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Discussion Essay

             In this essay, I will discuss Neil Postman's essay "Future Shlock- and I will explore whether or not I believe the Internet is another technological advance with which we are trivializing culture or whether or not the Internet is reversing the tide of show business news with serious public discussion.
             I will start off by discussing Postman's essay: "Future Shlock-. He begins by talking about the fragility of human intelligence and how easy it is to suppress. Postman goes on to discuss how Germany was considered the most intelligent country in the world in the 1920s. Germany then went on to "transform into a cesspool of barbaric irrationality- and many of its most intelligent inhabitants were forced to flee the country.
             Postman offers this example of the fragility of human intelligence only because it is very closely related to the United States today. Although he believes that American scholars will never be forced to flee, he goes on to say, "A culture does not have to force scholars to flee to render them impotent-. (Mercury Reader, 41) .
             In this essay Postman offers two movies that he believes embody the main lines of his argument: The Gods Must be Crazy and The Producers.
             In The Gods Must be Crazy, an empty Coca-Cola bottle is tossed from the window of a small plane passing overhead. The bottle lands in a tribal village in Africa. The people begin to love the bottle more than they love themselves, and are saved only when the leader of the tribe, convinced that the gods must be crazy, returns the bottle to the gods by throwing it off the top of a mountain.
             The Producers is a movie that is about a producer that wants his play to be a huge disaster so he will make a huge profit off of the people that invested in the play. The plan backfires when the play is a huge success and the producer ends up in jail.

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