An obscure 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, should be particularly compelling to Israelis. Its author, the late Neil Postman, made a sound case for his contention that Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World accurately predicted our current lifestyle.
Our judgment is crippled by an overpowering addiction to entertainment and news presentation constitutes merely another showbiz feature. Complexities are conveniently diluted and events of the day are offered as a packaged commodity, almost like the drugs with which the denizens of Huxley’s future medicated themselves into bliss. Shallow stimulation and immediate gratification have replaced thought and remembrance.
Cyber-wizardry only exacerbated these already preexisting inclinations. But unlike Postman, who lamented the decline of logic and knowledge, there are those who actually celebrate the loss. Foremost among them is our own president Shimon Peres, always ever-eager to lead the vanguard of what he promotes as progress. Continue reading