Hi, welcome to Bookey. The book we are going to unlock for you today is called “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.
Can you recall the fierce battle fought by Trump and Hillary? At one point, the presidential speeches between the two sides descended into a shouting match. On October 9th, 2016 the second presidential candidate debate was held at Washington University in St. Louis. The debate included issues like people’s livelihood, covering medical insurance, taxes, and basic education. These topics deserved the general public’s attention. However, surprisingly, the key points of the debate were not what attracted their attention. Instead, online commentary was what grabbed the spotlight. For example, some people on Twitter joked, "This looks like a karaoke love song duet." Moreover, during the election campaign, news of private scandals pushed the political show to its climax. From Hillary Clinton's Email Controversy and the William J. Clinton Foundation, to Trump’s allegations of tax evasion, these scandals added a dash to the election. The media also publicized many pictures and videos of their tit for tats, and reported massively on their responses to scandals. Meanwhile, people’s livelihood issues, which were of dire public concern, were squeezed in the corner of newspapers. Only the never ending stream of gossip made headlines. It causes us to reflect on the following question: In the era of ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’, are you turning everyday events into a source of amusement, or are these life events ‘amusing’ you?
What does ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ really mean? Why has this type of phenomenon appeared in our current era? The book ‘Amusing ourselves to Death’ will reveal these secrets using different perspectives. We will discover what ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ means, and find out the reason why this kind of situation occurs. The author of this book, Neil Postman, was a world-famous media theorist and critic. After years of research, Postman found that, “We live in the metaphorical world created by the media without awareness, and this kind of metaphor is redefining our lives.” Through this discovery, he raised the theory that "The Medium is the Metaphor.” This theory provides a solid theoretical basis for explaining the fact that, to a certain degree, politics in the Western world has become entertaining and comedic. Consequently, the Washington Post reviewed the book as being brilliant, powerful, and important.
Next, we will introduce you to the key points of this book in four parts.
Part One: The four phenomena of ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’
Part Two: The reasons why we are ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’
Part Three: The consequences of excessive entertainment
Part Four: Reflections drawn from ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’