What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell's 1984, Neil's Postman's essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever. "It's unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but his ascent would not have surprised Postman.” -CNN Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals. “A brilliant, powerful, and important book. This is an indictment that Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
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- Author : Julia Schubert
- Publisher : GRIN Verlag
- Release Date : 2005-11-23
- Genre : Foreign Language Study
- Pages : 26
- ISBN : 9783638441773
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1, Martin Luther University (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), course: Orality and Literacy, 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The central topics of the works of the writer, educator, communication theorist, social critic and cultural commentator Neil Postman have always been the media, their different forms of communication and their meanings to people, society and culture. Any of his books was built around the McLuhan-question: “Does the form of any medium of communication affect our social relations, our political ideas, or psychic habits, and of course, as he [Marshall McLuhan] always emphasized, our sensorium” (Postman: 07/30/05)? Postman was aware of the fact that a new technology and therefore a new medium may have destructive as well as creative effects. During the history of mankind there have been tremendous changes in the forms, volume, speed and context of information and it is necessary to find out what these changes meant and mean to our cultures (Postman: 1985, 160). For him, it is a basic principle that “the clearest way to see through a culture is to attend to its tools for conversation” (Postman: 1985, 8). In the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death - Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” Postman examines, from a 1980s viewpoint, the changes in the American culture caused by the shift from the Age of Reason with the printed word at its center to the Age of Show Business with television as the central medium - or in simplifying terms the shift from rationality to triviality. Twenty years later, the situation has changed again. This term paper will make an attempt to answer the question what the new media, especially the internet, did to the modern (American) culture and to its public discourse. Obviously, Postman’s provocative title “Amusing Ourselves to Death” was
- Author : Andrew Peak
- Publisher : Lennex
- Release Date : 2013-03
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 46
- ISBN : 5458898222
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.
Postman takes an enlightening look at the long-term effects of mass media--how it transforms our world, and the ways in which the media onslaught can be challenged. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Debates about global warming, a growing shortage of clean water, deforestation, pollution, degradation of the oceans, biodiversity and waste permeate public spaces and private discussions. Unsustainable growth is the underlying force driving all these crises yet is virtually absent from public discourse. Since World War II, growth or growing production has become a mantra, an unquestionable axiom, for political, business and economic leaders as a means to strengthen the economy. Tragically, no distinction is discerned between sustainable and unsustainable growth. This books explores why unsustainable growth is unrealistic and catastrophic and examines its consequences on people and the earth. In addition to analyzing the environmental impact, the book will examine the unequal distribution of wealth resulting from capitalism and unsustainable growth.
In this witty, often terrifying work of cultural criticism, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation into a Technopoly: a society that no longer merely uses technology as a support system but instead is shaped by it—with radical consequences for the meanings of politics, art, education, intelligence, and truth.
From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today−and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood. Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into poprular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds. Informative, alarming, and aphorisitc, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.
- Author : Ying-Ying Chen
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 2005
- Genre : Daily show (Television program)
- Pages : 26
- ISBN : OCLC:374289849
"The Daily Show, a news satire, became a regular news source for some well-educated young voters during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. This study found a new model of political communication challenges the paradigm of mainstream news media." -- abstract.
A scathing and prescient look at television newsÂ-now updated for the new tech-savvy generation Television news : genuine information or entertainment fodder? Fifteen years ago, Neil Postman, a pioneer in media education and author of the bestselling Amusing Ourselves to Death, and Steve Powers, an award-winning broadcast journalist, concluded that anyone who relies exclusively on their television for accurate world news is making a big mistake. A cash cow laden with money from advertisers, so-called news shows glut viewers with celebrity coverage at the cost of things they really should know. Today, this message is still appallingly true but the problems have multipliedÂ- along with the power of the Internet and the abundance of cable channels. A must-read for anyone concerned with the way media is manipulating our worldview, this newly revised edition addresses the evolving technology and devolving quality of AmericaÂ's television news programming.
"Media, technology, culture, television, new media, media ecology, public discourse" --
A no-holds-barred assault on outdated teaching methods—with dramatic and practical proposals on how education can be made relevant to today's world. Praise for Teaching As a Subversive Activity “A healthy dose of Postman and Weingartner is a good thing: if they make even a dent in the pious . . . American classroom, the book will be worthwhile.”—New York Times Book Review “Teaching and knowledge are subversive in that they necessarily substitute awareness for guesswork, and knowledge for experience. Experience is no use in the world of Apollo 8. It is simply necessary to know. However, it is also necessary to know the effect of Apollo 8 in creating a new Global Theatre in which student and teacher alike are looking for roles. Postman and Weingartner make excellent theatrical producers in the new Global Theatre.”—Marshall McLuhan “It will take courage to read this book . . . but those who are asking honest questions—what’s wrong with the worlds in which we live, how do we build communication bridges cross the Generation Gap, what do they want from us?—these people will squirm in the discovery that the answers are really within themselves.”—Saturday Review “Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner go beyond the now-familiar indictments of American education to propose basic ways of liberating both teachers and students from becoming personnel rather than people . . . the authors have created what may become a primer of ‘the new education’ Their book is intended for anyone, teacher or not, who is concerned with sanity and survival in a world of precipitously rapid change, and it’s worth your reading.”—Playboy “This challenging, liberating book can unlock not only teachers but anyone for whom language and learning are not dead.”—Nat Hentoff
Healing Our World is an important book. It is one of the better explanations of the concept of ecology that can be applied not only to the natural world but to our communications environment as well. I recommend the book enthusiastically. Neil Postman, Ed.D., Chair, Department of Culture and Communications at New York University and author of 17 books including Amusing Ourselves to Death, Technopoly, The Disappearance of Childhood, and The End of Education With revolutionary sensitivity, Jackie has put together an overview of the state of our lives and our planet with the rare quality of being rooted in daily experience. Chellis Glendinning, Ph.D., from the Introduction; Author of My Name is Chellis and I´m in Recovery from Western Civilization, Off the Map, and others. As we settle into the 21st century, it is time to clean house and rid ourselves of many of the false assumptions upon which we have based our lives. Healing Our World: A Journey from the Darkness into the Light, explores how we have been lulled into complacency about the illnesses in our culture. We have been taught to believe that we get sick because of the luck of the draw or because we have the flu rather than because of reckless consumption and the production of life threatening toxic substances. Upon closer examination, it becomes clear that government environmental standards are designed to protect the free-flow of commerce, not our health. Healing Our World provides a wonderful opportunity to examine our values and what we have placed value on. It can be a joyous time of house cleaning and soul cleaning, a time when we embrace nature's limits and see value in unexpected places. Each chapter will take you on a journey of eye-opening revelations of the environmental and social injustices at work in our world. The effects of the greed and self interest of political, corporate and industrial leaders will shock you, depress you, infuriate you, and maybe, move you to action and profound personal ex
We live in scandalous times. Every day some new controversy demands our attention, our emotional investment, and, ultimately, our judgment. Many of these routine transgressions will be understood in 'revelatory' terms, as peeling back the multiple layers of artifice and spin to reveal an underlying, and oftentimes disturbing, 'truth'. Otherswill be recognized as calculated marketing exercises that simply present the strategic face of contemporary capitalism. Yet these 'ordinary' scandals can themselves be seen to be largely derivative of another, altogether more fundamental-and fundamentally rare-form of disruption. Such is the real scandal that accompanies instances of authentic creation. Building on the philosophy of Alain Badiou, Scandalous Times not only argues the case for such 'real scandal', but also shows how it is today being abrogated and substituted through the increasing production of novel forms of state-sanctioned controversy. From Duchamp to Donald Trump, Scandalous Times explores the ways in which areas from art and advertising to politics and social media have come to actively contribute to this 'static' fabrication of controversy, all the while arguing for the need to rethink creativity as a radical exception to the state, and not its proxy.
The apocalypse is a motif that lies behind many religious beliefs and practices. 'War in Heaven/Heaven on Earth' theorizes the apocalyptic as it has arisen in a variety of religious traditions, from Native American religion to Islam in Northern Nigeria and new terrorist movements. Millennial theory and history are explored from the perspective of social psychology, sociology and post-modern philosophy. The volume is unique in applying an analysis of millennial themes to a comparative study of religion.
- Author : George Michael Orr
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 2002
- Genre : Mass media
- Pages : 372
- ISBN : OCLC:51555317
This study explores the nature of the public discussion over Neil Postman's media criticisms. Postman has been a popular writer who critiques American education and media from a technological deterministic perspective. This research uses a cultural studies approach to examine the debate over Postman's media views from his two books, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) and Technopoly (1992). The significance of the study is that it offers a window into the public discussions over media influences between 1985 and 2000 and provides particular insights into that debate. The study selected Stuart Hall's articulation theoretical perspective to show how arguments, metaphors and ideologies are structured to construct a public discourse over the role and influence of popular media in contemporary American life. The research found that the most dynamic discussions (i.e. arguments) were found in popular magazines that discussed Postman's media views when compared to academic journals that discussed or referenced Postman's views. This reinforces cultural studies view that popular culture is a worthy and more accurate field of study into the struggle for cultural dominance and ideological resistance. Secondly, the study also indicates the effective use of metaphors as persuasive figures of speech in the public debate over Postman's media views. It was shown that the five metaphors most commonly used were also the same metaphors commonly found in current news stories and Western literature. Finally, the study identified seven ideological tensions that were raised in the public discussion over Postman. It also indicated three levels in which ideologies were being transformed or articulated in the articles reviewed. This study has helped to clarify the public debate over media cultural influences and has shown the value of using cultural studies and articulation theory as methods for interpreting that debate and its evolution.