Saturday, September 5, 2009

What I'm Reading Now


"In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, on how "entertainment values" have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given expression less and less in the form of printed or spoken words, they are rapidly being reshaped and staged to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television takes the form of entertainment. Television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation; it demands performing art.

Mr. Postman argues that public discourse, the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good-once the hallmark of American culture-is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment."

6 comments:

David M Manes said...

Postman is really interesting. I read Technopoly for an honors class with Pat Garner in my freshman year and I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Have you read Everything Bad is Good for you? I found the argument in that book (essentially the opposite of what Postman says) to be much more persuasive.

Stephanie said...

I haven't. But I'll add it to my must-read list. Thanks for the recommendation. As they say, so many books, so little time . . .

David M Manes said...

Do you find yourself arguing with authors when you read books like this? It is my favorite part. :)

Stephanie said...

Yes! I underline, and write things in the margin like "yesn but how?" Or "says who?" Or "but what about...?". That's why I always have to buy what I read. Libraries wouldn't like me.

Heather said...

Sooo I was also going to suggest Everything Bad is Good for You, but I guess David beat me to it. :)
I've not read it yet, either, but I've heard good things.

Mark Elrod said...

You're *finally* reading a book I've read.

It's a good one.