Wis now Neil Postman’s bestseller “We have fun until death” since 1985 hits again, can not avoid finding the TV and Twitter president Donald Trump very well sketched in it. The leveling of the genre gap between news and entertainment, the rise of infotainment, had the devastating consequences that Postman warned about 36 years ago. “Donald” from the reality show and the President of the United States were de facto indistinguishable and consultants, journalists and lawyers were fired not only in the same style, but also at almost the same pace. Until recently, Trump seemed to be playing in some kind of reality show.
And yet one might suspect or even hope that Postman’s diagnosis was made with the digital revolution. Television, recently dubbed “linear” and broadcasting at specific times, still exists, but its importance is diminishing. Citizens today consume their series, their news, their content with “time dominance”. Television has long ceased to be an “epistemological control center” according to which the world of our communication is organized. The digital sphere with its very heterogeneous offers was very likely to become a “post-medium” in the sense of the Postman. And the aesthetics of surfing, sizing and clicking, clicking and cross-referencing have long since spread to television.
The aesthetics of the Internet have long been taken for granted
The Postman’s objection to entertainment remains enlightening, even under changing circumstances. Mixing news and entertainment is not just a flashback to the demands of functional differentiation. A demarcation is also made because aesthetic forms are ubiquitous. Even in podcasts about the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the editors of German weekly newspapers are laughing like students.
Postman described the covert co-presence of television as “background radiation”. it is “so familiar to us and so fully embedded in American culture that we can no longer hear the faint whistle in the background and no longer see the flickering light.” This wording is reminiscent of Edmund Husserl’s conception of the world of life. Under this program title, the philosopher had summarized the sum of these non-thematic self-evident things that allow us to first perceive and describe his phenomenological method. The fact that the theater is increasingly oriented towards the aesthetics of the “cuckoo” of the Postman with great importance, that movies such as computer games, news such as home pages, history books such as Netflix series, is explained by common ground in life. world: The aesthetics of the internet have long been too natural to grab our attention.
Entertainment as a living environment is not a natural place. There are actors. Bild LIVE, the digital news portal, merges television and the digital world to create an alloy of multimedia entertainment. Post readers will be fine with anticipating the long-term impact of such innovations on our political culture.
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