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    Posted January 5, 2014 by

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    Amusing Ourselves to Death?

    I finished reading the Brave New World twice, and I was surprised and also a little bit worried of the thought that the Huxleyan warning might not be an irrelevant story.
    Certainly the global community has now entered the Age of Television from the Age of Typography, as Neil Postman puts it. Moreover, now people have basically everything in just one small device called ‘smart phone.’ This ever-increasing usage of advanced technology is actually becoming a problem in our society. According to Huxley, our humanity is about to face a grim fate in which people begin to laugh without a legitimate reason. Neil Postman claims that the Huxleyan Warning is becoming a reality, and I agree with him on this point. We are obliviously amusing ourselves to death.
    Entertainment, in fact, takes up a huge portion in our daily lives. From politics to general comedy, humor is inseparable from humanity itself. Politicians now believe that stirring up a “show” for the citizens is a way to earn public interest. This led to an absurdity in which politicians come up in front of the public and provide a source of amusement by dancing, singing, fighting, and making irrational comments or simply trivial promises. But more importantly, the thing is that people are just laughing their heads off at this buffoonery.
    The thing is that people are accepting these acts as something “fun,” and are becoming more and more tolerant of these behaviors of the politicians. At school, it is very common to see students gathering up and making a joke out of these officials. Even during class if someone acts in a weird way, one student will automatically make a reference to a certain politician. After that there would be bursts of laughter all around the classroom, students nodding their heads to the abrupt comment. Are they laughing because it’s simply funny? Or is it even right for them to laugh at this moment? I believe that this is exactly when people are laughing without a particular reason. There are increasing events in which politicians try to stir up a show for the citizens, or the “audience,” and more and more people are becoming numb enough to laugh at the very disturbing situation lying ahead of us.
    This type of entertainment not only exists in the world of politics but also in the general life we spend with our dear technology. These days, it is very easy to witness people of all ages smiling at their smart devices in the subway, having decent ‘conversations’ with the radio or even with games. Every time I see these people, I ask myself: Why are they laughing? Are they neglecting something important while concentrating on the digital conversation? It has been a widely used tactics for dictators to use entertainment and the media in order to keep people’s interest away from politics. It might be overly exaggerating, but it is highly likely that we are neglecting and giving up some things in order to be momentarily entertained.
    At the end of the day, what kind of people do we witness in the current society? Yes, a society with more intelligent figures, and yes, a society with advanced technology in all types of industry. But it seems that people are highly entertained by the media and other sources, such as smart phones, that it is possible that we are neglecting some of the most important values we must uphold. The Huxleyan Warning is rapidly approaching us, and it is important that the public become more aware of the dangers of being entertained.
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