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A Laudable Extension of McLuhan: Cool, Seminal & Involving!
on December 8, 2000
Powers says that this book is not about "final answers." By God he's right! And he proceeds to effloresce a wondrous garden wrought of the print medium brimming over with fresh probes, "osmic space," brains "astonied," the secret lives of "sense ratios," and other electrific, outsized insights and invitations into the futurepresent. One could readily argue and effectively so that "The Global Village..." is indeed a worthy extension of the medium of Professor McLuhan himself, ringing true and resonating orchestrally with the spirit and vivacity of that bright, iridescent, warm and radiant bulb which, tragically, went out suddenly and left us in darkness on New Year's Eve, 1980.
Feed forward 9 years. Powers'/McLuhan's "tetrad" is a mesmerizingly rich metaphor lending clarity and intensity to McLuhan's seminal 1964 probicon, "Understanding Media--The Extensions of Man." This "new" 1989 book is a MUST-read, a reverent continuance of McLuhan's oeuvre, a virtual channeling of his spirit, and in various ways easier to grasp perhaps, more accessible even, than the monumentally revolutionary/visionary UMTEOM.
The beauty of McLuhan and by protraction Dr. Bruce Powers here is that these men are not pedants but facilitators. Their goal, much like that of Carl Rogers or George B. Leonard or Joseph Campbell, is not to pound stuff into brainpans, but to gently yet insistently open up minds to possibilities, perils, challenges, potentialities and joys imperative in the present reality/"reelity?" or whatever one wishes to term the agardish within which each of us swims, breathes, eats, creates, dances, defecates, procreates and seethes.
If McLuhan is the sorcerer, Bruce Powers is his worthy apprentice, now successor. In fact he veritably invites all of us to be successors (McLuhanatics?), to become involved (the essential definition of "cool"). This book is exciting, invigorating, pulsating, intensely involving and above all, highly rewarding. We need more extensions of McLuhan like this one. This is a superb nonbook, a hybrid medium, and a seamless read. TGV will get your probing juices flowing. It's as revitalizing as pure MDMA (as far as "the mdma is the message" goes). Buy this deceptively modest paperback, and step into it like a hot bath.