03 August 2009

You're such a groovy thinker

Penguin Books has this newish series about Extraordinary Canadians, and it's a series of biographies written by some of the best contemporary authors we have. I'm not sure if there was any logic in the pairings of author-to-subject, or if the authors got to pick their subjects. I mean, shouldn't Vincent Lam be writing about Norman Bethune? And, I don't know anything about Lord Beaverbrook but I'm willing to bet that David Adams Richards turns his life into a soul crushing tale of growing up poor on the Mirimichi, because that's all he seems to write about (unfair, perhaps. I've only read one of his books...).

I bring all this up not just because I plan to read them all (somehow, someday), but because my beloved Douglas Coupland is writing the book about Marshall McLuhan. I'm sure most people in my generation know of McLuhan because of the heritage moment: the medium is the message and all that

Then, there are a few of us who can't hear that name without thinking of the Ballad of Marshall McLuhan. That's because a few of us had a 10th grade french teacher who, really, probably wasn't meant to be a teacher. He would play us the same Radio Free Vestibule CD, over and over until we had it memorized. (This same teacher let us use an english-to-french translation program to write our term paper. I think I got the second highest mark in that class and I barely even know french).

The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan is an infectious little song celebrating all that Marshall did for his people. I don't know how to embed music files in blogger, but you can listen to it here. It's really worth a listen.


Kimm-my said...

In all fairness there was at least one song on that CD that was french...or at least had some french words in it... the one about the interview for a bilingual job... and you didn't mention that when we weren't listening to CD's we were watching Wallace and Gromit.. I think they were in french.. weren't they?

Ellie Fish said...

I forgot we watched Wallace & Grommit! And weren't there also slideshows too?

Wallace & Grommit was not in french, though. If it had been, most of the class wouldn't have understood enough to get the jokes.