecosonance Oct. 2011

What can be more suitable for Xmas than a reminder by Alex Kuskis to the MLN list about the Kids’ Museum-on-wheels initiative.

reposting below, as received just the beginning, with URL reference:

update 2: Tue Dec 27, 2011

They have a FB page Children’s Own Museum; and could have won the AVIVA fund competition had they received more votes 😦

update 1: Tue, Dec 27, 2011

A single comment at the parentcentral/toronto star link below worth reposting here. Why only ONE?!

Wonderful News on COM!
Toronto deserves a dedicated children’s museum. Kudos to the board for finding such an innovative way of getting it up and running again!

Submitted by Jen Lawrence at 4:47 PM Monday, October 17 2011

A kids’ museum for the global village, Toronto


Heather Senst (left) will be the chairman and Che Marville president of the newChildren’s Mobile Media Museum, a collaboration of the former Children’s Own Museum and the McLuhan Legacy Network. (Photo: Richard Lautens/Toronto Star)

October 14, 2011 – Andrea Gordon, Family Issues Reporter

It’s an understatement to say Che Marville doesn’t give up easily. She has spent five years plotting, pitching and pounding the pavement for a space to resurrect theChildren’s Own Museum in Toronto. But finally her persistence has paid off … The project is a collaboration between the Children’s Own Museum and the McLuhan Legacy Network … Read the rest at TO Star site

For economy, AVIVA project description blurb:


We have mixed the old and the new, to create a mobile interactive environment that combines the prolific ideas of Canadian icon Marshall McLuhan, human development and play theory. A mobile museum, built on a tractor-trailer that will travel to neighbourhoods and schools around the province, that will merge the historic and the leading edge, from vintage toys to iPad apps, and focus on helping kids learn, create and communicate using the latest digital technology.

design 1 – by Jackie Lawson

A very talented flash designer, catering to a more traditional taste.


Oh, and the inevitable reminder: 2 posts till #95, acompanied by:

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. 
Anais Nin

Came across a book I found really, really useful and rewarding to read. Especially the legal side of things–very detailed and clear. The promises and dangers of biotechnologies unavoidably echo those of human industrial “progress” in the context of the climate change “problem.” So working on a review:

Revised: Dec 27, 2011 Again: Jan 7, 2012

Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies, Systems, Technologies.
By Neil Gerlach, Sheryl N. Hamilton, Rebecca Sullivan, and Priscilla L. Walton.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011. 216 pp.
ISBN: 9780802099839 (bound); ISBN: 9780802096838 (pbk.).

Co-authored by four versatile scholars, Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies, Systems, Technologies makes a delightfully fluid read, which is as gratifying as it is analytically demanding … The analysis expressly foregrounds the Canadian context, but also situates the processes under investigation internationally.

In reviewing key aspects of the book’s discursive terrain this essay in addition opens up venues for its participatory reading. The analysis is theoretically contextualized within the McLuhan tradition and an analogy is projected between the challenges of biotechnology’s ambivalent repercussions and the similarly consequential and controversial tangle of climate change issues…

Read more…

WordPress just sent ES congrats on the 90th post, with more (highly relevant, as u can c) wisdom:

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Off we go, to celebrate 🙂


update: … oh, this must be a new feature: they’ve set the next goal, “90 posts, 4 left”

post #93 earned another good quote:
I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.
Anne Rice

reposted with substantial edits: Dec 16, 2011

At the Environmental seminar on Dec 2 I had a chance to bring up a few of my fav points on



Has.Yet.To.Fully.Implement 🙂

For example, check out the books of Teri C. McLuhan, author and film maker, daughter of Prof. Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan. A couple below:

  • T. C. (1996) Cathedrals of the Spirit: The Message of Sacred Places. Toronto, Canada: HarperPerennial, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.
  • McLuhan, T. C. (1994) The Way of the Earth: Encounters with Nature in Ancient and Contemporary Thought. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster.

The books represent anthologies of photographic material and quotes from authors and, if I may, “wisdom,” which go millennia into the past. They illustrate beautifully the “traditional view” in Craig Perfect’s table.

Cathedrals of the Spirit [CoS] is beautifully dedicated “To my mother Corinne Lewis McLuhan …of untold grace…” In it one finds quotes from [antiquity] Hindu, Taoist, and (Zen) Buddhist masters; [twelfth-thirteenth century] a Persian mystic, a Christian woman theologian and poet, and an Arab Andalusian sage; [seventeenth-nineteenth century] authors like Melville, Emerson, Rilke; [twentieth century] a Chinese artist-poet-statesman-author, a Jewish spiritual writer-teacher, Native story tellers …

The infrared photographs alternating with text are by photographer Eliot Bowen. Teri was attracted to his work because of “its engaging anthropomorphic and zoomorphic character—his ability to recognize and evoke human and animal forms in nature, especially in trees and megaliths.” The two of them travelled to therain forestofHohin the Olympic Mountains of thePacific Northwest, and “captured” additional images to include in the book. (p. 19)

For a taste of the book, the first chapter, titled “Arboreal Cathedrals,” opens up with two quotes, one from Sayings of the Masters [Zen], and another by naturalist and conservationist John Muir (1838 – 1914). (p. 23)

The second one reads:

    When a man plants a tree he plants himself.
    (per CoS, prefactory quote in Charles Fenivesi, Trees,New York:St Martin’s Press, 1992)

And the first one:

    Riverbanks lined with
    Green willows, fragrant
    A place not sacred?
    (per CoS, quoted after Soiki Shigematsu, comp. and trans., A Zen Forest, New York andTokyo: Weatherhill, 1981, p. 120)

Which I am tempted to extend, if I may, with “A soul to love not? Who ever?”

A synonymous quote is included in chapter “Cathedrals Immemorial” in a story about a Hindu woman ascetic, who was reprimanded by a monk for resting with her feet pointed at the temple. Her reply:

    Good sir, please inform me where God is not to be found, and I shall gladly place my feet in that direction.
    (per CoS, related by Clive James in Vendata: An Anthology of Hindu Scriptures, Commentary, and Poetry,New York: Bantam, 1974, p. 236)


December 2011


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