Weekly Words

Mr. David McClain, Head of School at FCS, shares insights relating to Christian education, biblical worldview, building Christian character, and current events. Read the archives below.

Designed for Connectedness

Published 5/6/2024

I recently came across the following in a regular email I receive called English Teacher Weekly, “The Medium is the Message.”

a group of 4 people facing the sun on a hill with arms linked behind

This recent post from Brett and Kate McKay at The Art of Manliness is one of the most succinct summaries of Neil Postman’s important 1982 book Amusing Ourselves To Death that I’ve come across. Postman’s book applies Marshal McLuhan’s idea, “the medium is the message,” to the television age. I read it about 15 years ago, and let’s just say I haven’t been the same since.

One of Postman’s concerns in the ‘80s was the pace and decontextualization of television news, the way it flattens and trivializes its subject matter.

But arguably the most significance-draining aspect of the medium of modern media is the way that each piece of context-less content is sandwiched between other context-less and entirely unconnected pieces of content.

Postman said the phrase “now … this” was one of the scariest phrases in our language…
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