ASSIGNMENT 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective – GROUP 10 – AUSTIN ZARLING

Assignment 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

      Marshall McLuhan is a master of many things from rhetoric to pop culture, but he is also a master of the Critical Perspective. McLuhan does an amazing job explaining and supporting his idea that the medium is the message. He flawlessly disproves others opinion of his theory, expands on many aspects of his theory, and ultimately releases this information and conducts the interview to help his theory become more well known to better the society we live in. Great thesis!

      According to the interviewer in the Playboy Article, many of McLuhan’s critics call him and his theory erratic, inconsistent and eccentric, but that doesn’t change his belief in his theory. In the paragraphs following that question, McLuhan is able to explain the reasoning behind their distrust and eventually discredit it. He takes a simple “yes, because” response to the debate and takes it a step further. He addresses the elephant in the room by explaining, like a scientific experiment, his method of research, although less conventional, is in-depth and has the ability to adapt and be in “constant flux” with the environment around him. He continues to explain not only this critique, but many more throughout the interview very well with ample reasoning to support his argument.  this is a very well-structured paragraph that includes insightful analysis

Not only does McLuhan answer his critics calls, he addresses widely adopted assumptions of him and his theory. McLuhan takes simple and complex assumptions like the idea that the importance should be in the media not the medium and discredits them. He is able to use the Critical Perspective, pick apart the assumption, and then make us question the assumption and the information used to support the assumption.

McLuhan found this topic to be of the upmost importance to not only himself, but to society as a whole. He thought that “the effects of the media have been systematically overlooked by social observers,” and felt that needed to change soon for the betterment of society as a whole. He also believed that his research and theory would help us stay with the program rather than being one step behind as usual. He says that society is beginning to understand the affect the medium of the media has on us, but not as much and not as well as we should. McLuhan says these dangers were not as powerful in the past due to its effects being felt more gradually, but because media is progressing at such a fast rate, it could lead society down a hole that there is no coming back from. The whole point of his theory is to help us, as a society, understand the changes that are caused by the medium of the media, or the way we view the media. He wants us to be able to see how the way we view things affects the outcome of society. This was very interesting reading rather than summarizing and repeating commonly stated truths about McLuhan and his theories.

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