Monday, April 13, 2009

Dean R. Koontz

Since 1969 at least, one of our leading opportunistic hacks. His tendentious Author's Foreword is worth quoting at length:

If there was a single phrase that captured the public's attention more than any other in 1967, it was this one: "The Medium Is the Massage." Marshall McLuhan not only made a fortune with it, but established himself as a prophet and philosopher. When McLuhan says the printed word is doomed in our time of electronic communication, everyone listens. Somehow, no one seems to notice that McLuhan's own predictions are presented via the printed word and -- by his own theories -- are doomed from the start.

Oy, could we tear into that one if it wasn't so late. Let's see: Dean Koontz, Marshall McLuhan, Dean Koontz, Marshall McLuhan... I give up, I can't decide who has had more impact on, you know, the world. Anyway, it's 129 pages of dialogue-heavy woodchopping, about which Koontz proclaims, "I have tried to shape a society that has advanced along the lines of the predictions in The Medium Is the Massage... and then advanced a little farther -- a little too far." Cue the sinister laugh already.

I've read McLuhan's best-selling picture book, and it's pretty much "Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan, for Dummies." McLuhan's bigger book, admittedly no light reading, was probably too dense for dizzy Dean to squeeze a bargain-basement dystopia from, which presumes he had a look at it in the first place. Actually, there's no indication that the Dean had any direct contact with the short book, either. His understanding of it seems gleaned from a Newsweek blurb.

What say we flip the Ace Double over for something a little less full of itself?

That's more like it.

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