Friday, October 20, 2017

"Distant Early Warning" by Marshall McLuhan

Last week I got this beautiful present, an unpacked deck of cards Distant Early Warning. They were created by Marshall McLuhan in 1969.

A deck of playing cards designed to be used as a problem-solving device. First edition. (It was originally given to subscribers to the “DEW-Line Newsletter.”) In slipcase: choice of colors green, red, black, blue, or brown. Cards cellophane-wrapped. Includes inserted instruction sheet.

"The cards are fantastic and are real playing cards rather than simply prompt cards. I think this might be one of the first examples of playing cards as a non military political/social tool. Military propaganda units have used playing cards since before WWII as a means to both identify and lampoon their enemies. Considering the publishing date of 1969, (when anti Vietnam War sentiment was high). Although there's no overtly antiwar messaging in McLuhan's deck.

There are some wonderful statements in the deck. It's full of the humour, sharpness and provocativeness that you can't help but associate with McLuhan. A fabulous object with several pithy statements that seem as apt today as ever." – Murray Grigo-McMahon

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