Now…This numbered page 99 of the book, page 118 of 203 of the pdf pages

“Now…This” by Neil Postman was published in 1985 as a chapter in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

1. Please research the Latin phrase “panem et circenses“.  Where did you find your information?  What does “panem et circenses” mean and what was – briefly – the historical context?  What examples of “panem et circenses” do you see in Brave New World?  What was “panem et circenses” in 1985?  What examples can you think of in 2014?

2. Explain fully what Postman means by “discontinuities.” You should cite some of the examples Postman presents. Also, indicate what wider impact on the viewing/listening/reading audience such discontinuities create, according to Postman.

3. Why does Postman think that the younger audience is more affected by this phenomenon?

4. Briefly describe Postman’s theory of anticommunication.

5. How many newscasters over 50 do you find on your local news? How many do you find on the national news you watch?

6. Explain what Postman means when he says, “Big Brother turns out to be Howdy Doody.”

7. Would the audience Postman defines as typical of news shows or magazines like People be inclined to read this essay? Why or why not? What does that say about Postman’s thesis?

8. Have you ever listened to a talk or call-in show? Do you think they merit the description applied to them by Postman? Offer one or more examples from your own city/town.


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