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Dumbing down

Related: cultural pessimism - intellectuals - Mickey Mouse degrees - stupid


Dumbing down is usually a derogatory term which refers to the simplifying of a subject, often education, news and TV among others. Most people have come to believe that the audience—be it television or print—has a limited attention span which is getting ever shorter. In order to attract and capture this attention, the dumbing down process is deemed essential. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbing_down [Feb 2005]

Greenberg made his name as an art critic with his essay Avant Garde and Kitsch, published in 1939. In this article Greenberg claimed that avant-garde and Modernist art was a means to resist the 'dumbing down' of culture caused by consumerism. Greenberg termed this 'kitsch', a word that his essay popularised, though its connotations have since changed. Modern art, like philosophy, explored the conditions under which we experience and understand the world. It does not simply provide information about it - in the manner of an illustratively accurate depiction of the world. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_Greenberg [2004]

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