The Mechanical Bride

Marshal McLuhan

The first book McLuhan ever wrote, and what a book it is. It is a commentary on various advertisements and pieces of so-called popular culture from the early 01950's. McLuhan takes the advertisements, presents them in all their usual forms, and then proceeds to viciously and thoroughly take the piss out of 'em. However, it is not like the defanged parody of mocketing we see in ad commentary today. McLuhan's early writing was as dark and humorous as it was intelligent and cunning. He is harshly critical of the early mass media and its nascent consumerism, and goes even further to link various themes together from seemingly unrelated sources to paint a gruesome sociological picture of society through the augment of mass media. He never revisited these topics, and made it seem like he forgot about The Mechanical Bride as the early corporate media subsumed him so. Even the forward to the facsimile copy I finally found tried to paint it as "an odd souvenir from an age long past," trying to hide the true criticisms he presented. What could have caused such a fantastic writer to fall so far...?

For what it is worth, I am aware that a pseudo-sequel to this book exists in Culture is Our Business, but I bounced off it rather hard. It just had far less to actually say.

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