Summary Of Amusing Ourselves To Death

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In the book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman has some major issues with the new television culture we are now actively living in. In his book, his main goal is to convince us that if we live in a culture where what we attempt to communicate is highly affected by its medium, and that television is an extremely specific and exclusive medium, then our interpersonal communication will then be negatively affected by this. He would then argue that we do, indeed, live in this type of culture. He does this by teaching us about the “peek-a-boo” culture, the effect of television on politics, and on the effect of television on religion. Postman describes the changes in our culture by explaining what used to be, in print culture, and comparing it to …show more content…
In the times of print culture, the presidential candidates did not have to focus on being "camera ready", but focused on writing a speech about the issues, and the rebuttals to things that the opponent might say. The candidates would give speeches to crowds, instead of a camera. They would spend time planning and guessing their next move. The least of their worries would be what the opponent would say on television about them. They didn’t have to worry about what they posted years ago on social media. Now, we see candidates who are not racing each other, but the media. They began to have to worry about things that they posted on social media years ago, and what they may have said in front of a camera when they were staring on a talk show. The presidential race has become its own version of a reality television show. Many of the watchers become more attentive to details like their clothing, weight, or makeup, as opposed to the issues listed for the candidates to debate about. The candidates have been forced to be held accountable for things that they said years in the past about things that are not even relevant to the race. If for some reason, the candidate misspoke, or changed their minds, the past is forever recorded on the media programs, preventing them from looking honest and/or truthful. Ronald Reagan compares this to "working in show business" (125). People begin to treat the race as if it was a literal sport, cheering for your favorite, becoming angry when they mess up. The "team captains" begin to create slandering ads about the opponent to have people join their bandwagon (126). The candidates use political ads, which are aired during our times of entertainment, to sway people on their side (129). Another effect of television on politics, is that each candidate is able to persuade their audience that they are missing something important in their lives, and that something is usually a thing that the viewers have

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