Winnipegger McLuhan : a person of historic significance
The message is clear ...
"We grew up with him telling us he was a Prairie boy and a Winni-pigeon ... He always said "Winnipeg is where I am from".
- Daughter Elizabeth McLuhan
THE federal government is expected to announce presently that one of Winnipeg's most distinguished sons, Marshall McLuhan, has been designated a "person of national historic significance." The tribute, given to 597 Canadians to date, is well deserved. McLuhan (who died in 1980) was a thinker ahead of his time, an intellectual who laid the groundwork for modern communication theory and explained the rise of both visual and digital cultures to the often perplexed masses. At the turn of the millennium, when the first international overviews of 20th-century culture were published, McLuhan was routinely the lone Canadian whose ideas made the cut. The American journalist and novelist Tom Wolfe, a McLuhan acolyte since the mid-'60s, wrote an essay in 2003 in which he compared McLuhan's influence to that of Darwin, Marx and Freud. Wired magazine, the current bible of the digital age, calls McLuhan its "patron saint."