Happy 2015! There are a couple of interesting articles up today that I wanted to call attention to. The first is a reassessment of the brilliant media commentator Neil Postman in Salon Magazine.
Meet the man who predicted Fox News the Internet Stephen Colbert and Reality TV
In my first book, DISSENTING VIEWS, there is an essay about Postman's classic book AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH, which illustrates how the author was giving us the tools to understand modern culture before it happened. Expanding on Jerry Mander's FOUR ARGUMENTS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TELEVISION, Postman explained how the very notion of "educational television" is an oxymoron - the box does entertainment, and only entertainment, well. And in fact in our day the most trusted news for the youngest generations comes from comedians. At the same time, Fox News, which skews to an older demographic, the news comes from a group of people sitting on couches, giving opinions about current events. What Postman was saying then - and it only becomes truer with each passing moment - is that one cannot hope to understand the world at all by solely consuming mass media. You still have to read, and read well.
The second interesting article concerns the Sony film THE INTERVIEW, which was granted endless free publicity on CNN and other outlets.
This piece provides some key background information to the creation of this propaganda film and its virtue is that it asks some very good questions.
"Why would ultra-hip rebel news reporter Shane Smith sell part of his company to Rupert Murdoch - the very embodiment of the corporate media machine?"
"Why would any studio need the blessing of the government to release a film?"
The answers are extremely interesting. Check it out.
This is Joe Green's blog.