Wolfe’s re­veal­ing McLuhan con­nec­tion

NOW Magazine - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Con­grat­u­la­tions to José Teodoro for his ap­pre­cia­tive re­view of The Mes­sage (NOW, Novem­ber 22-28). He catches the main points of the play, and its many al­lu­sions to Joyce and Beck­ett.

I will just add some in­for­ma­tion about the cig­a­rette girl. This scene was taken from an es­say about McLuhan writ­ten by Thomas Wolfe in 1965 en­ti­tled What If He’s Right?”

In this es­say, Wolfe de­scribes a lunch at a top­less bar with McLuhan and some San Fran­cisco me­dia types. McLuhan keeps the­o­riz­ing over his salad while the two me­dia types ogle a top­less wait­ress who leans over the ta­ble. McLuhan is so en­grossed in his ideas that he hardly no­tices. McLuhan would say, “She is wear­ing us,” mean­ing “She is putting us on.” Ja­son Sher­man takes this fur­ther in his play by hav­ing the wait­ress per­fectly ex­plain all of McLuhan’s ab­strac­tions. It is a very funny scene, and a tribute to Sher­man, who changed it around. Cathy Brown

Toronto

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