Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

On at least three different occasions, I have picked up my parents’ hand-me down paperback of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and I have not gotten past page nine or ten yet. So I was happy to get a biography of the man and a cliffnotes of his career from of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Douglas Coupland.

Coupland was selected to write about Marshall McLuhan for the series Extraordinary Canadians. Now that I know more about McLuhan, at least more than I knew from friend Professor Sara Netzley and my parents, I now see the wisdom of series editor John Ralston Saul in pairing him with Coupland.

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School Spirit, Like the Yearbooks that Inspired it, is a Neat Narrative Time Capsule

Time capsules aren’t often great at relevance, but this book as “a construct amassed from American High School Yearbooks” by Pierre Huyghe and Douglas Coupland is a time capsule that endures.

School Spirit is “an excursion through the soul of a dead and disembodied student lost inside the memories and infrastructure of a California High School.” That’s the premise, but as explained in the book, Kelly, our dearly departed guide, can visit other high schools.

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Spoiler Free Review

Spoiler Free Douglas Coupland The Gum Thief

The Gum Thief Wears the Rose-Colored Glasses of Nostalgia Well

Roger is not where he wants to be, working at Staples well past the age where that would have been noble. Bethany is Roger’s much younger co-worker who discovers that he’s a writer, or at least he’s attempting to be. What follows is a collection of letters and emails written by the characters that move the story along revealing the world as we know it.

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Twenty Twenty-Two In Review

Twenty Twenty-Two. No jetpacks, no faster-than-light traveling, no flying cars (at least not mass produced and widely available or reliable). In short, this isn’t the Jetsons future we thought it might be.

Why does that matter? Because by any metric for arguably anyone born on the other side of Y2K, 2022 was the future. Well, the future is now, and it’s not living up to expectations, I can tell you that. So let’s look back on the year as it was, and ignore the things it would or should have been.

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