You guys! I've been reading, I swear! I'm up to 20-something if you count the head start books. I'm now on vacation in Santa Barbara, which is where I pounded out a ton of overdue reviews last year (see: October), so I was planning on repeating that. Ten days to catch up.
I go home tomorrow.
What, I've been buuuusy! Lying outside being too hot to read, and learning how to play bridge, and getting drunk. Which brings me to now: at a friend's house, part hungover, part hopped up on coffee, with a dash of still drunk, not ready to drive back, and not able to focus on The Great Shark Hunt, which Hunter Thompson would probably appreciate. Perfect time to write some well-reasoned and eloquent reviews.
Looking at my completed list, I see Amusing Ourselves to Death. I then think: I read this? Oh yeah... I look for notes. This is everything I took from the book, apparently:
"118: Billy Graham is more popular than Jesus!
119: hey, maybe it's a good thing if televised preachers are less effective than in-person. Fewer religious people... Yay?"
What I've been leading up to: I'm writing a lot about events that may seem to be unconnected to the book because I don't remember the contents all that well, but that's correct. Here's what I do remember:
Postman rings more than once (zing!) on the idea that the medium of learning is more important than the content of the learning. The culture of teaching children in "fun" ways, like videos of kiddie explorers discovering facts about blue whales, just teaches them that they will never need to put any effort into learning things, like doing boring research or reading boring textbooks. Great, the kids now know a few things about whales, but who gives a shit? They should know a few things about serious study. Also, putting political or any other kind of serious news on TV inherently devalues the news, because a visual format always trends toward short, splashy segments. Serious analysis always needs to be written, and in long-form.
OK, time to go watch Man v Wild and learn about how to survive if I get dropped on a deserted island surrounded by sharks! (Update: the process seems to be to first run across a body of water in which there are sharks, keeping away from the sharks. Then you should run towards the sharks and try to catch them by the tail so you can eat them. I'm gonna stick with my original plan of not going near deserted islands.)