8 min readDec 30, 2020


McFinn Salon by Germy Folkywayz

Lay on your laptop in a semiautomatic state and dream of a fun interactive salon on James Joyce and Marshall McLuhan, and MAINLY how inventions shape our behaviour. . . that would irritate somebody. And please others? You do not have to know anything about McLuhan or Joyce to participate. Some notes & video links follow, if you are interested, and rsvp to

These two hour salons happen . . . One Never Knows, Do One? by Fats Waller

Please be aware of McLuhan’s 4 questions = the Tetrad (more below)

We go round robin with questions. Go with your gut. Operate more on an impulsive, intuitive, emotional level, that is PERCEPT. You don’t have to “think.” As Captain Beefheart said, “I’ve had too much to think.” Leave “conceptual” thinking in your lonely teenage room (i meme zoom). Words evoke more than their meaning, “Concept” is a con job trying to get you to beLIEve that everything is not in flux and always changing. It is ok to say “pass” or “I don’t know,” or “Party!!!”

Not required, but please do consider bringing up one person who had an impact on you and a major tool they utilized. As well, bring up an object (a book, a film, a painting) that had an impact on you and the tool that it hoicks up. For example:

McLuhan — printed word

Finnegans Wake — spoken word

You may enter late and leave early all y’all zoomy zimmys.

Any more ideas on four-ness is welcome!

Your whole life has prepared you for this comedy seance, its kinda like fractured fairy tails with Lord Buckley, Tootie Fields & Korla Pandit, who asked the question: “Is TV real?” Well, is it?

Please read these 4 questions that McLuhan got from the Wake to explore the hidden psychic effects of inventions, and probe how to cope with them shaping our behavior.

Tetrad — four questions:

1) ENH — What does it enhance or intensify?

2) OBS — What does it render obsolete or replace?

3) RET — What does it bring back that was previously obsolesced?

4) REV — What does it become when pressed to an extreme, what does it flip into?

With Marshall McLuhan’s Tetrad (these 4 questions), we are probing the psychic and social effects of the environments created by the invention (for example, the Wake book is tangible, or is it intangible= when read aloud, is the Wake an invisible living organism?). Every invention (from philosophy to cellphones) generates environments that provide services and disservices. We are not exploring how the invention was originally intended to be used (that is — its content). More so, we explore these environments, and unintended consequences. How does the Wake shape your behavior? What humanness is extended by the invention (like clothing extends skin, movie extends foot, shutter extends eye lid).

“James Joyce had essentially discovered the Tetrad once he had seen through the television form. He even organized the large-scale structure of the WAKE on the Tetrad: Book One deals with the amplification of technology. Book Two is concerned with the obsolescence of technologies. Book Three deals with the retrieval of forms, and Book Four is modeled on its ‘flipping-into-its-opposite’ feature of technologies.”- Robert Dobbs and

Joyce included the word “Tetrad” in the Wake: “Our wholemole millwheeling vicociclometer, a tetradomational gazebocroticon (the “Mamma Lujah” known to every schoolboy scandaller, be he Matty, Marky, Lukey or John-aDonk), autokinatonetically preprovided with a clappercoupling”

MARCIN’s Tetrad for the WAKE:

1=ENH= A person’s, a reader’s, a city dweller’s connection to historical-mythological-literary personas to tap into richer ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling.

2=OBS= The Encyclopedia and the Bible because it brings about a different organization of knowledge.

3=RET= Bad behaviour…But reframed as life-affirming behaviour.

4=REV= A religion of statistics emerges to quantify this unknown in real-time and act on a future that’s not entirely known.

MARCIN’s tetrad for CAVE:

1. Enhances, even creates the social group — the family, gang, social group that is now bound by a petrified envelope not just visual connections in a field. Sleeping together and surrounded by the same images in the cave creates a common consciousness too!

2. The weather. The cave is a micro-earth within the earth, or a microcosm with more control over the natural environment and less susceptibility to the destruction of the weather and the weather gods who lose power.

3. Teeth. Canine teeth. Specifically eating animal flesh, that for a time might have subsided before the entire apparatus of hunting and flaming flesh made it edible to humanoids.

4. Either the grave (becoming one with landscape) or cinema (moving narrative lit up by reflected light from torch).

PETER Quadrino included McLuhan:

Joyce included Marshall McLuhan’s name in the Wake: “Meereschal MacMuhun” pg254

Tetrad example for the CAR:

1=ENH= private mobility,

2=OBS=horse & buggy,

3=RET=knight in shining armor,

4=REV=bomb, home, traffic jam.

Bring topics, like:

1- Zoom

2- Finnegans Wake reading groups

3- books

4- streaming

5- Nathan’s Twitter Wake

6- simulation theory

7- cross species organ harvesting

8- ? (the possibilities are endless)


Video =

McLuhan’s communication of the new and integral awareness explores why we ignore these effects. What can we do about this? Probe how McLuhan’s percepts make and match humans becoming organic art forms in the future. Our “consciousness can be freed from the shackles of mechanical culture” and can “enable us to roam the cosmos.” Participants can “learn the secret songs that orchestrate the universe.”

McLuhan in 1970: “What would happen, for example, if video phones were to come in. You would scrap the old telephone. If you brought in video phone you would scrap the person-to-person character of the telephone, and you would bring in everybody. The video phone would not permit a person-to-person call but everybody would be there. Here comes everybody instead of just the person you want to speak to. . . . It is part of the junk heap, witness Finnegans Wake. Finnegan is one of the great testimonies to the scrapping of the languages of the world, tossing them onto a junk heap as new resource material for poets. All of the languages of the world are now available simultaneously as poetic resource. We know more about languages than ever, but we have not decided what to make of them. Finnegan takes language as itself, material to be manipulated into art, possessing all the clues as to the inner structures of our own beings and also the inner history of our psyche. Finnegan is a new electronic use of language as gesture, language as resonant interval, pun. Joyce uses the pun to release the enormous stored perceptions of language. Every word ever introduced into any language represents millions of perceptions of millions of people, over long periods of time. Language as codified experience of many, many generations can be released only by puns. The pun is a kind of interface or interval which enables the stored perception of words to be released. Literary people who are accustomed to imposing semantic definitions on words are baffled by this use of the pun as a trigger for releasing experience in language. All language resonates with total perception of the race.5 The artist6 is a person who seeks to arrange it in forms which will release that power.

“The world of discontinuity came in most vividly with the telegraph and the newspaper. The stories in the newspaper are completely discontinuous because they are simultaneous. They’re all under one dateline, but there’s no story line to connect them. TV is like that. It’s an X-ray, mosaic screen with the light charging through the screen at the viewer. Joyce called it, “the charge of the light barricade.” In fact, FW is the greatest guide to the media ever devised on this planet, and is a tremendous study of the action of all media upon the human psyche and sensorium. It’s difficult to read, but it’s worth it.” -McLuhan

“In illuminating the night world, private and collective, Joyce in FW has only done what the electric light had done in abolishing the old divisions between night and day, and between inner and outer space, with respect to human work and play. As soon as the complementary dynamics of inner and outer, conscious and unconscious were displayed, it be came easy to observe the operation of languages in shaping human assumptions, both sensuous and psychological. FW is an encyclopedia of lore concerning the origins and effects of words, of writing, of roads and bricks, of telegraph, radio, and television on the changing hues of the human spectrum.” -McLuhan

Check this pattern recognition from page 80 of the WAKE:

Line 16: “four hands of fore-thought”.

Line 18:

Give over it! = could be ENH

And no more of it! = could be OBS

So pass the pick for child sake! = could be RET

O men! = could be REV

Joseph Campbell wrote the four books of the Wake are:

Book 1= book of the forgotten past

Book 2= book of the present

Book 3 = book of the desired future

Book 4= book of the real future

More FOURness= “Almost from prehistoric times, the number four was employed to signify what was solid, what could be touched and felt. Its relationship to the cross (four points) made it an outstanding symbol of wholeness and universality, a symbol which drew all to itself.” — Chevalier & Gheerbrant, The Dictionary of Symbols. Four is the sacred number of the Zia, an indigenous New Mexico tribe. Cancer (acid, mold) can described as the body’s inability to remove waste in four ways: poop, pee, perspiration and respiration. Four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Greek classical elements & alchemy: fire, air, water, earth. Four cardinal directions: north, south, east , west. Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Aristotle’s four causes in nature: the efficient cause, the matter, the end and the form.

As preposterous pre-post-modernists, sumbody can intuit that MUD (multi-user divergents) is the fifth element, as Napoleon said. Their fourness also includes Ritual, Art, Science and Technology. Giambattista Vico is usually credited with being the first to identify metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony as the four basic tropes. RIA involves exegesis, which is the act of interpreting or explaining in four levels: literal, allegorical, moral, and eschatological.

Sumbody brings together the interplay of all the senses in limited edition EchoLands. As they put the Humpty Dumpty of History (all times are happening NOW) back together again, they renew the ancient interest in ambiguity and paradox. As seers of language (outer and inner) they reimagine a resonant panoply of information operations (secrets, lies, propaganda, mixed media mambos) as subliminal perceptions to reassess Menippean management of public consciousness in total-field anthemic awareness, and sleep. It’s a meeting of the minds- the sage and the saint, shem and shaun, the spell and the solatium.

More fourness: Vico spawned Joyce’s Finnegans Wake with fourness:

1-Gods, 2-Heroes, 3- The People, Humanity, 4- Recorso, coda.

Silva Mind Control: 1-Beta (waking state), 2-Alpha (light sleep, intuition), 3-Theta (deeper sleep, meditation), 4- Delta-(deep sleep, unconscious).

Kabbalah: Pshat (the direct interpretation of meaning), 2-Remez (the allegoric meaning), 3- Derash (midrashic meaning, often with imaginative comparisons with similar words), 4- Sod- (the inner metaphysical meaning).

LET US PRY . . .