December 22, 2008

Musings and Link

I think a book ought be written about how we got from the Lincoln-Douglas debates - when voters listened for up to eight hours to speakers using more difficult language than we are used to today - to... today.

I'd assumed it was due to declining education standards but now am wondering if Neil Postman didn't nail it with his 1984 book "Amusing Ourselves to Death". Television was the cause; he provocatively stated that he thought "Sixty Minutes" was far more dangerous to the republic than "The A-Team". It's not superficiality on television that is the problem, it's actually news shows. Will quote eventually...

The individualist may think that God loves us collectively and that our value to Him is primarily what we can contribute to others. But that is a false distinction because Reality is that we are a single body. Paul wrote that through Adam we all sinned, through Christ we were all redeemed. The doctrine of Original Sin well emphasizes our mutuality. I say let's graciously accept the benefits of Christ given the burdens we've acquired from Adam.

As far as our value being what we can contribute, if we injured our right foot, would we protest that the left foot is shouldering more of the burden of walking? Would we resent the brain (or heart's) decision in that regard? No! If we were blind, would we resent that our other senses will be exercised more acutely? Not at all. It's only when we see ourselves as rugged individualists that we think of God in utilitarian terms.

Very interesting post from Kevin Jones. I just got something from our bishop that said "engagement", a term familiar to me lately in the corporate world.


Terrence Berres said...

If not a book, how about a few paragraphs, A Righteous Wind, by Charles R. Kesler

HokiePundit said...

1. I suspect that the internet makes TV news programs look like nothing by comparison.

2. The whole community aspect is something that American culture often neglects, yet is present as you read Locke and more importantly within Christianity. I'd bet that fewer than 1% of Christians can remember reading Ezekiel 3:16-27.

Enbrethiliel said...


What you said about the Lincoln-Douglas debates reminds me of Elizabethan theatre. In those days, people didn't speak of "seeing" or "watching" a play, but of "hearing" a play.

As for today . . . I played a narration of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King for three of my students. Not only did they all have trouble retelling the story at the end, but two of them also fell asleep!

Anyway, I don't know if what I've just written is relevant, but I'm determined to take advantage of the new comments feature every chance I get!

TS said...

I'm surprised by the usage the comment feature's getting thus far. Y'all must've been storing up comments or something.

"A Righteous Wind" reminds me of the film "A Mighty Wind".

Darwin said...

1. I suspect that the internet makes TV news programs look like nothing by comparison.

Interesting question. I do begin to feel that the internet (primarily the ability to pop up lots of different browser windows via related links and hop back and forth reading several things at once) is gradually eating away at my attention span. On the other, since becoming a heavy internet user I've reached the point where I only read news in print (online editions of newspapers included), and from that vantage point I must say that when I do occasionally turn on CNN for FoxNews, the shallowness if in rather stark contrast.

Unless one relegates one's reading to the forums of the shrill-o-sphere, it strikes me that even on the internet print communication requires a higher level of thought (in both writer and reader) than TV spots.