Skip to main content

The Greatest Canadian Born 100 Years Ago Today

Marshall McLuhan - the English professor turned Guru for the Age of Media - was born 100 years ago today in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  No one could have imagined that a fusion of I.A. Richards, Ezra Pound, myth, and  TV, would spark the cool (or is that hot?) vision of McLuhan, a man so hip Woody Allen had to summon him up   for perhaps his funniest film moment.  Media had been supplanted by Internet - but in a world where 19-year-olds hack into the CIA and Facebook drives the Arab Spring - the dizzying blurring boundaries of global communication are ever-more relevant.

If one adds Glenn Gould as the second greatest Canadian, it will become immediately apparent that the native genius of this vast land is to explore visionary ways of communicating across distances, in practice and theory.  Ten years ago, Tom Walsh, composer-conductor-musician, and I, working as the electronic duo Swifty Lazarus, worked on an album, September 2001, in Budapest, Hungary, that would try to enact the ideas of McLuhan, Gould, and Orson Welles, in-studio.  The result was The Envelope, Please, released in 2002 on the Wired on Words label.
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!