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Title: More: The Vanishing of Scale in an ...
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Book Condition: Good
About this title
The primary contention is that the media suggest we treat every experience as significant, have as many experiences as possible during our lives, including many at the same time, expend maximum effort at all times, and act at all times with high degrees of focus and intensity. Events in our lives, from getting a speeding ticket to the birth of a child, are treated by the media as highly significant. We allegedly move through our days with speed, cutting and pasting, managing events that vie for our attention at the same volume.
Every path in life must be taken decisively―with enough photos taken of each stop along the way to create a lasting record. We are to be passionate about our jobs, our families, our country, our dogs, our cats, our hobbies, the state of our homes and our apartments, the condition of our yards―all of the choices we make, no matter how insignificant. More than that, though, we're passionate about being passionate. We achieve solely so that we can become better at achieving. The subjects of our passion are not as important as developing and honing our ability to achieve them, or acquire them, or learn them, passionately. We have to be "on," focused, "in the zone," "on message"―ready to do rhetorical battle at all times, ready to mount an achievement charge at a moment's notice. There is no room not only for slackers, but for those who don't take life seriously every waking moment. And if you are a slacker, you have to "slack" with commodified style and flair. It's not enough to do something well enough. And forget failure. Every moment in every aspect of our lives is treated as significant.
―adapted from the Introduction
Gone are the days of enjoying life's simple pleasures for pleasure's sake. Twenty-first-century Americans are on a mission to cram every second of their earthly existence with significant accomplishments and momentous events. Even the most mundane undertaking must be approached with zeal, gusto, and expertise, or so the media persuade us to believe.
Are we capable of doing anything casually anymore?
In this first book-length treatment of media's obsession with triviality, cultural critic Ronald Bishop calls into focus the role of media in the demise of scale―the amount of effort, intensity, and significance with which we live―in contemporary culture. Bishop argues that American audiences are assaulted with messages that the ordinary, and often private, aspects of our lives―family, childhood, parenting, education, food, sports, home improvement―must be showcased publicly and with extreme passion.
Playfully mixing personal narratives with an abundance of examples from television shows, news stories, editorials, advertisements, books, and movies, Bishop demonstrates how media promote the idea that the notion of scale must be abandoned to achieve success and happiness in modern society.
Written with originality, intellectual acumen, and wit, More is a must-read for anyone obsessed with being obsessed and for others interested in media's contribution to society's out-of-scale behavior.
From Octomom to The Bachelor--media's endorsement of exaggerated behavior in contemporary culture
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