"This is not set down in pique, nor extenuation. 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 goodwill is the enemy of society. Lewis saw that years ago. His "America and Cosmic Man" was an H-bomb let off in the desert. Impact nil. We resent or ignore such intellectual bombs. We prefer to compose human beings into bombs and explode political and social entities. Much more fun. We want to get rid of people entirely. And it is necessary to admire the skill and thoroughness with which we have made our preparations to do this. I am not of the "we" party. I should prefer to de-fuse this gigantic human bomb by starting a dialogue somewhere on the side-lines to distract the trigger-men, or to needle the somnambulists. In London 1910 you faced various undesirable states of mind. Since then the word has been used to effect a universal hypnosis. How are words to be used to unweave the spell of print? Of radio commercials and "news"-casts? I'm working on that problem. The word is now the cheapest and most universal drug.
Consider the effect of modern machinery in imposing rhythm on human thought and feeling. Archaic man got inside the thing that terrified him - tiger, bear, wolf - and made it his totem god. To-day we get inside the machine. It is inside us. We in it. Fusion. Oblivion. Safety. Now the human machines are geared to smash one another. You can't shout warnings or encouragement to these machines. First there has to be a retracing process. A reduction of the machine to human form. Circe only turned men into swine. Our problem is tougher."
-Letters of Marshall McLuhan
Oxford University Press, 1987, page 227)