Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Amusing Ourselves to Death

I am finally reading Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. I have been looking for it for a while now and found it on clearance two weeks ago. There is a newer edition that just came out, so they were dumping the old one. Well, since Postman died last year, I suspect it is just a new cover. No, I see that it has a new introduction by Andrew Postman. Oh well.

Anyway, the introduction starts right in, "Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy...the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."

<idle musing>
I, for one, am convinced that Huxley was right, as is Postman. But, I have always like Postman's stuff, going all the way back to The Soft Revolution
</idle musing>


Dr. Joseph Ray Cathey said...


Absolutely great stuff here. Once you finish the book send it my way I might buy it used from you so you can buy the new one.

R. Mansfield said...

Everyone should read this book. Of course, they'd have to find some time between their television programs first...