This is a very intriguing book that makes the argument that instead of being dumbed down and depraved, today's popular culture is actually complex, thThis is a very intriguing book that makes the argument that instead of being dumbed down and depraved, today's popular culture is actually complex, thought-provoking and is helping make people smarter. The argument goes along the lines that today's movies, television shows, Internet media and video games are far more complex than ever before, which forces the users of these forms of media to think critically, make connections, analyze details and think beyond just staring at the screen.
I loved the video game chapter. I think that people who complain that video games are stupid have never played them. Games such as Zelda (my personal favorites) are like huge puzzles; the entire game, and every mini quest within it forces you to take stock of what you have and what you know, and from there make a guess at what you need to do going forward, all the while mapping out and navigating through a huge 3D world filled with a bunch of unique characters. (Although, I must say I was annoyed that the author didn't bother to copy edit the book enough to remove the glaring typo when he wrote about Zelda's "The Wind Walker", a simple Google search would have notified him of his error.)
The book was a pretty entertaining read, even though it's not nearly as scientific as most other non-fiction books I've been reading lately. The author makes some great points and backs them up well....more
Although at times the book was a bit rough to plod through (while I find statistical analysis to be pretty interesting, it's still hard to read aboutAlthough at times the book was a bit rough to plod through (while I find statistical analysis to be pretty interesting, it's still hard to read about it in a book), it was a very interesting and enlightening expose on all of the marketing that occurs that targets children.
I found it somewhat frightening how pervasive marketing towards children is, I had heard of soda contracts in schools, but had no idea that marketing agencies pay lots of schools to show a commercial TV channel as a supplement or replacement to morning announcements. (Fortunately, ChannelOne is and has been banned in NY, so I got ad-free, student produced announcements over the intercom.) The fact that this marketing intrudes in parts of children's lives that they can't avoid really shows how eager Big Business is to ensnare children into the consumerist culture at a young age. And proves that we can't rely on the age old argument that the parents are to blame.
My favorite part of the book are Ms. Schor's suggestions for improvement. Government regulations (or a ban) on marketing that targets children, the possible taxation of advertisements are great ideas, although I'm sure that, with Big Business putting so much money in all of our nation's leader's wallets, these will never come to fruition.
But until then, people can turn off their TVs, read a book, or go outside and play. There are a plethora of activities that can get children away from the mind-numbing influence of advertisements while still providing them with entertainment....more
This book outlines the big problems that Democracy in our country is facing today. I found this book to be so good because of the fact that it articulThis book outlines the big problems that Democracy in our country is facing today. I found this book to be so good because of the fact that it articulates and gives reason to all of the nagging doubts I have about the way our government works today. Now I know that my nagging doubts aren't unfounded, and I know what some of the major problems are, what has caused them, and how they can possibly be fixed in the future.
This book also makes me even that much more eager for January 2009, when we will have a new president in office, hopefully somebody who will take some steps in the right direction toward bringing back and preserving freedom and Democracy....more
What a great book. I found it a bit slow at first while it went over some bands that I wasn't terribly familiar with, but it's such an informative andWhat a great book. I found it a bit slow at first while it went over some bands that I wasn't terribly familiar with, but it's such an informative and interesting history of indie rock in the 80s and 90s. It covers the bands and indie labels that evolved into some of my favorite music of all time.
The author has a chapter on each band covered in the book, from Black Flag to Beat Happening and everyone in between. My favorite chapters were on Mudhoney (an excellent history of the Seattle scene and Sub Pop's rise and fall) and Dinosaur Jr. It was also great to read about labels like Sub Pop, SST, K, Homestead, Dischord and Touch & Go (among others) and how they really made a huge impact on the indie scene. Although most of them are gone or bought out, their legacies cannot be denied.
The best thing about this book is that it focuses entirely on indie bands while they were indie. This means that the book isn't dominated by the bands I already know so much about, like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and their major label peers.
This book is recommended for anybody who has a passion for music, especially the sounds from the 80s and 90s....more
I loved it, cried, thought it wrapped things up nicely. But I hated the epilogue. I should have stopped reading before I got to it. I like hanging endI loved it, cried, thought it wrapped things up nicely. But I hated the epilogue. I should have stopped reading before I got to it. I like hanging endings, I didn't like how Rowling wrapped everything up. It was too neat and predictable and didn't leave anything to the imagination....more