In Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Neil Postman examines how television has informed public discourse, labelling the medium of television as Americans’ “vast descent into triviality.” It is no surprise that the 1980s gave birth to the popular Canadian board game, Trivial Pursuit, where “intelligence” was measured on the ability to correctly answer questions pertaining to six different categories of general knowledge, much of which was media-based. But this game only evaluated one’s familiarity within a range of topics and limited number of question cards such that trivial and highly mediatized knowledge became conflated with intelligence. Indeed, the way we speak to each other today is riddled with the language of media and television—from advertising to television series, and most everyone pretty much stays in step.

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