The Vanishing of Scale in an Over-the-Top Nation
Publication Year: 2011
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.
Published by: Baylor University Press
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Page Count: 298
Publication Year: 2011
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