Amusing Ourselves to Death, Part 289

It’s both sad and a little amusing that we never seem to learn a lesson permanently. We learn, forget, learn again.  For instance: In this morning’s NY Times, supercol Tom Friedman includes this lament within a larger lament for a government adrift:

At the same time, the rise of cable TV has transformed politics in our country generally into just another spectator sport, like all-star wrestling. C-Span is just ESPN with only two teams. We watch it for entertainment, not solutions.

Friedman’s right, of course, though I’m not sure I’d lump C-SPAN with Fox or MSNBC.  I rarely watch the cable bloodsport anymore, but I did for years, and I can’t recall a shouting match in which a  solution broke out.  TV is not the place to think, anyway. But all that was predicted almost twenty years ago in a still-worthwhile book called Amusing Ourselves to Death. The author, Neil Postman, saw it all coming: In our time, everything must be on TV or cease to exist. Subtleties that are not TV-friendly must go. So anything on TV is inevitably trivialized.

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One thought on “Amusing Ourselves to Death, Part 289

  1. Very much the case. A culture that does not ask the fundamental question “What is enough?” ends up always looking for the next big thing or the next thrill or the next way to avoid having to deal with the real world.

    It begs the question of what does fulfill a human life.

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