I like Drew Carey, who now hosts "The Power of 10" on CBS, but I doubt he's ever read anything by Lutheran theologian Marva Dawn. In several of her books, Dawn draws our attention to a disparity between what we know and what we do. Dawn shows us that our postmodern society's information-based economy causes us to have Low Information-Action Ratios. The acronym here is LIAR.
We hear nightly reports about hunger, disease and suffering all over the world (even in our own neighborhoods?), and we do nothing about it.
On "The Power of 10" this evening it was revealed that, according to a survey, 38% of Americans have driven a car after having too much to drink.
What bothered me about the announcement of the survey result on the game show as that not a single person in the studio was bothered by this figure. Everyone was smiling, happy to see that the contestant had guessed correctly.
Things are getting worse from what Dawn wrote about. There's no reaction, let alone action. Low Information-Action/Recation Ration (LIARR).
Usually Drew Carey is not afraid to offer some commentary on the figures, but who can blame him for hesitating when both our President and our Vice-President have driven while intoxicated, not to mention Paris Hilton and her entourage?
The problem with this game show format is that it takes very serious information, like this drunk driving statistic, and presents is solely as entertainment. This instance is perhaps a perfect example of "infotainment".
But I for one am not entertained by the 17,013 deaths from alcohol-related collisions in 2003.
And if the fact that more than 46 people per day die in alcohol-related collisions remains buried in the applause, we will, in the title of Neil Postman's book, be "entertaining ourselves to death".
Labels: information, Marva Dawn, television
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