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Oct 3, 2007
It's Not About Sex, Drugs, And Violence
Why do we never see a 300-pound weatherman? It seems that meterology only attracts hunks and gorgeous babes. Why are we so easily manipulated? A commercial airs suggestting exposing our babies to classical music will make them smarter. Suddenly cat fights are breaking out in department store aisles over the last copy of Beethoven's Fifth. In short, why do we tend toward the absurd these days? Of all the gurus weighing in, Postman has the definitive answer. We are so addicted to entertainment that we spend most of our time laughing. Worse still, because we no longer know how to think we can't even figure out what we're lauging about or why we've stopped thinking. But don't worry. He won't ask you to give up television or even drop HBO. He helps you see the man bend the curtain.
Publishers Weekly, 1985-09-20 From the author of Teaching as a Subversive Activity comes a sustained, withering and thought-provoking attack on television and what it is doing to us. Postman's theme is the decline of the printed word and the ascendancy of the ``tube'' with its tendency to present everythingmurder, mayhem, politics, weatheras entertainment. The ultimate effect, as Postman sees it, is the shrivelling of public discourse as TV degrades our conception of what constitutes news, political debate, art, even religious thought. Early chapters trace America's one-time love affair with the printed word, from colonial pamphlets to the publication of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. There's a biting analysis of TV commercials as a form of ``instant therapy'' based on the assumption that human problems are easily solvable. Postman goes further than other critics in demonstrating that television represents a hostile attack on literate culture. October 30
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