The retina of the mind’s eye

In David Cronenberg’s film, Videodrome, there is a character named Professor Brian O’Blivion who says goofy things like “the television screen has become the retina of the mind’s eye”, “I refuse to appear on television, except on television” and “television is reality and reality is less than television.” This character was based on an old teacher of Cronenberg’s. Who?

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Question by Amit Varma