Niagara Gazette


February 9, 2014

SINGER: A look at the 'entertainment society'

Niagara Gazette — We live in an entertainment society and too often succumb to, endure and in some ways, suffer from what might be called entertainment overload. Stories about the stars and their most trivial style choices, likes and dislikes crowd out more serious events and developments. In the 19th century Lord Palmerston made a remark about surviving our amusements, but he should have beheld today’s scene in that regard!

Due to such an ambiance, even when something serious occurs and gets reported on, it frequently becomes done to death in the media, trivialized by repetitive superficiality — exactly as befits an “entertainment society.” How do we survive this addictive kind of atmosphere? What effect does its collective weight have upon us?

Because for much of human history, diversions were but short, sweet breaks — carnival time or saints’ days, fairs or Sunday picnics, weddings or baptisms. Versus the current world where life is filled almost constantly with vicariously imbibed fun and games, right down to the music that’s piped in everywhere these days.

The current entertainment culture, I believe, has superficialized us, exacerbating our impatience, not least in endless surfing with the TV remote. We want to be entertained in every bite, and there’s always another channel, another choice, another snippet to be sought — “snippetitis” is my word for the activity engendered by all this.

We’re becoming loaded down and colonized by this well-nigh constant entertainment culture. Even if we confine ourselves to old movies, TV shows, or music, we’ve all become walking cognitive museums in the process. Yes, that’s what we now are — vicarious entertainment museums, and jangling ones at that! Put another way, we’re all snippety Wikipedias!

And yet ... I do find it marvelous when I visit my daughter’s family and can play old favorites on YouTube for the grandchildren — Dinah Washington’s “September in the Rain” or her duets with Brook Benton; Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and so on — jumping decades, hitting buttons, establishing traditions on these visits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page