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 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

  • Editorial: Let's go Buffalo! It could be a whole lot of sweet nothings being whispered in our collective ears, but talk about a Buffalo Bills stadium in Niagara Falls, has us chanting "Let's Go Buffalo." Already there are doubters all over town, who just don't want to get their hopes up. We're hearing people say they're reminded of the time those developers of the Mall of America flirted with the Falls when they were shopping for a location for their super mall. They eventually chose another city, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: NTCC's 'regional approach' aids all local tourism

    April 14, 2014

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Chronicling crime on the 'Island' Why is Rick Pfeiffer never around when you need him? The guy whose cubicle we shared during the Koop-Jasen-Rice era at Channel 4 now carefully chronicles criminals for the Gazette, notably those a few flakes short of Raisin Bran, but his crime wave is a mere ripple compared to ours.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The mirrors of my grandfather's fingernails What we do or don't do will have a greater impact upon our grandchildren's futures than what you might think.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
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