Tyranny from Apathy

In: English and Literature

Submitted By laserwolf65
Words 1644
Pages 7
Does Entertainment Cause Tyranny?
Anonymous
FdEng 201, Section 24
15 October 2012

It is unlikely that one will understand a text without analyzing it. A cursory glance is not enough to internalize the important messages that the author wants to convey. Perhaps the most important texts to analyze are those written to persuade their audiences to believe something. Failing look closely keeps audiences from understanding the text's true strengths and weaknesses. By carefully examining the ethos, pathos, and logos of an argument, the reader is able to determine whether or not an author makes an effective argument. An analysis of this sort will show that Neil Postman's speech “Amusing Ourselves to Death” is lacking in all three areas to be effective.
Summary
Neil Postman, department chair of Culture and Communications at NYU, gave his speech “Amusing Ourselves to Death” at a book fair in Germany whose theme was “Orwell in the year 2000.” It was written to demonstrate that an “Orwellian dictatorship” was not necessary to deprive people or their rights. Instead, he asserts, the west is like that of Huxley's “Brave New World”; it is a society that has no need to be violently controlled because we are ever distracted by frivolities. The most potent distraction, he says, is the television. He begins by citing a few key statistics: eighty percent of all homes in the United States have a television, and the average American child watches 5000 hours of television before he or she even starts school (p. 449). Television, he says, is full of“junk.” The serious issue at hand is not just that there's a lot of junk, but, rather, that serious topics such as politics are being turned into “junk” (p. 449) because they have had an element of entertainment attached to them. Other subjects like religion and education have been put on the TV with an added element of…...

Similar Documents

Bystander Apathy Experiment

...Bystander Apathy Experiment Bystander Apathy Experiment (1968) On March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese was attacked and stabbed by a man later identified as Winston Moseley. Despite Genovese’s cries for help, none of the people in the nearby apartment building who heard her cries called police to report the incident. The attack first began at 3:20 AM, but it was not until 3:50 AM that someone first contacted police. In 1968, John Darley and Bibb Latane became intrigued by the incident and decided to conduct an experiment which was given the name the Bystander Apathy Experiment. Their main goal was to figure out why people, in cases like Genovese’s, did not come for help. These two psychologists asked volunteers to participate in a discussion which was claimed to be extremely personal. Each individual was separated in different rooms and had to communicate with each other through an intercom. During this “extremely personal” conversation, one of the members would fake an epileptic seizure through the intercom. When the volunteer believed that he/she was the only other person in the discussion, 85% left the room and began to seek help for the individual with a fake seizure. Next, the two psychologists decided to see what would happen if three or four people were in this discussion, instead of just one; and just as they suspected, only 31% went to look for help once the seizure began. So what exactly is the bystander effect? Psychologists predict there are two major factors......

Words: 341 - Pages: 2

The Tyranny of the Queen Bee

...The Tyranny of the Queen Bee - WSJ.com 3/4/13 6:58 AM http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323884304578328271526080496?mg=reno64-wsj.html?dsk=y Page 1 of 8 John Kuczala The Tyranny of the Queen Bee By PEGGY DREXLER Kelly was a bright woman in her early 30s: whip-smart, well qualified, ambitious— and confused. Even a little frightened. She worked for a female partner in a big consulting firm. Her boss was so solicitous that Kelly hoped the woman—one of just a few top female partners—might become her mentor. But she began to feel that something was wrong. In meetings, her boss would dismiss her ideas without discussion and even cut her off in mid-sentence. Kelly started to hear about meetings to which she wasn't invited but felt she should be. She was excluded from her boss's small circle of confidants. What confused Kelly was that she was otherwise doing well at the firm. She felt respected and supported by the other senior partners. She had just one problem, but it was a big one. One of the male partners pulled The Tyranny of the Queen Bee - WSJ.com 3/4/13 6:58 AM http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323884304578328271526080496?mg=reno64-wsj.html?dsk=y Page 2 of 8 her aside and confirmed Kelly's suspicions: Her boss had been suggesting to others that Kelly might be happier in a different job, one "more in line with her skills." I met Kelly while I was conducting research on women in the workplace. She was trying to puzzle......

Words: 2080 - Pages: 9

Pisistratus and Tyranny

...many religious and artistic programs. He was exiled twice during his rule and both times he found a way to return and regain his power. The first time, he rode into the city in a golden chariot accompanied by a woman playing the role of Athena. The second time he went around to the local cities and gathered support from them until he was able to come back to Athens and re-stake his claim. He was not a particularly violent or oppressive tyrant, but instead he was temperate and valued the current constitutional government. This stability helped him to maintain support and power throughout his rule. He heavily favored the arts and set about to beautify Athens (which was popular among all the classes). His sons, Hippias and Hipparchus ruled the city in a very similar way after their father’s death. However, after Hipparchus was murdered, his brother Hippias became very paranoid. He became very oppressive which caused the people of Athens to hold him in very low regard. Eventually he was deposed by a careful plot by the Alcmaenoid family whom bribed a Pythian Priestess/Oracle to convince the Spartans it was the God’s will to attack Athens and liberate its people from Hippias....

Words: 304 - Pages: 2

From W.S.

...The analysis of the story: From W.S. by L.P. Hartley Leslie Poles Hartley (1895—1972), the son of a solicitor, was educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford and for more than twenty years from 1932 was a fiction reviewer for such periodicals as the Spectator, Sketch, Observer and Time and Tide. He published his first book, a collection of short stories entitled "Night Fears" in 1924. His novel "Eustace and Hilda" (1947) was recognized immediately as a major contribution to English fiction; "The Go-Between" (1953) and "The Hireling" (1957) were later made into internationally successful films. In 1967 he published "The Novelist's Responsibility", a collection of critical essays. L.P. Hartley was a highly skilled narrator and all his tales are admirably told. "W.S." comes from "The Complete Short Stories of L.P. Hartley" published posthumously in 1973. At the beginning of the story the author introduces the main character of it who is Walter Streeter. The first postcard he receives is from Forfar and is anonymous. Usually he answers to the letters but this one didn’t have any address so Walter was relieved that he doesn’t need to answer to it. The photograph of Forfar was uninteresting and he tore it up. About ten days later, Walter receives another postcard, but this time it was from Berwick –on –Tweed. After reading the second letter Walter began to wonder if the sender was a woman or a man. After some time he dismissed the stirrings of curiosity that...

Words: 343 - Pages: 2

Tyranny of the Majority

...mankind has tried to become free. When we look at the dusty pages of history, it is obvious that, roughly all wars and struggles in history stem from passion of freedom. The importance and necessity of freedom is indisputable and M.Roshwald (2000) emphasized the importance of freedom with these words; ‘’Give me liberty, or give me death’’ (p.1). However, in today’s world, freedom is limited by dictators or majorities. J.S.Mill (1859), claims that, majority, which means the most active part of the society, may desire to oppress minorities and precautions are needed against this abuse of power. Mill raised awareness and warned against tyranny of majority. Social tyranny is more formidable than political oppressions, because tyranny of majority limits freedom of thought, prevents social progress, which is the beginning of all corruptions, and it is more difficult to escape and severer to endure than oppressive political regimes. First of all, majority’s opinions, values and norms determine all society’s values and point of views. Tyranny of majority can manipulates and suppresses minority’s thoughts and opinions. One step further, social tyranny may limit freedom of thought. According to K.Stone (2008), ‘’ Social tyranny penetrates even more deeply into everyday life, into the soul itself’’ (p.1). Starting from this point of view, tyranny of majority has a great power hence; it can manipulate all people thoughts easily and penetrates in all thoughts. Most in demand thoughts......

Words: 1613 - Pages: 7

Tyranny of Guilt; an Essay on Western Masochism (2010)

... Th e T yranny of Gui lt • Pa s c a l B ru c k n e r Translated from the French by s t ev e n r e n da l l The tyranny of Guilt An Essay on Western Masochism • P r i n c e t o n u n i v e r si t y P r e s s Princeton and Oxford english translation copyright © 2010 by Princeton university Press First published as La tyrannie de la pénitence: essai sur le masochisme occidental by Pascal Bruckner, copyright © 2006 by Grasset & Fasquelle Published by Princeton university Press, 41 William street, Princeton, new Jersey 08540 in the united kingdom: Princeton university Press, 6 oxford street, Woodstock, oxfordshire OX20 1TW press.princeton.edu all rights reserved library of congress cataloging-in-Publication data Bruckner, Pascal. [tyrannie de la pénitence. english] The tyranny of guilt: an essay on Western masochism / Pascal Bruckner; translated from the French by steven rendall. p. cm. includes index. isBn 978-0-691-14376-7 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. civilization, Western— 20th century. 2. civilization, Western—21st century. 3. international relations—Moral and ethical aspects. 4. Western countries—Foreign relations. 5. Western countries—intellectual life. 6. Guilt 7. self-hate (Psychology) 8. World politics. i. title. CB245.B7613 2010 909’.09821--dc22 2009032666 British library cataloging-in-Publication data is available cet ouvrage, publié dans le cadre d’un programme d’aide à la publication, bénéficie du soutien du Ministère des affaires étrangères et du......

Words: 64873 - Pages: 260

The Poem from Kagero Diary

...The Original Poem from ‘Kagero Diary’ (P. 333) The one who should Cry joining voices with mine, The warbler, Can it be he knows not the new year is already here. This poem is written by Michitsuna’s Mother, the author of Kagero Diary who is a noble lady during Heian period of Japan. She suffers from a shattered marriage as her husband neither visits nor sends her any message for months. As an attempt to overcome the solitude and emptiness of her disappointing marital life, the author leaves for a pilgrimage to Kamo Shrine. However, the pilgrimage is meaningless - if not miserable - and the New Year comes without any change to the situation. Half of the first month of the New Year passes without any contact from the husband. On the fifteenth night, her son’s servants build a bonfire, and the author steps out to gaze the fire and the mist covered moon and mountain background. At first, she finds the scene beautiful, but eventually it reminds her of her solitude. This prompts her to compose this poem in order to express her present feelings in words. To paraphrase the poem: He, who is supposed to be, but is not weeping by me, the little bird, might he be oblivious that the date has passed long ago. The poem consists of two parts. The first three lines express the author’s deep desolation and sorrow. The first part mainly expresses her current emotions. The first line, “the one who should,” implies that she expects and wishes for someone to be with her, and the......

Words: 553 - Pages: 3

Bystander Apathy - the Phenonenom

...Running head: BYSTANDER APATHY Bystander Apathy: Why does it happen and what could help prevent it? Michelle Jofen Y.N.R. Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy Studies BYSTANDER APATHY 1 What is meant by the term "Bystander effect"? The term "Bystander effect" refers to a phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. Research into this tendency stemmed from a murder case from 1964. On March 13th, 1964, 28 year old Kitty Genovese was raped and stabbed to death in front of her apartment complex by Winston Moseley. The attack lasted over 30 minutes and was witnessed by numerous neighbors. At one point Genovese screamed, "Oh my God, he stabbed me! Help me!" One of the neighbors shouted at the attacker, "Let that girl alone!" Moseley ran away and witnesses observed Moseley enter his car and drive away, only to return ten minutes later. He searched for and eventually found Genovese, who was lying in a hallway at the back of the building where a locked doorway had prevented her from entering. He then further attacked Genovese, stabbing her several more times and raping her as she lay dying. Later, some onlookers stated that they thought they were overhearing a "lovers quarrel" whilst others, who realized that they were witnessing a crime but failed......

Words: 1698 - Pages: 7

Voter Apathy

...Voter Apathy In democratic states and countries, voters go to the poll to choose their leaders. Voters exercises their political right willingly and voluntarily. The democratic process entails contestants canvassing for votes from voters or electorates. Under a fair and peaceful democratic environment, voters should without fear and intimidation cast their votes on a polling day. But voter apathy is electorate feeling uninterested to cast his or her vote on a polling day. The electorate no longer cares to vote or practically stops voting. The voter psychologically feels that his/her vote doesn’t count, or just doesn’t care about the voting process. This situation leads to voter’s low voter turnout. It is a voter’s reaction to any perceived bad feeling of bad government by political parties or leaders and political contestants. Other causes of voter apathy include use of negative adverts, attacking a political opponent, vote rigging, hijacking of ballot boxes and other electoral vices. The voter remains not concerned about the election including the consequences. Other reasons for voter apathy can be that the voter is not educated about the election processes. It can be the electioneering and campaign process by the electoral officers and political contestants were not done or neglected. The campaign and electoral process include educating the electorates, i.e. the grass root populace on the need to exercise their electoral and voting rights. Through education, the voters......

Words: 312 - Pages: 2

How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?

...With a broken system in place, why was it important that a group of wealthy, white men from the thirteen original states, except for Rhode Island, frame a government that would be strong enough to serve the new nation, but not create any form of tyranny? The first constitution, The Articles of Confederation, was an agreement among all thirteen states that was drafted on July 12, 1776 and completed its formal ratification in March of 1781. It allowed thirteen states to set up central organizations to oversee the domestic and foreign affairs, but many believed it was not working and needed to be changed. In the summer of 1787, the group of men, including James Madison, gathered at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia because they were concerned about the future of the nation. The Articles of Confederation was intended to discourage oppression, but failed to accomplish this because it lacked a chief executive, a court system, and the central government could not force a state pay taxes. James Madison was primarily concerned with how they framed the document to assure that tyranny did not have a chance to resurface. They drafted the new constitution in hopes that it would keep the country from falling apart. James Madison and his fellow delegates framed the constitution to protect the country from tyranny by any one individual, group of individuals, branch, or level of government from gaining too much power by including the areas of Federalism, separation of......

Words: 1286 - Pages: 6

Tyranny of the Majority

...ENGL 120H Dr. Robert E. Fox October 6, 2015 The Fight for Democracy Is a “Tyranny of the Majority” happening right now in America, the way that John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville described it? Has our system of supposed equality turned against us to a point where the voice of the minority has been drowned out by that of the majority? Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman seems to disagree in his article, “Knowledge Isn’t Power”[1], in which he talks about how the argument for improving education is just a cover-up for talking about the real, underlying issue: that most of the power in the United States is being controlled by a small group of people with most of the money, and that this group is actively trying to keep all of the money to themselves through monopoly. This idea seems to go against that of Mill and Tocqueville’s; the power lies in the 1% of Americans, an extremely small minority. Furthermore, although most of the majority is able to freely speak their mind in various mediums, such as social media, online newsletters, and blogs, they are largely powerless to make much change in the political and economic sphere. Yet another example that a small group holds all of the power! The point to note here is that the current system of oppression of the poor by the rich was allowed to happen under the same circumstances that Mill and Tocqueville feared would lead to the tyranny of the masses. Although we as a nation had cast away the oppressive monarchy,......

Words: 1548 - Pages: 7

The Three Ways of Escaping Th Tyranny of Society

...Berger believes there are three ways to escaping the tyranny of society, which is transformation, detachment, and manipulation. One way of escaping from the tyranny of society is Transformation. With the connections of new definitions of reality derives the process of social change. With the redefinition, any individual may begin to act obstructive to the expectations that were bound for him with the old definition. Berger states, “Social situations can be transformed or at least sabotaged by a refusal to accept their previous definitions.” We can quickly destroy and transform social situations when one refuses to accept the conception of society. Then Some may find themselves unable to manage when others act in ways that are not expected. Stephan Potter “calls the “ploy” is a precise technique of redefining the situation contrary to general expectations.” In order for one to attempt transformation, One must refuse the external social controls and adapt to the internal social controls. Berger goes on to talk about how in the many examples he had pointed out. One can find the introduction of a character that does not fit into the scenario of a certain play, which can threaten the role playing of the ones who do fit. These kinds of experiments may lead to a reversal in an individual’s view of society. The second way of escaping the tyranny of society is detachment. Which is the method of resistance to social controls. Berger states. “It is possible, though frequently at......

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

Tyranny

...1. Explain why the title of this chapter is "Tyranny Is Tyranny." In your explanation, please include the most obvious reason which will be evident by the end of the chapter, but also include the deeper connections related to the content of the entire chapter. How exactly would one explain why the title of this chapter is "Tyranny Is Tyranny?” According to the Dictionary, tyranny is nothing more than a nation under cruel and harsh dictatorship. Therefore, it is easy for most readers to place the title “Tyranny is Tyranny” because the text analyzes the movement for "leveling" (economic equality) in the colonies and the causes of the American Revolution. The chapter also argues that the Founding Fathers push for war to distract the people from their own economic problems and stop popular movements. The three main points of why such a title has been chosen will be discussed: how people were treated before the Declaration of Independence, how people felt being under British control, and how life was when the Declaration of Independence was established. The title of this chapter is “Tyranny is Tyranny” because tyranny was the exact word to describe how people were treated before the Declaration of Independence was established. Colonists under the control of Great Britain were treated unfairly and miserably. Lower classes of people had to pay taxes even though they couldn’t “make a dumpling to feed their hunger.” Higher classes were not threatened as much because they......

Words: 1217 - Pages: 5

Seeking Independence from Britain

...arrived at Jamestown, the British Empire expanded its control over the first thirteen colonies for nearly 170 years. An intricate part of colonialism was the economic doctrine of Mercantilism. In Companion to British History, Mercantilism is explained as a basic economic theory to increase the country’s wealth by amassing gold. He listed amongst other aspects of the theory the following trade policies: trade restraints by prohibition, taxation on imported goods which could be produced in the colony, prohibition of imports from countries with unfavorable trade balance, goods exported to colony had to pass through home country ports first, establishment of trade treaties, and the regulation of colonial trades so that the colony’s raw materials were exported to the imperial power in exchange for the import of that power’s manufactured goods (2008 Charles Arnold-Baker). At the end of the French and Indian wars in 1763 and in order to fund the British debt from that war, Great Britain began to exercise more control over the colonies by passing trade acts to include increased taxation. The Sugar Act of 1764, increase the duties on sugar and many other raw materials which restricted the colonies’ ability to trade, impacting their economy negatively. In 1765, two acts were passed in British Parliament: the Quartering Act and the Stamp Act, the passing of both Acts infuriated the colonists. The Quartering Act was implemented to maintain a standing army in the colonies with......

Words: 1088 - Pages: 5

Bystander Apathy Experiment

...Bystander Apathy Experiment (1968) On March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese was attacked and stabbed by a man later identified as Winston Moseley. Despite Genovese’s cries for help, none of the people in the nearby apartment building who heard her cries called police to report the incident. The attack first began at 3:20 AM, but it was not until 3:50 AM that someone first contacted police. In 1968, John Darley and Bibb Latane became intrigued by the incident and decided to conduct an experiment which was given the name the Bystander Apathy Experiment. Their main goal was to figure out why people, in cases like Genovese’s, did not come for help. These two psychologists asked volunteers to participate in a discussion which was claimed to be extremely personal. Each individual was separated in different rooms and had to communicate with each other through an intercom. During this “extremely personal” conversation, one of the members would fake an epileptic seizure through the intercom. When the volunteer believed that he/she was the only other person in the discussion, 85% left the room and began to seek help for the individual with a fake seizure. Next, the two psychologists decided to see what would happen if three or four people were in this discussion, instead of just one; and just as they suspected, only 31% went to look for help once the seizure began. So what exactly is the bystander effect? Psychologists predict there are two major factors that contribute to the......

Words: 859 - Pages: 4