Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Various Artists – White Freightliner Blues
I wasn’t aware of it but Neil Postman went over to the majority in October. I’ve read several of postman’s essays and I think his voice was one that was–and still is–very important to our culture. The New Pantagruel has a very interesting tribute authored by Read Mercer Schuchardt, one of Postman’s former students.
While Neil was not himself religious, he was nevertheless a friend to religion, and to those who were believers. Like so many things, he was surprisingly good at contributing to those fields in which he was not a specialist. His Jewish background, race, and overall mensch-ness allowed Dr. Postman to particularly enjoy the irony of being most widely read and revered in, of all places, Germany. This was but one of many implicit ways that he taught his students to value the position of the outsider as the one who could best see in and through the semantic environments created by media and technology. He wore as a badge of honor the fact that he never once published a scholarly (refereed) article, while at the same time he was quoted by all those who were published in the official journals. He saw, as most communication departments historically have seen, that the real motivation behind studying communication media and its effects was to prevent another holocaust.