McLuhan, Marshall. Counterblast.
New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1969.

Work = fragmented task and consequent non-involvement of whole person. The executive as dropout.

Leisure = involvement, as in hobbies or in conversation. Where involvement is high, work is low. (p. 27)

When the whole man moves into a specialist area he is a clown. Hence the appeal of the comics. Clowns are integral. Every society has an acrobatic area for specialists. The clown in any society is what is left over, unused, from this acrobatic high-wire act.

Environment is process, not container. The content of environment gets changed into art form. Environment is always regarded as degrading. Bricks put indoors become art. (p. 30)

Technologies begin as anti-environments, as controls, and then become environmental, needing the endless spawning of new anti-environments as controls. Dreams are anti-environment for physiological sleep. Private consciousness is anti-environment for collective unconscious as environment. (p. 30)

the content of speech is mental dance, non verbal ESP...


quantum retrocausality said...

"We're in an age of implosion after 3,000 years of explosion."

- McLuhan, Counterblast

quantum retrocausality said...


In 1969 Marshall McLuhan observed that ''today we live invested with an electric information environment that is quite as imperceptible to us as water is to a fish.'' He was convinced that the new electronic media shape not only the information they convey but also our very consciousness and that in order to actually perceive this a counter environment is needed. To demonstrate his point McLuhan wrote Counterblast. More a manifesto than a book, Counterblast is a typographically explosive compilation of short essays and probes (complex ideas compressed into a few thought-provoking words), all of which focus on the effects of media on the human condition. It could be seen as a compilation of bold headlines and it is hauntingly prescient, as this superbly reproduced facsimile of the original edition will affirm. In true McLuhan style the title 'COUNTERBLAST' is a play on the word 'BLAST', the name given to a magazine designed by Wyndham Lewis in 1914 and the first publication ever to be set in heavy headline type, albeit in the face of enormous resistance from the London printing establishment who considered it anti-literary. McLuhan never wanted Counterblast to be perceived as literature, but rather a series of headlines as icons. Sections include The Hidden Environment and The Age of Information.

quantum retrocausality said...

“the newspaper […] structures ordinary unawareness in patterns which correspond to the most sophisticated maneuvers of mathematical physics and modern painting...”