In Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death, he proposes that all media is a form of entertainment. The sole purpose of television shows is to amuse you and seduce you to come back for more. All news becomes merely interesting, inconsequential with no context, and not worthy of “weeping.”
I have a problem with this ‘not weeping’ thing we have convinced ourselves of. You see, I am fond of crying. I cry a lot; it might excessive sometimes (or most of the time) but crying is just part of me. I think crying is a worthy past time though. I am able to feel the pain going on around me. I cry over it and sometimes I see a little clearer.
There is plenty worth crying over. People die everyday because they do not have water or food. People die in suicide bombings because they think that is how to fix “it.” People die on the other side of guns “to create peace.” Trees die everyday because we have made the air unhealthy for them. Animals die because we cut down trees. These are reasons to cry.
They are not reasons to lose hope; they are certainly reasons to weep and hope to see a little clearer.
Making amusement our form of communication has desensitized us to the pain and the problems that exist for us to change. That is where I think it is, to some extent, ruining society. Our news shows inform us of the tragedy then we move on to…the sports! We are prone, or rather forced, to forget about the tragedy, or tragedies, in the wake of the more fascinating, comfortable creations of a privileged society.
If entertainment becomes our one-and-only, we can liken ourselves to adults who never grew out of their spoon-fed-infant selves: dependent on the powers that be, we have no control over what feeds our mind and soul.