I’m reading McLuhan. I thought until recently that he only said that the medium is the message and that I understood that because I agree with Neil Postman. But then a certain David O made an observation that stuck with me, and it turned out he was reading the book and making interesting remarks. So I got Understanding Media.
I find it hard to know how exactly to take him. I think he’s saying many right things, but I also think he’s really screwy. I think he’s the kind of chap you have to use reductive meanings on, just say: this only means the minimum, not the maximum it could. It is puzzling but very interesting, and difficult because often so compressed.
And I’m glad I’m reading him now, not back when I read most important books I’ve read and even more didn’t know how to take them.
* * *
I’ve written with so much satisfaction today I think I should conclude I was meant to be nothing but a writer of science fiction. Specially preparing for this final: I often feel like a fish out of water in school. These other chaps are so deadly earnest, many of them can be so tediously evenhanded in picking up on an argument, evaluating it, not getting emotionally involved. They are as marvelous as Calvin, so cogent, important and uninteresting.
* * *
Still, many days of school I feel its is where I ought to be. I’ve enjoyed myself a lot, and together we are having a good time in Philadelphia. I have noticed they don’t do winter or interconnected downtown here as in Minneapolis they do, and I miss that. I have also noticed that within walking distance there are none of the easy amenities of our prime location in Columbus, alas. But Philadelphia has its own charm, so far, and we are casting our eye New Yorkward, a place with perhaps charms of its own.