So, let’s explore!
In a Crisis Magazine interview, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., describes his discovering a remarkable ‘probe’ by the most famous media professor of all time:
Father Mole showed me the letter which he had just received from McLuhan, and in the postscript of that letter McLuhan wrote this statement, “The modem media are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth.” Certain statements you never forget. And that was prophetic.
Looking back on McLuhan’s statements about what modern media have accomplished, we find a few items which perhaps McLuhan considered, especially from his Catholic perspective, indeed “Luciferian” –
- modern man’s experience of being “a kind of disembodied spirit”
- loss of private identity
- communities “destroyed”
- families reduced to “bare-bones”, under tremendous “stress”
- “state becomes religion”
…etcetera. Is that to say we can find nothing laud-worthy about modern media? Not in my view — McLuhan’s words were, after all, “…engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy…” rather than “…are a Luciferian conspiracy…”
Consider: This past Friday, “Gosnell” was trending on Twitter, due to public outcry against mainstream media outlets for (clearly) avoiding the trial of Kermit Gosnell.
Consider: McLuhan’s probes / statements listed above are all regarding the various media themselves, rather than their contents.
Fascinating, then, isn’t it — to consider the desperate, Luciferian attempts to use both media and message to sabotage man, identity, community, family, religion, and – as McLuhan so smartly quipped – truth? We fail to recognize these attempts. As Catholics would say: What is Luciferian is often ignored or mistaken for good. That’s the danger.
And that’s my probing for today.