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Amusing Ourselves To Death
10-28-2007, 01:04 AM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2007 01:09 AM by subgenius.)
Post: #1
Amusing Ourselves To Death
This book by Neil Postman HOMEPAGE HERE was very good at opening my eyes when it came out back in '86-ish. Not much has changed since then , in fact things appear to have gotten even more entrenched in the general population .
[Image: 0140094385.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg]
See a decent review here: http://www.rogerwaters.org/nowthis.html

". . . .That's OK, see the children bleed, It'll look great on the TV."
("Perfect Sense Pt I")

"....I appreciate junk as much as the next fellow, and I know full well that the printing press has generated enough of it to fill the Grand Canyon to overflowing. Television is not old enough to have matched printing's output of junk.

.....I raise no objection to television's junk. The best things on television are its junk, and no one and nothing is seriously threatened by it. Besides, we do not measure a culture by its output of undisguised trivialities but by what it claims as significant. Therein is our problem, for television is at its most trivial and, therefore, most dangerous when its aspirations are high, when it presents itself as a carrier of important cultural conversations. The irony here is that this is what intellectuals and critics are constantly urging television to do. The trouble is that people do not take television seriously enough." ("Amusing Ourselves To Death", chapter 2- Media As Epistemology, pp. 16- 17)
"Entertainment is the supra- ideology of all discourse on television. No matter what is depicted or from what point of view, the overarching presumption is that it is there for our amusement and pleasure. That is why even on news shows which provide us daily with fragments of tragedy and barbarism, we are urged by the newscasters to "join them tomorrow." What for? One would think that several minutes of murder and mayhem would suffice as material for a month of sleepless nights. We accept the newscasters' invitation because we know that the "news" is not to be taken seriously, that it is all in fun, so to say. Everything about a news show tells us this - - the good looks and amiability of the cast, their pleasant banter, the exciting music that opens and closes the show, the vivid film footage, the attractive commercials- - all these and more suggest that what we have just seen is no cause for weeping. A news show, to put it plainly, is a format for entertainment, not for education, reflection or catharsis. ".... Television is different because it encompasses all forms of discourse. No one goes to a movie to find out about government policy or the latest scientific advances. No one buys a record to find out the baseball scores or the weather or the latest murder. No one turns on radio anymore for soap operas or a presidential address (if a television set is at hand). But everyone goes to television for all these things and more, which is why television resonates so powerfully throughout the culture. Television is our culture's principal mode of knowing about itself. Therefore- and this is the critical point- how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged. It is not merely that on the television screen entertainment is the metaphor for all discourse. It is that off the screen the same metaphor prevails. As typography once dictated the style of conducting politics, religion, business, education, law and other important social matters, television now takes command. In courtrooms, classrooms, operating rooms, board rooms, churches and even airplanes, Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas; they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials. For the message of television as metaphor is not only that all the world is a stage but that the stage is located in Las Vegas, Nevada". ("Amusing Ourselves To Death", Pt II, Chapter Six, "The Age Of Show Business", pp. 92- 93)

This was the inspiration for Roger Waters' album "Amused To Death", ...
Incidentally I have just discovered the TORRENT of the Video of this here: Amusing Ourselves to Death 200mb FILE Anyhow I feel this book is a very important read for anyone interested in media and anyone who bothers to watch the tv or movies ...and you certainly won't get as much from a 200 mb file as you would from the book. if anyone can read anymore :geek: LOL

&Spirituality is not a child play. My words will tear apart anyone who listens to them....&
&The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings for it destroys the world in which you live.&

- Nisargadatta Maharaj
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10-28-2007, 01:41 AM
Post: #2
Amusing Ourselves To Death
I found the information regarding the typical news cast poignant, more so because I’ve never quite looked at it that way. I knew it was crap, but didn’t know the deeper significance as to why.

Can this book be had in a digital form, I try to live as paperless as I can (saves space and makes organizing and cataloging easier)? I want to give this a read.
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10-28-2007, 02:07 AM
Post: #3
Amusing Ourselves To Death
sorry THE ABOVE LINK WAS FOR THE AUDIO BOOK. It is also up at DEMND, you know that tracker of the devillish kind

&Spirituality is not a child play. My words will tear apart anyone who listens to them....&
&The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings for it destroys the world in which you live.&

- Nisargadatta Maharaj
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