"Carefully make plans, then do the opposite" is a McLuhanism appropriate for all the locals who have not treated themselves to this meet-up in over two decades.
Actress Penelope Chalence, who calls us "McFinn," affirms, "Our discussions refresh me and for days after I feel a renewed mental clarity and passion to merge forth into more conscious living.” Ireland-born land planning manager Peter Naughton tells how the Wake has "brought like-minded people into my life who are now my closest friends and allies - guides as I hitchhike through the galaxy.”
Dancer Maribeth Dougherty asserts, "I have gained new perspectives. I believe from brain science that getting blood flow to different areas in your brain will ward off dementia - use it or lose it… THINK DIFFERENT.” Local historian Eric Dugdale, who has attended for years, says, "Joyce is not an authoritarian author. McLuhan lets us look forward, and back to the ripples in the wake...We, the contentious, are content with no content. Dublin down when looking for meaning, that's how we role.”
Animator Bruce Woodside calls the Wake a "living organism," whose "voices are aspects of a single unconscious human being, a sleeping giant...who lies dreaming beside the bloodstream of the River Liffey."
Which evokes the people of Venice and our ocean!
As a group, we employ McLuhan's Tetrad, four questions to analyze inventions: 1) What does it enhance or intensify? 2) What does it render obsolete or replace? 3) What does it bring back that was previously obsolesced? 4) What does it become when pressed to an extreme, what does it flip into?
No previous experience is necessary. We live in the present and write a detailed history of the future. It's water cooler talk, aka phatic communication. Human inventions extend humanness. Clothing extends skin, the knife & fork extend our teeth, film editing extends our eye lid, electricity extends the central nervous system.
Let's drop this jiggery-pokery and talk straight turkey. Please join us. Try it at least once.
Wake enthusiasts include Joseph Campbell, Patti Smith, Philip K. Dick, Thorton Wilder, Jack Kerouac, Anthony Burgess, Johnny Depp, Joyce Carol Oates, Rian Johnson, Frank Gehry and Samuel Beckett, who declared, "You cannot complain that this stuff is not written in English. It is not written at all. It is not to be read. It is to be looked at and listened to. His writing is not about something. It is that something itself." The Wake is "funferall" - fun for all or a fun funeral.
McLuhan loved jokes: "The priest is crossing the Canadian border. The custom officer asks him "What's in that flask?" The priest says "Water." The officer takes a swig and says "That's whiskey" The priest declares "It's a miracle." That conjures McLuhan's "Communication of the new is a miracle but not impossible." One of his favorites: "Two goats are eating celluloid coming out of a film can on the backlot at MGM. One goat says to the other goat, 'The book was better!'"
"Let us pry." - Joyce. Dream "wide awake this time as we re-enter the tribal night. It is like our contemporary consciousness of the Unconscious.”- McLuhan. It's the human condition in one Finnegainese word "laughtears."