Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"The popular Press"

"It [the popular Press] tends, for instance, to substitute notoriety for fame, and to base notoriety upon ridiculous accidents of wealth or adventure. Again, it presents as objects for admiration a bundle of things incongruous: a few of some moment, the great part trivial. Above all it grossly distorts.

"Its chief force as a sustainer of the "Modern Mind" lies in its power to intensify any disease prevalent in the masses, and especially in the human dust of our great towns. Thus the "Modern Mind" dislikes thinking: the popular Press increases that sloth by providing sensational substitutes. Disliking thought, the "Modern Mind" dislikes close attention, and indeed any sustained effort; the popular Press increases the debility by an orgy of pictures and headlines. The "Modern Mind" ascribes a false authority to reiteration; the popular Press serves it with ceaseless iteration."

~Hilaire Belloc: Survivals and New Arrivals, Chap. IV―The Main Opposition.

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