This is why we can't have nice things!
So in the interminable quest to explain how my brain works I present to you the following:
A friend sends me to this YouTube video (embedding to be fixed when I’m not too brain dead to care).
Eleven seconds of wonderment. Wonderful.
From there I end up on a bizarre path of YouTube links. Naturally, I can’t help myself. you just know I’ll eventually come up with this one.
Yes, this was the single most drop-dead funny moment I had all day and is an absolutely stunning piece of comedy gold.
To be fair, I was never a student of McLuhan nor was I ever particularly aware of his teaching or theories - other than the little pearls of wisdom that get whispered in the dark halls of Canadian braggartry. But there are a few I know very well, mostly from odd sources. Through them, I’ve come to respect Mr. McLuhan very much.
To explain the joke to my dear, beloved friend and benefactor, I first went to Marshall McLuhan’s official site. His estate continues to maintain it “… to ensure the integrity of his name and legacy.“ It gives an awful lot of pertinent information on who he was and what changes he brought to our world.
Indeed, it was McLuhan that coined the phrase, “the global village.“ You instantly know what it means, don’t you? I’m certain that McLuhan would have many an interesting and enlightening opinion on the World Wide Web and YouTube today.
Well, in the miscellany section they have a link to The Vestibules song, “The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan.“ The only problem was that Brian couldn’t listen to that on Windows Media Player. (Side note: Is it just me, or is wmp getting suckier with age? Not that I gave it glowing reviews in the first place.)
Instead, I had to find The Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies to find this series of lectures, prefaced with The Vestibules’ song.
Go listen to either version. I’ll wait. It’s funny and you’ll understand why I sometimes burst out:
“Marshall McLuhan, you’re such a groovy thinker and
We really dig what you say, ‘cuz you’ve got the best insights
Into mass media, this side of the Rio Grande!”
Heard it? Awesome.
The whole joke centres around McLuhan’s statement: “The medium is the message.”
The meta-joke is that I had to work WAY too hard to come up with the .mp3 online to explain to Brian what the joke was.
The meta-meta-joke is the fun of writing this and having you, the dear reader, wonder just what it is I’m thinking. Or smoking. Or something.
The meta-meta-meta-joke is that McLuhan’s book went to publishing and a typo left the title as “The Medium is the Massage.” Which is all wonderfully in line with the original YouTube video in the first place.
Stick that in the soda straw up your nose and smoke it, baby! Hahahahahahahaha.