On media and messages, public service announcements, and burnt toast.

marshall mcluhan  - photoDoes anyone else remember the Heritage Minutes that used to (probably still do) run all over the Canadian TV networks talking about Canadian heros and turning points?
I’m writing a paper about Marshall McLuhan right now and kept coming back to that 1 minute spot where he spontaneously generates “THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE” while lecturing to a class. Turns out you can watch the whole thing on the Historica website, as well as all the others you know and love (did anyone else go to Wilder Penfield elementary? Smell burt toast?)

It’s almost kind of sad that these were likely the best thing that Canadian television ever produced, but also kind of uplifting. It’s probably a good thing that we’re better at forcing ourselves to learn despite the medium of television than we are at creating tube-drivel like everybody else.

9 Replies to “On media and messages, public service announcements, and burnt toast.”

  1. Man that’s one scary pic. I’m surprised they didn’t find some reason to hang that dude. I can just imagine him staring at me like that and saying the medium is the message.
    I never figured out what that means anyway. The medium is the message…
    Smoke another one Marshall.

  2. I do smell burnt toast…but that’s cause I burnt toast… aww this was a minute of your Heritage.

  3. Was the guy going down a river on a log one of them? I keep remembering that cartoon, but I’ve got no idea what it was about…

  4. no, the logdriver;s waltz was something else, probably just some cultural NFB sponsored animation that they figured they should get maximum value. the Heritage Minutes were all real life people and serious history.

  5. I found this because I was looking to see if anyone else in this world has referenced the “I smell burnt toast” thing.

    Glory to you.

    (This could totally become a culture reference if everyone pushes it. If that doesn’t work, then warm ostracization.)

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