EARLY WORD: Nothing Really Matters

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. Ronald Bishop is Professor of Communication at Drexel University. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Bishop is the author of When Play Was Play: Why Pick-Up Games Matter and Taking on the Pledge of Allegiance: The News Media and Michael Newdow’s Constitutional Challenge. He lives in the greater Wilmington, Delaware area. Professor Bishop will sit down with Rudman Institute executive director Karen Curry for a discussion followed by a book signing on Monday, February 27th at 2 PM in MacAlister Hall room 2019/20. MORE

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