Friday, November 16, 2007

Mailer vs. McLuhan

I know I'm not really doing much here, but I thought I would offer up this bit of counterpoint to Conrad Roth's post on Norman Mailer. To keep things provincial, the video I'm offering up is from the CBC.

To be honest, I've never really known much about Mailer, and although I'm looking at my battered copy of The Guttenberg Galaxy, its dereliction is an artefact of its past before it got to me, protected now from ever again being touched by human hands. Nevertheless, when I found this a number of months ago, I quite enjoyed it, although I don'treally know why.

This video strikes me as a kind of Catchter in the Rye for one's intellectual development. I suspect if I'd seen this 10 years ago, I would have been astounded by their profundity. Now, well....look, it's two guys talking like this on CBC Television. That alone, given CBC television's mandate is now to become a low-budget NBC makes it worth the half hour it will forever steal from you.

So, please enjoy two of the 20th Century's Greatest Minds, or two posturing public pseudo-intellectuals whose hot air and obfuscation managed to float down from the ivory tower and into the mass culture of their day.

UPDATE: Phil Ford at Dial "M" for Musicology has a very nice piece on Mailer, and also nicely tears apart Roger Kimball's Mailer article in the New Criterion. Read it here.

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