Marshall McLuhan Quotes

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything that I say.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools!”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a hallucinating idiot…for he sees what no one else does: things that, to everyone else, are not there.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver’s license age than at voting age.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The medium is the message.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“One thing about which fish know exactly nothing is water, since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Many a good argument is ruined by some fool who knows what he is talking about.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Once you see the boundaries of your environment, they are no longer the boundaries of your environment.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

 

“Art is anything you can get away with.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“First we build the tools, then they build us.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Our technology forces us to live mythically”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery.
The politician will be only too happy to abdicate
in favor of his image, because the image will
be much more powerful than he could ever be.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“All words, in every language, are metaphors.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“I am an intellectual thug who has been slowly accumulating a private arsenal with every intention of using it. In a mindless age every insight takes on the character of a lethal weapon. Every man of good will is the enemy of society.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

 

“The poet, the artist, the sleuth – whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely “well-adjusted”, he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists between antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power is manifest in the famous story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“the only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Diaper spelled backwards is repaid , think about it.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Language does for intelligence what the wheel does for the feet and the body. It enables them to move from thing to thing with greater ease and speed and ever less involvement.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism. ”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Whence did the wond’rous mystic art arise, / Of painting SPEECH, and speaking to the eyes? / That we by tracing magic lines are taught, / How to embody, and to colour THOUGHT?”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“I am resolutely opposed to all innovation, all change, but I am determined to understand what’s happening. Because I don’t choose just to sit and let the juggernaut roll over me. Many people seem to think that if you talk about something recent, you’re in favor of it. The exact opposite is true in my case. Anything I talk about is almost certainly something I’m resolutely against. And it seems to me the best way to oppose it is to understand it. And then you know where to turn off the buttons.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“All media work us over completely.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Schizophrenia may be a necessary consequence of literacy. [p. 32]”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Our permanent address is tommorrow.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“There is an impression abroad that literary folk are fast readers. Wine tasters are not heavy drinkers. Literary people read slowly because they sample the complex dimensions and flavors of words and phrases. They strive for totality not lineality. They are well aware that the words on the page have to be decanted with the utmost skill. Those who imagine they read only for “content” are illusioned.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Some days, I wish the whole fucking world would just ‘phone in sick.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The wheel… is an extension of the foot.
The book… is an extension of the eye…
Clothing, an extension of the skin…
Electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Someone asked me if I really believed there was life after death. I replied: Do you really believe there is any life before death?”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The greatest discovery of the 21st century will be the discovery that Man was not meant to live at the speed of light.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Theirs is the customary human reaction when confronted with innovation: to flounder about attempting to adapt old responses to new situations or to simply condemn or ignore the harbingers of change–a practice refined by the Chinese emperors, who used to execute messengers bringing bad news. The new technological environments generate the most pain among those least prepared to alter their old value structures. The literati find the new electronic environment far more threatening than do those less committed to literacy as a way of life. When an individual or social group feels that its whole identity is jeopardized by social or psychic change, its natural reaction is to lash out in defensive fury. But for all their lamentations, the revolution has already taken place.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing;”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“I expect to see the coming decades transform the planet into an art form; the new man, linked in a cosmic harmony that transcends time and space, will sensuously caress and mold and pattern every facet of the terrestrial artifact as if it were a work of art, and man himself will become an organic art form. There is a long road ahead, and the stars are only way stations, but we have begun the journey. To be born in this age is a precious gift, and I regret the prospect of my own death only because I will leave so many pages of man’s destiny — if you will excuse the Gutenbergian image — tantalizingly unread. But perhaps, as I’ve tried to demonstrate in my examination of the postliterate culture, the story begins only when the book closes.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“if it works it’s obsolete”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Art is whatever you can get away with.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“All through his life, he swung between the ridiculous and the sublime,”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“In a cool medium, the audience is an active constituent of the viewing or listening experience. A girl wearing open-mesh silk stockings or glasses is inherently cool and sensual because the eye acts as a surrogate hand in filling in the low-definition image thus engendered. Which is why boys make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Language is metaphor in the sense that it not only stores but translates experience from one mode into another. Money is metaphor in the sense that it stores skill and labour and also translates one skill into another.”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“The student of media soon comes to expect the New Media of any period whatever to be classed as ‘pseudo’ by those who acquired the patterns of earlier media, whatever they may happen to be. ”
― Marshall McLuhan

 

 

“Advertisements constitute the only ‘good news’ in the newspaper.”
― Marshal McLuhan

 

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