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Neil Postman is an author with a purpose to prove how media is changing our character and harming our culture. His article “The age of Show Business” is a sarcastic look at two major issues, how television devalues the standard of American culture, and defines the morals and behaviors. He lists various examples and anecdotes to explain his disposition. The article displays a valid argument concerning his stated issues, by producing examples and leaves little leeway for refutation.
An example of Postman’s bias against television and his sarcastic tone present in the essay are available in the first paragraph. His use of bias is present as he clearly gives negative connotations to television as used for illumination rather than its obvious use. He uses this tactic to first gain the attention of the reader and sway opinions towards his idea. Postman states that television does not amplify or extend literary culture, but attacks culture in general (5). This phrase comes after he suggests that new forms of media are not extensions of past ones. These two ideas are the basis of his first issue. He accurately portrays his ideas in a way that seems logical. Comparing a horse and a car Postman also shows bias against technology as he uses a living thing to provide strength. A person could have a relationship with a horse, but not necessarily with a computer. He uses examples distinguishing mediums and technologies, further advocating his issue by separating the two forms to prove his point. Again he recognizes the living and non-living separation by comparing a brain and a mind to a technology being a machine (5). All these persuasions eventually, focus in on Postman’s next point, how television defines moral standards.
In paragraph nine and ten Postman explains how American television is devoted entirely to supplying entertainment and that entertainment itself has become the natural format of representation for all experience (6). These statements are helpful because they help readers identify with the author’s purpose. He uses American television, as opposed to just television. This along with word choice of entertainment brings relative information into the author’s argument. He also gives various examples regarding how television is entertaining stating, that all subject matter is presented as entertaining and for amusement and pleasure (6). The author’s tone, however, provides the best component in the article.
Postman’s essay concerning two issues of television and culture gives specific information, along with creative word choice, and emotional bias to persuade readers to accept his view. However, his use of rhetorical questions, and a sarcastic tone give him the most persuasive edge. His use of these two elements gives a clear tone of how he wants to say his points and adds confidence to the validity of his article. Producing a very convincing article, addressing his issues.
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