America was born as a nation of readers; a nation of the printed word. The foundational defenses of our constitutional order, The Federalist Papers, first appeared as newspaper articles. The 85 essays are remarkable exercises in political philosophy. They’re done with an intellectual skill unmatched anywhere in the modern news media. Unfortunately, if they appeared today, few of us might read them. The reason is simple. Reading requires discipline and mental effort. But for the past 50 years our culture has been shifting away from the printed word to visual communications, which are much more inclined to sensation and passive consumption. This has consequences. When a print culture dies, the ideas, institutions and even habits of public behavior built on that culture begin to weaken.Read the rest here: Catholics and the 'Fourth Estate'
14 July 2009
Denver Archbishop Concerned About Public Discourse
Fans of Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (mentioned in a previous post) will enjoy a recent article by Archbishop Chaput on the Archdiocesan website (via First Things):