In his novel, Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, Neal Gabler makes the assertion that entertainment has the capacity to “ruin” society and, although this is undeniable, Gabler fails to acknowledge that it is society who gives entertainment such a capability.
The entertainment industry has virtually eliminated physical activity. The internet has made shopping a home-bound chore. Customers don’t have to talk to a store. They don’t even have to walk to a car to drive to a store. Buying an item is a mere click away and all a person has to do is wait an allotted amount of days for that item to be delivered right to their doorstep, as I did when purchasing a synthesizer. My shopping experience was completely different than that of fifty or even ten years ago. I didn’t even leave my bed. Video games and television have taken the traditional place of basketball and camping. Outdoor activities have taken the back seat to first-person shooter games on Xbox and a new episode of that show we all love so much. The lack of physical activity is a consequence of such mindless “fun,” which in turn has contributed to the growing obesity epidemic that is currently plaguing the U.S. Gabler wouldn’t argue that the growth of the entertainment industry and the growth in nationwide obesity (no pun intended) is no mere coincidence.
Though Gabler’s assertion that entertainment has the capacity to “ruin” society is true, he fails to acknowledge that society gives entertainment that capacity. It is the people who utilize entertainment is such a mindless way and fail to combat the repercussions that add to its capacity. If society were to use entertainment and still keep up with physical activity and social ties, society wouldn’t be as susceptible to demise. People subject themselves to such entertainment knowing the consequences, and yet they don’t do a thing to contest the negative results. Entertainment certainly does have the capacity to “ruin” society, but society...
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