A historian's comments on current events, foreign and domestic.
Mount Greylock Books LLC has published my autobiography as an historian, A Life in History. Long-time readers who want to find out how th...
ProfessorGreat topic great post.I have been reading The Creation of the Media.The problems for us with television, it seems, grew out of older systemic or constitutive problems with other media, going all the way back, but especially radio in the early 20th Century.See Starr, Index, television, especially p 384, "Once more, a network oligopoly would usher in a long era of lowest-common-denominator entertainment."All the best
I know Caesar was a gifted demagogic speaker and Hitler honed his skills in large gatherings. Before radio or film people in towns and cities liked to hear, see preachers, politicians, circuses as distraction. Electric media jut made this easier. It brought radio/TV directly into homes, bypassing the crowd effect. Speechmaking was very dramatic form by Lincoln, Hitler, Churchill and went over well on radio. TV was good for mundane situation comedies, mirroring home life. Advertising became more influential. Stand up comediansm, one liners, TV ads all influenced our trained attention span to be influenced by simple phrases, strong visual imagery-clips. Before we would follow long speeches, based on well known arguments about, say gold vs. silver. Logic was important. Nowadays even films can be utterly illogical, just a lot of visuals, exciting action but little story line. It has turned into one long ad. So we have become like Trump, no attention span to what we intended to do originally, no concentration on details, ideology, just action for the moment for effect. If a company of any sort were to be run as we run our public discourse it would be quickly bankrupt
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