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Marshall McLuhan on Pierre Trudeau’s stubble

The Story

Both are intellectual, witty and iconoclastic. It's not surprising Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Marshall McLuhan are friends. In one letter to Trudeau, McLuhan wrote there was a subconscious reason the former prime minister has grown a beard while in Opposition. McLuhan believed it was because Trudeau wanted to cool his image several degrees. Trudeau agrees and explains how McLuhan suggested looking for a razor if he wanted to "hot up" his political image again.

Medium: Radio
Program: IDEAS
Broadcast Date: Nov. 17, 1980
Guest(s): Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Host: Derrick de Kerckhove
Duration: 2:11
Bearded Pierre Trudeau in 1979 by Mike Van Dusen/Canadian Press.

Did You know?

• McLuhan was also friends with Canadian pianist Glenn Gould and corresponded with Yousuf Karsh, Ann Landers and Ezra Pound.
• McLuhan applied his hot and cool media theories to political candidates. He said Trudeau was "cool" because he had charisma and grace, whereas American president Richard Nixon who lacked charm, especially on television, was "hot."
• Democrat Al Gore grew a beard and put on weight after Republican George Bush defeated him in the 2000 U.S. presidential election.


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