In an interview with journalist Hunter Davies, Marshall McLuhan said money in 1967, "It's just the poor man's credit card." The 1960s era was known as the visual age. Marshall McLuhan elaborated, "One of the many reasons for my going as Albert Schweitzer Professor at Fordham in New York is that I've been offered the use of a gallery at the Museum of Modern Art. In this I'm going to do a proper study of sensory orientation, which I hope will prove the difference between audio-tactile and visual people.

"There have been exhibits at Expo aimed at people's sense of smell, taste, touch and hearing. But they didn't measure how they affected people or what their preferences were, and they didn't check people's ages. This is what I'm going to do, although I haven't worked out the details yet. I think the dividing line will be about the age of 14 (in 1967). People under that age have been affected by TV before they've learned to read or write. This has kept them audio-tactile."

It was noted the first TV network regular schedule of programs did not begin broadcasting until 1950. Marshall McLuhan continued, "When literacy enters life the pictorial begins to take over from the tactile. Children are not naturally interested in matching, putting patterns in the right order until they are trained. That's why children's drawings are like Picasso's, which no one has been able to explain before. They're tactile and abstract.

"(Model) Twiggy is tactile because she's just an abstract outline. Beatles are audio-tactile, because they're appealing to sound and touch. The hippies are audio-tactile, utterly. They're just gypsies. A tactile world is a world of touch. To the blind all things are sudden because they suddenly feel them. So is a tactile world full of surprises with discontinuous lines – no connections are meant or taken.

"It's a world of all-at-onceness. Information comes at you from all media, at once. It is difficult to grasp these ideas. Visual people can't. But these changes are happening now (in 1967). We're so close to them that they're difficult for many people to perceive. The new media are reshaping and reconstructing every aspect of our lives. The present ones can understand me.

"They know what I'm talking about because it's happened to them. They dig me. They accept what I'm saying. I'm talking about what they like, like the Beatles. They and other groups are moving on to Oriental things. That's because the Orient is tactile and the West is visual. Though as we're becoming more Oriental and tactile, the Orient is becoming more literate, visual and Western."

At the time, Marshall McLuhan's 14-year-old son Michael was growing long, thick hair which obscured most of his head and shoulders. Marshall McLuhan continued, "You might think his hair is like that for visual, pictorial reasons. It's not. It's a mask. He's playing a role. All audio-tactile people want to be involved. They want roles, not jobs. They're interested in cool media, not hot media. By cool media I mean any situation which is involving, like TV and beat music.

"English sports cars and Volkswagen are cool. They surround you like a pair of trousers, you wrap them around. They're highly tactile. You're not involved in hot media. They permit external spectator roles, unlike cool media, where you are in there completely involved. Films are hot. They have a storyline which you follow from the outside. I'm talking about Hollywood films. Bergman films and Fellini films are cool. They don't have a storyline.

"When a new media goes around an old media the old media becomes an art form. When the novel was new it was looked down on. When the novel gave way to movies the novel became an art form. When movies gave way to TV the movie became an art form. The novel is now (in 1967) dead. Color TV is a new media. So black and white will become an art form. It will have prestige qualities.

"Now that we have satellites going round the earth, this planet is the art form. That's the end of nature. There ain't none. Nature is now inside a man-made environment. Motor cars, they won't be with us for much longer. In this age of satellites, they're finished. If our images can move anywhere we want them to, there is no necessity to move our bodies around, except as a pure vacation gesture for fun and games and holidays.

"The efficiency of the car is already finished anyway, with present-day traffic. The plane has taken over as the serious form of transport. We'll communicate by video-telephones without having to go and see people. Shopping will be done by seeing what's in the store on television and just ordering (in 1986 Home Shopping Network broadcast live 24 hours a day). Childhood will come to an end as we know it.

"Historically speaking, it's a recent innovation anyway: there was no separate childhood in Renaissance times. It only came in about the 17th century, with the coming of the idea of privacy. This was caused by print, which detribalized people. The coming of privacy brought special spaces for adults and children. There were no bedrooms up to the 17th century, just alcoves off the main eating room with curtains in front of them. Shakespeare never knew such a place as a private bedroom.

"Childhood will go because a child, after its very early years, is becoming privy to everything an adult is privy to. Education in the formal sense will go. Classrooms are already obsolete. The environment is already programmed with more information than any classroom. All the world's a stage. The planet itself is now a little school. It's like being back to primitive times again. Then nature was the education. You learned from nature around you.

"In this audio-tactile world it's happening again – only this time it won't be haphazard. Nature can be totally programmed now so that classrooms will be completely wiped away. Specialists will cease to exist. There will be no loss of natural skills, but the idea of someone becoming a specialist to earn a living will be meaningless. Childhood was a form of specialization, so that's another reason why it will go.

"The whole human environment will be a teaching machine, teaching everyone everything. We'll be all specialists, so specialists will cease to exist. Francis Bacon was looked upon as a genius, a freak, in the 16th century because he knew so much. But in a few years time every youngster will be able to learn more than Bacon ever learned. We'll be able to program nature to get the people we'll want. Instead of teaching, say, musical appreciation, we'll be able to let them feel the effects of having learned musical appreciation. Everybody will know more than the experts do today (in 1967). And Francis Bacon will be a dime a dozen.

"To be a success in any form of mass entertainment or politics you've got to put-on your audience. A lady once said to Churchill that she had a baby which looked just like him. He said 'Madam, all babies look like me.' It was true. He also looked like all British people. Because he was able to put-on a corporate identity. By putting-on I don't mean it's not natural. It's there but it's dramatized.

"De Gaulle put-on the whole of France. That's why he's a success. Kennedy put-on a teenage image, to the panic of his older rivals. That was what America wanted, and still wants. Abe Lincoln put-on the public of his time, the New Frontier public. It's never existed before or since, but it did then. President Johnson hasn't got a corporate image, so he can never be a success. His image is not acceptable. It belongs to some other country at some other time and not America today (in 1967).

"Mr Wilson (British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson) also lacks a corporate image. He also lacks vitality, which all corporate images must have. Hitler had it. De Gaulle has it. Mr Wilson hasn't. You put on a corporate image by a process of feedback. I'm not saying a corporate image is a good thing or a bad thing. It's just the way it happens and what people need to be successful. Every successful persons works by feedback. The responses he gets back condition his public image. If an entertainer or politician is not getting any feedback, he's wasting his time."

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