McLuhan himself, the spectacle’s first apologist, who had seemed to be the most convinced imbecile of the century, changed his mind when he finally discovered in 1976 that “the pressure of the mass media leads to irrationality,” and that it was becoming urgent to modify their usage. The sage of Toronto had formerly spent several decades marveling at the numerous freedoms created by a ‘global village’ instantly and effortlessly accessible to all. Villages, unlike towns, have always been ruled by conformism, isolation, petty surveillance, boredom and repetitive malicious gossip about the same families. Which is a precise enough description of the global spectacle’s present vulgarity /…/
However, McLuhan’s ungrateful disciples are now trying to make people forget him, hoping to establish their own careers in media celebration of all these new freedoms to ‘choose’ at random from ephemera. And no doubt they will retract their claims even faster than the man who inspired them.”
Guy Debord: Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, XII (1988).