Annie Hall was my first introduction to Marshall McLuhan when I saw the above clip few years before my start in communication studies at university. This hilarious clip seemed to grow in comical effectiveness the more and more I learned about his theories of media. In seeing Woody Allen’s idiosyncratic behaviour in waiting in that movie theatre line and upon hearing the debate between Woody and the other person in line about relativity to McLuhan’s work and the effectiveness of particular film directors, I began to relearn the important notion that meaning changes and evolves. Just the like some of the dated jokes in this 1977 film, McLuhan’s ideas, statements and messages change and evolve in meaning with the changing of our surroundings.
When reading on Marshall McLuhan it became quite clear that his writing sense thrived on the power of short and quick, but severely loaded catch phrases. His famous coined terms like “the global village” or famed catchy phrases like “the medium is the message” sound simple enough, but who would have thought that these innocent enough appearing lines could truly mean so much.
In becoming more and more familiar with McLuhan’s perspectives and catchy statements, I quickly began to feel as if I was noticing a trend in his thoughts. “Our official culture is striving to force the new media to do the work of the old”, or “[the] new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village” are words by McLuhan where reoccurring ideas began to emerge. The ongoing theme seemed simple enough, but extremely important when connecting the dots to today’s current themes in the Internet world. The theme in McLuhan’s work appeared to me to be that with introduction to new mediums comes an evolution in culture, and an evolution in culture comes the introduction of mew mediums. To me this precisely appears to be a cycle rooted in an instinct and undying desire to evolve.