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The postman always rings thrice

My wife was reading an astonishing report from her FB feed the other day - "DNA Tests Prove Retired Postman Has Over 1,300 Illegimitate Children." Busy fellow and a true lover thought I, but in reality the story was all made up by a fake news web site. But this fake news story was spread around the world via social media shocking millions of people and I'll bet there is a huge percentage of those "Likers" that still don't know the story is false. A few days later, as an indictment of the GOP debate, Coy Barefoot posted three gems from Neil Postman on his FB feed.
  • “When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
  • “[It] is not that television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experience. […] The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter — [the problem is that] all subject matter is presented as entertaining.”
  • I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed." 
― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
 What a misanthropic joy-kill. This Postman wants "authentic information" but doesn't realize that TV News does aim to deprive it's audience of coherent, contextual understanding or, putting it more accurately, TV News tries to deliver a specific context to it's audience regardless of its coherence. Entertaining subject matter is a given - it always has been - unless you want info delivered in a 1984 monotone listing of facts and figures blasted over the ubiquitous loud speakers for all to hear double-plus good. Culture-death? It's a fundamental fact of human existence and no more prevalent today than it was 100 or 1000 years ago. Postman's solution for our existential crisis can be found on his wiki page.
While positing his theory, Postman offers no solution for society on the whole. Even as he wrote in times before the widespread availability of the Internet, he acknowledged that there is probably no turning back from our visual, electronic age. Thus, he writes, "Resistance entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture
If you search around the internet you will find these rebellious parents and their offspring, but I'm not sure it bodes well for Americas cultural future.

7 children from 1 Sperm Donor (father)


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