The show biz world

And now in the twentieth century (…) nature has been abolished by art and engineering,  (…) government has become entertainment and entertainment has become the art of government… (Nihilism Exposed, 1955)

Pop Art is an indication that as the whole planet goes inside a new satellite-and-information environment made by man, we can no longer afford to deal with the human habitat as something given to us by Nature. We have now to accept the fact and responsibility that the entire human environment is an artifact, an art form, something that can be staged and manipulated like show biz. (Great Changeovers for You, 1966)

That the entire planet should become show business on a twenty-four-hour basis is not only inevitable now, but it creates “challenges” for all levels of the establishment on a scale that will gradually obliterate consciousness. (McLuhan to Robert Leuver, Jul 30, 1969, Letters 386 = M&L 91)

Show business is taking over, and the guy who can present the best image will be the boss. This means role-playing (…) Until now, it has been private identity and ego trips. Today the new thing is to get rid of you and become whatever the situation demands. In the TV age everybody has to get rid of the self to have a job at all, whether as a teacher or a performer — you have to ditch the old private ego and start role playing. (‘An Interview With Marshall McLuhan: His Outrageous Views About Women’, Linda Sandler. Miss Chatelaine, September 3, 1974, pp. 58-59, 83-87, 90-91)